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Old 8th September 2023, 16:13   #1
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The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

This is going to be a long post. I'll start with a bit of the background. I own a 1st-gen Ford Fiesta 1.4 Petrol EXI, which is my solo ride now. It has run close to 1.5L km and has been serviced at a Ford service center its whole life. Been a bit of a white elephant lately, as I am someone who does not like knocking noises while driving. Also, the car might need a clutch kit soon. Maybe because of the worn out clutch, the car does not feel spritely anymore. There is a hesitation while accelerating, but it does pull from lower speed in 2nd and even 3rd gears. Apart from a full service every 8-9 months, these are some of the parts that I remember that were changed over the period of the last 1 year -

1. Steering Rack.
2. A/C condenser kit (dashboard removed and the set was changed)
3. Brakes
4. Tyres
5. Struts all around, sway bar bushes & link rods
6. Lower suspension arms
7. Starter motor
8. Head unit - Pioneer 2 din non-touch
9. Head unit bracket
10. Battery
11. Rocker cover seal kit
12. Custom new artificial leather seat covers
13. Gearbox mount and gearbox oil
14. Windscreen
15. Power window motor (driver side front) and the glass movement channel beadings (both front)
16. Front door weather

The car rides on 185/70 R14 Goodyear Assurance Triplemax 2 tyres with no rubbing of the liners in any situation, and has gained a comfy low-speed ride (with a bit of sacrifice WRT handling). Spark plugs, engine oil additive and fuel system cleaner are something I address after every service. The RC has been renewed till 2026 and I get comprehensive insurance from Digit every year which costs around another ~7K.

So as one can see, it has been a constant money pit and my usage has greatly reduced over the past few years - maybe 1 road trip every 6 months and around 30 km every day in the city. Most of the time, I am the solo occupant and the only driver. There are some minor oil seepages, but there's no oil consumption of any sort. The clutch is very light, but the gearbox needs some effort, sometimes from 2nd to 3rd. I feel the flywheel could be the culprit, as I remember it being changed, maybe at 10 years at a then dodgy Ford SC with the wrong flywheel. One can feel the flywheel taking time to spin down between gear changes. That is my feeling. I could be wrong and it could be a synchro issue too. The car looks fine, as I get its panels repainted at an FNG, or polished if I notice any big scratches.

So, I have been eyeing the Virtus since it was launched and my budget permits me to go for a 1.0L manual (full loan). The thing I liked about the Virtus mid variant is that it is fully loaded - that 1.0L gem of an engine, LED headlights, alloy wheels, 8 speakers, cruise control and wireless changer, 10-inch screen with wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay and some sort of interior lighting.

I was initially inclined towards the base variant as it had most of the things except for alloy wheels, fog lamps, 7-inch head unit, central arm rest, and rear A/C vents. I was fine with those omissions too, but the matte grey exterior lower bumper portion makes the car look like THE budget variant. The chrome inserts on the mid variant along with the glossy dashboard (+10 inch head unit), make the car look good (in my opinion). Hence, I was closing in on the mid variant. For some reason, I went to the Skoda showroom and had a look at the Kushaq mid variant (I think they are similarly priced). It was loaded too, but did miss out on a few things the Virtus mid variant had, noticeably
1. 8-inch head unit, wired CarPlay & Android Auto vs the 10-inch wireless
2. 6 speakers vs 8 in the Virtus
3. I think it misses out on a wireless charger
4. And the biggest issue was the size / looks - looks more like a sub-4 meter SUV in my opinion. Even hatchbacks look bigger next to it (i20, Altroz, etc)

Me, being 6.1 ft tall and a healthy 90 kg, I feel it might look small for someone my size. The main reason for the dilemma, even if I cross over the omissions from the Kushaq mid variant 1.0 MT, is the plastic cladding all around the car's lower portion (which is present in all SUV's these days). The roads here in Hyderabad are horrendous and have these gravel stones all around. Thinking from a longevity standpoint, will the Kushaq fare better, maybe 5-7 years later? OR am I worrying over nothing? I notice, many new sedans on the roads here have scratches, especially where the fenders meet the bumper, just over the wheel arches and similarly at the rear quarter panel, over the wheel arch, meeting the bumper. These could be just minor brushes with other vehicles, but I am under the impression that the plastic cladding might protect the panel in such cases. The reason why the Slavia and Taigun were not considered is because of the lack of LED head lights in the mid spec variants. Kindly give your thoughts, which will greatly help with my decision.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th September 2023 at 17:46. Reason: Spelling, grammar, etc.
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Old 8th September 2023, 19:28   #2
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re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

