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Old 21st December 2021, 13:00   #1
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Default Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Likes;

- Handsome Looks & Stylish Wheels.
- Ride Quality & Handling Impartiality.
- 1.0L TSi Engine Performance & Sound.
- MQBA0IN Platform Feel & Exterior Build Quality.

Dislikes;

- Poor FE in City traffic & during Short runabouts.
- Missing Features (360 Degree Camera, Powered Seats).
- Interiors Dont feel as special or premium as the Kia Seltos.
- Early Reliability Woes (EPC related confusion/complaints) & Recalls.

Video Review;



^ This video discusses the 1L EA211 Engine Performance, AQ250 Gearbox, Ride & Handling. In addition to that it also covers the FAQ’s i keep getting asked & has an interesting segment which discusses "What feels like a Skoda & What Doesnt ?". Here's a timestamp for the topics discussed in the video;

0:00 - Intro
0:59 - Platform
1:51 - Engine Performance (1L EA211)
3:51 - Torque Converter Gearbox (AQ250)
5:20 - Ride & Handling
7:47 - Exteriors & Interiors
12:47 - Whats Feels like a Skoda & What Doesn't ?
17:19 - FAQ's
22:10 - Conclusion.

For those who prefer text can read this review from post #3

Last edited by karan561 : 26th January 2022 at 20:02.
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Old 22nd December 2021, 16:47   #2
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Default re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Booking & Dealership Experience;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-img_3386.jpg

The Skoda Kushaq replaces my Ford Ecosport 1.5 (N/A) Petrol DCT. The other car which I had in mind was the Kia Sonet 1.5 Diesel A/T but unfortunately due to supply issues it wasn't worth waiting for it as during late July when I had enquired I got to know people who had booked since March hadn't received their Sonet. Though I had some contacts which would have enabled a faster delivery (4-5 weeks) but did not activate that option as it did not feel right. So finally made up my mind on the Kushaq and booked it on 31st July 2021. This car was booked without checking her out in the showroom & without a Test Drive. In fact the first time I saw/experienced a Kushaq was around 3rd week of August 2021 in my car on the day of the PDI. Special thanks & credit goes to TEAM-BHP Official Review which helped me go ahead with this choice without having the need to go check her out physically or requiring a Test Drive.

I had 2 dealers (JMD & Mody) in mind & I had given both of them the opportunity. JMD was not really interested to sell & at the same time i had got to know what one of their dealerships in New Mumbai had recently shut down hence it was not really confidence inspiring for me to put my money at JMD hence naturally i picked Mody as it was a newer (Opened in early 2021) & more responsive dealership.

The Corporate Manager at Mody Skoda was very professional and kept most communication via email & always available over phone too. Mody Skoda did not charge me any extra money for things like vehicle handling charges or compulsory accessory kits etc. Insurance too was very high at first as per Skoda Insurance but they matched my quote and also allowed self registration without unnecessary arguments but did verify data/facts to seek official permission. Extended Warranty Payment was also done through online link officially.

Overall my experience with Mody Skoda right from Booking to PDI to Delivery process was Very Satisfactory, Here's a Video capturing all the excitement from the Delivery/Collection Day of my Skoda Kushaq. It also includes a quick Walkaround discussing the Exterior/Interior, Platform, Engine/Gearbox, Tyres etc. & also explains my buy decision;


Last edited by karan561 : 23rd December 2021 at 13:05.
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Old 23rd December 2021, 13:13   #3
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Default re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Platform;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-12.30.16-pm.png

MQBA0IN is actually based on the success of the Skoda SCALA which was the 1st Skoda product to receive the MQBA0 platform which got modified to MQBA0IN platform to accommodate Indian models for the Skoda & VW Stable in the form of the India 2.0 Strategy. MQBA0IN being a Modular Transverse Matrix Platform not only frees up more space but also allows different engine, gearboxes, wheel bases and body styles to spawn more models for both VW & Skoda. This monocoque allows Kushaq to remain on a diet (Weight wise) at the same time retains the build (Exterior) quality.

Engine Performance;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-6.00.57-pm.jpg

First things First, i got to admit that this 3cyl 1L TSi (Belonging to the EA211 family of engines) is a great sounding engine, has a very Sporty Sound. But what about PERFORMANCE ? If i had to pick that what i like the most about this engine; is it the Bottom End or Mid Range or Top End ? I'd surely pick the Mid Range. The Turbo charger does a good job in keeping things VERY interesting between 2000 to 5500 rpm. This is where this small engine feels the MOST ALIVE. The next good thing is that the top end is not bad too, however the redline is not too high. The problem is at the Bottom end, where under 2000 rpm there is a sense of NOTHINGNESS. Its a combination of Turbo Lag as well as poor tuning. Skoda knows there is void in the bottom end so they tried to correct it by giving it a aggressive crawl which makes it difficult to control in small gaps, traffic crawling or parking situations but overall doesn't seem to address the Nothingness in that 1000 - 1850 rpm region. This is most prominent in the 1st gear, however it gets better and less noticeable in higher gears.

Gearbox;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-2.35.11-pm.png

This 1L Engine in its Automatic form is paired with the AQ250 Torque Converter gearbox. Overall i am glad i picked the torque converter option as this car wont see much of the highways and will be mostly used in the city for short runs. However be it in city or open roads the gearbox is quick enough for the power and suits the engine very well, leaving very few occasions / need to reach out for the paddle shifters. This Box doesn't get confused in selecting the gears and the gearing too (2nd gear onwards) is spot on to deliver the juice the engine has to offer.

Handling & Ride;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-6.05.37-pm.png

In the Ride & Handling Balance, the equilibrium is towards the Ride. As you'd be aware that i own a Kia Seltos 1.4 GTX+ as well & the suspension tune on that compared to this the Kia's suspension seems tuned more firmly towards extracting handling performance & the ride feels stiffer in the Kia. Where as in this Skoda its the other way round, the suspension does feels more tuned for the ride quality. In fact clearly the ride quality is better on my Skoda v/s my Kia even with the Skoda being under tyred.

The Steering in the Kushaq doesnt weigh up as much at high speeds as I'd want. Its important to note that the Skoda misses out on Driving modes which the Kia has & the steering of the Seltos in Sport Mode clearly inspires more confidence at higher speeds than the Skoda.

I am currently running Tyre Pressure @ 32 PSi (All 4).

Exteriors;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-img_3818.jpg

The Exterior Looks for me were a Strong Selling point for the Kushaq which also contributed to the Buy Decision. The Front is very aggressive IMO a combination of being Rugged & Athletic. Overall the dimensions are not too wide & sort of ideal to fit in the Urban Indian cities.

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-df79952703b44439ac4ddea44ed7247d.jpg

The Side Profile interests me the most as the overall design is very clean & sticking to the European roots of this brand, very pleasing. The Highlight for me at the side are definitely the striking 17" ATLAS Alloy wheels, this was the major reason I picked the Style variant over the base model which is surely more Value.
But speaking about the rims, the tyres as these are Good Years Assurance with a decently healthy 205 but not healthy enough as in this segment 215's or the 235mm wide are the norm so any guesses why Skoda picked 205 / 55 well because the Octavia uses the same size hence that solves a lot of inventory & they get better prices because of more volume buying, Smart thinking by Skoda, but as an enthusiast i would have preferred 215's atleast.
Another quick negative is the brakes at the rear, its an DRUM Setup, well the braking system is adequate particularly with this small 1L engine up front, but having no DISCS at the rear it is visually disturbing for any enthusiast.

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-68a8b215b8be4f98a05e32e94ea763dc.jpg

Coming to the Rear, i love the fact that the tail lights are placed a bit high giving the Kushaq a very upright stance, i also love the SKODA lettering on the tail gate, i wasn't really a fan of this approach when i 1st saw it on the Superb facelift, but it really works here in a SUV bodystyle. The rear diffuser is again adding to the SUVness for the Kushaq & looks very robust. I miss seeing exhaust tailpipes but again its always better to have it concealed rather than some fake exhaust cutouts in the bumper.

Skoda Kushaq Size Comparison for reference;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-img_3816.jpeg

Interiors;

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-2.34.41-pm.png

The dashboard design looks Solid. There is an interesting mix of materials used, there is Glossy Piano Black, there is a Matte Finished 3D Design Plastic there is Metal & there is also a dual tone treatment to distinguish the upper and the lower part of the dashboard. There are some really good bits about the interior which I love, for example the Steering which is an extremely well finished piece of art whereas on the flip side which I hate are these AC Controls. Rear Camera Quality is Average, also miss the Front Parking Sensors.

Some Great things about the front cabin & features are;

- Handbrake feels Solid.
- Paddle Shifters.
- Music System.

Some Unfortunate Misses;

- 360 Degree Camera Missing.
- Ambient Lighting Options.
- Electric Seats.

Rear Seats & Boot Space;

There is enough space for the passengers at the rear. Seat Comfort is good too, though they are a tad firm. However this added Rear Seat Space has compromised the Boot Space which is now similar in volume (385 L) to a segment below cars like the Sonet and not in line with its positioned competition i.e. the Seltos.

Last edited by karan561 : 26th January 2022 at 19:50.
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Old 26th January 2022, 12:57   #4
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Default What Feels Like a Skoda & What Doesn't ?

What Feels like a Skoda?;

- Exterior Build Quality & Paint;

Overall Exterior Build, Paint Finish, Consistent Panel Gaps etc. makes the Kushaq feel Euro Spec. & distinguishes itself from the Korean & Chinese Competition.

- Driving Experience;

Even after 95% (Claimed) localisation, behind the steering wheel the Skoda Driving Experience is retained.

- Steering Wheel etc.;

The Steering wheel is typical Current Gen Skoda & in line with the likes of larger cars like Superb, Kodiaq etc. Even the Speedo Dials, Cruise Control Operation & Headlight Light Knob give Old School Skoda feels.

- Door Thud Sound;

The typical Door Thud Sound which we all dig is present & re-insures the Skoda-ness.

- A/C Performance;

The Kushaq has a stereotypical Skoda A/C in other words a classic European A/C. By this I mean the A/c Performance is strictly average. I wish the localisation aspect could have been better explored here to give the Kushaq a strong A/C just like we get in the Toyota's, Suzuki's or even the Koreans. However the European nature, Skoda-ness has been retained hence needed a mention.

What Doesn't Feel Like A Skoda ?;

- Horn;

In the name of localisation the voice of a Skoda is lost as the horn is not typical Euro/Skoda spec.

- Noisy Power Windows;

The Power Windows Sound (As demonstrated in the Video Review) is too loud and definitely the motors / system used feels cheap, utilitarian and should not have belonged in a European / Skoda Model.

- Organ Type Foot Pedal Missing;

Premium cars usually have an organ-type accelerator pedal. As we all are aware that this pedal style enables the the driver's heel control the accelerator pedal better because the heel position is stabilized. Missing out on this (for whatever reason) in my view is Un-Skoda Like.

- The Wiper Blades;

The Wiper Blades look cheap and aftermarketish. My Skoda Laura 1.9 PD L&K (priced cheaper to the Kushaq) many years ago had much premium wiper blades and were expensive to replace where as those on the Kushaq doesn't look Euro enough to belong on a Skoda. Not complaining / questioning their wiping abilities but just the aesthetics.

- Interior Build Quality;

Mentioned and demonstrated in the video that the overall Interior "looks" solid but the reality is different when you feel & I have a strong feeling it may get squeaky in the future.

Last edited by karan561 : 26th January 2022 at 20:43.
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Old 26th January 2022, 19:00   #5
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Default FAQ's

FAQ's: Below are the questions I keep getting asked about my Skoda Kushaq Ownership;

1) EPC Issues ?

This has been a controversial topic but Skoda India has been fortunately willing to accept this & initiated a recall campaign wherein the Fuel Pumps (More robust) were changed/installed.

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-screenshot-20220126-6.51.42-pm.png

I've never faced any EPC issues however got the new Fuel Pump installed just for safety measure. Also its important to note that I have been using XP95 since Day 1. This probably would have been instrumental for me not facing such issues i.e. if this was a Fuel related problem.

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-xp95.jpeg

2) Fuel Economy ?

Another question I keep getting asked about my Kushaq ownership is how's the Fuel Economy. This isn't a one sentence answer to be honest as the FE in this 1.0L A/T combo is completely dependent on the way you drive & the conditions around you. On long distance highway runs when you are maintaining speeds under 100 km/h you can definitely achieve around 18 km/l. However on the same stretch if you want to be faster than others & are in a bit of rush then the FE will drop to around 14 km/l & this I am not even talking about driving enthusiastically/red lining. The FE is really poor in the city for short distance runs where I am averaging around 8 km/l.

3) Reliability ?

5 months into the ownership and 2 recall (Fuel Pump & Door Beadings) campaigns already out, the reliability question is a constant FAQ. Its too premature to answer this question but I am hoping for a long term stress free ownership & hence have taken Extended Warranty. Similarly, if you like Skoda as a brand & Kushaq as a product then go ahead but make sure you take the maximum extended warranty to keep your investment safe.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 29th January 2022 at 08:37. Reason: Corrected typo.
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Old 26th January 2022, 21:18   #6
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Default re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th January 2022, 22:36   #7
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Default re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Crisp review Karan as always .

Despite being a capable car on most fronts, Kushaq got the initial footing wrong with negative press on fuel pump issues. If Skoda could get the pricing right now, it still has the makings of being able to give Skoda good numbers and can well be their mainstay. Alas, they had other plans and ended up doing what they do best - shooting themselves in the foot after making pretty good cars.

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 26th January 2022 at 22:40.
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Old 27th January 2022, 09:41   #8
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Exceptional, unbiased & detailed reviews of cars that don't have an official review have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.

Your review has also gone here. Thank you so much for sharing .

Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)-kush.png
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Old 27th January 2022, 13:33   #9
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Well put together, Karan. That steering wheel is indeed a delight to hold. One of the best I've come across.

I felt that the car was short of breath in the top end, too. But for 99% of the time, the 1.0 is more than adequate and fun, too. Ride quality is top drawer and the car remains planted at triple digit speeds. One hand on the wheel is enough.
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Old 27th January 2022, 14:55   #10
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post

Engine Performance;

Attachment 2265237

First things First, i got to admit that this 3cyl 1L TSi (Belonging to the EA211 family of engines) is a great sounding engine, has a very Sporty Sound. But what about PERFORMANCE ? If i had to pick that what i like the most about this engine; is it the Bottom End or Mid Range or Top End ? I'd surely pick the Mid Range. The Turbo charger does a good job in keeping things VERY interesting between 2000 to 5500 rpm. This is where this small engine feels the MOST ALIVE. The next good thing is that the top end is not bad too, however the redline is not too high. The problem is at the Bottom end, where under 2000 rpm there is a sense of NOTHINGNESS. Its a combination of Turbo Lag as well as poor tuning. Skoda knows there is void in the bottom end so they tried to correct it by giving it a aggressive crawl which makes it difficult to control in small gaps, traffic crawling or parking situations but overall doesn't seem to address the Nothingness in that 1000 - 1850 rpm region. This is most prominent in the 1st gear, however it gets better and less noticeable in higher gears.
Nice review and Congratulations! Couldn't stop noticing the speedometer and Digital reading on the instrument console here in this quoted picture: though the speed is 72 in the MID, it looks to be between 75 and 80 (more closer to 80) in the analog dial - Did you notice it? is this something due to parallax error or something needs to be calibrated?
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Old 27th January 2022, 15:04   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Hi Karan,

Excellent review and thoroughly enjoyed the Youtube videos as well. The closing footage on the Delivery video shot over some bridge looks cinematic

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Boot Space

However this added Rear Seat Space has compromised the Boot Space which is now similar in volume (385 L) to a segment below cars like the Sonet and not in line with its positioned competition i.e. the Seltos.
As you have both these vehicles (kushaq & Seltos), can you park them next to each other and compare boot space when you get time?

As per BHPian Behemoth, the Seltos's true Boot size is only 320 L (> (Measuring the actual boot capacity of your car))

Last edited by vsrivatsa : 27th January 2022 at 15:05.
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Old 27th January 2022, 21:41   #12
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Skoda Kushaq (1.0L TSi EA211 + AQ250)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibendum90949 View Post
Crisp review Karan as always .
Thanks Bibendum
Quote:
Despite being a capable car on most fronts, Kushaq got the initial footing wrong with negative press on fuel pump issues. If Skoda could get the pricing right now, it still has the makings of being able to give Skoda good numbers and can well be their mainstay.
Well said, I Agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Exceptional, unbiased & detailed reviews of cars that don't have an official review have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.
Your review has also gone here. Thank you so much for sharing .
Thanks Aditya for the Honour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpabhijit View Post
Well put together, Karan.
Thanks Abhijit.
Quote:
That steering wheel is indeed a delight to hold. One of the best I've come across.
Indeed. IMO the most premium piece of the interior for the Kushaq.
Quote:
I felt that the car was short of breath in the top end, too. But for 99% of the time, the 1.0 is more than adequate and fun, too.
Best is the Mid Range, 2nd best (though as you said its a bit short of breadth) is the top end but the real enemy is the bottom end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goandiaries View Post
Nice review and Congratulations!
Thanks !
Quote:
Couldn't stop noticing the speedometer and Digital reading on the instrument console here in this quoted picture: though the speed is 72 in the MID, it looks to be between 75 and 80 (more closer to 80) in the analog dial - Did you notice it? is this something due to parallax error or something needs to be calibrated?
Good Observation, there is a bit of a delay in the digital speedometer observed during heavy acceleration for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsrivatsa View Post
Hi Karan,

Excellent review and thoroughly enjoyed the Youtube videos as well. The closing footage on the Delivery video shot over some bridge looks cinematic
Thanks for your appreciation, Glad you enjoyed the Videos
Quote:
As you have both these vehicles (kushaq & Seltos), can you park them next to each other and compare boot space when you get time?
Sure, will do that soon.
Quote:
As per BHPian Behemoth, the Seltos's true Boot size is only 320 L (> (Measuring the actual boot capacity of your car))
Interesting experiment, thanks for sharing.

Last edited by karan561 : 27th January 2022 at 21:42.
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