For context, I owned a Vento for nearly 7 years and upgraded to 2 segments higher - a Skoda Kodiaq. Though I'm very happy with its possession, as it is an amazing machine and keeps my family happy, it left a void in me for a sedan. I infact also noted in the "Not so good" section of my Kodiaq thread below (Welcoming my pride | 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Sportline Review)

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that, if you are a sedan enthusiast, stick to sedan. Virtus has a ground clearance of a crossover and handles like a sedan. In fact, the void was so much so that we bought a Virtus to fulfil the need of a second car in the family, and it has brought back that smile in me with its spritely drives in the city and those hill corners- something the crossover cannot do.

Go for Virtus! I see you're looking for a manual transmission, but I suggest you try their AT. A lot of us are now Automatic converts, especially for the city drives - it's a boon.

And, since you did not mention the budget, please also test drive their 1.5 liter GT variant, I feel the engine will satisfy you for years to come.
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Old 9th September 2023, 07:42   #3
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

I’m assuming you have test driven both of them. The seating position is on the lower side on Virtus as compared to Kushaq.

I was in a similar dilemma few months back between Virtus GT plus and Kushaq Monte Carlo 1.5. Ended up buying the Virtus GT plus as imho it had better road presence apart from the obvious things going for it being a sedan.
I have been enjoying it since.
My suggestion is to Go for Virtus and go for the 1.5 evo engine if you can, it will make you smile
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Old 9th September 2023, 11:24   #4
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

If higher seating position & ground clearance are not a must have requirements for you then my suggestion is to go for the Virtus due to the following reasons.

1. Definitely has better road presence than Kushaq or Taigun. I love it in white colour (personal choice).
2. Being a sedan, it will be more fun to drive & will handle better than Kushaq or Taigun (very important for you as you have owned a Fiesta)
3. May have lesser ground clearance than Kushaq but it is more than sufficient to handle even the worst of the speed breakers.

As pointed out by others earlier, if possible go for the 1.5 TSI. You will have that grin plastered on your face 24/7.
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Old 10th September 2023, 10:18   #5
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Hi, I am a sedan guy and suggesting you to go for Virtus. It is bigger inside out, higher boot space, very good aerodynamics and overall a more value for money product than Kushaq. With respectable ground clearance of 178mm, I think it will easily survive any roads or speed breakers in India.
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Old 10th September 2023, 13:18   #6
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Your queries point out to few aspects like ground clearance, some differential features like UI, speakers, and wireless chargers and also the space inside.
I have test driven both and I find that inspite of being shorter in length, the Kushaq and Virtus has similar wheelbase. It had a good amount of leg room and I am 5.11 for reference.
Regarding your observation on damages to fenders and wheel arches in a sedan vis a vis a SUV, thatís the USP of CSUV and you canít defy the law of physics. I have an Altis for more than 12 years and I am contemplating to consider a CSUV like Taigun/Kushaq/Compass as these CSUV handles really well. I was particularly astonished when I test drove the Compass with its amazing cornering capabilities.
As regards the driving dynamics, although Virtus being a sedan has a good advantage, since Kushaq is also tightly sprung underneath and may also be owing to the shorter width(expert can comment here) I found the Kushaq equally good over corners. I also found the boot of Kushaq very accommodating.
Ultimately, you have to choose between the feature sets that goes well with your requirements at the given price point vis a vis the advantages of a Kushaq being an SUV
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Old 10th September 2023, 13:31   #7
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Rohit let me try and answer your queries as i own both
- Kushaq 1.0 AT Mid variant and Virtus mid variant 1.0 MT both 2023 model.

You have already highlighted few observations between the two,adding few more comparing these mid variants only.

1) Sound quality is better in Virtus.
2) Keyless entry a small thing but extremely convenient in Virtus.
3) Interiors of both side by side - Virtus defintely looks better.
4) Exterior - Virtus has better presence for sure.
5) Alloys - Both are ugly but out of the two, Virtus looks better.
6) Led lights in Virtus has got a good throw but Kushaq has better projectors here.
7) Steering feel and buttons - Virtus is better with no blank button. Kushaq has 1 blank.
8) Wireless charging in Virtus you have covered adds to the convenience.
9) Bigger better screen in Virtus.
9) Start stop botton in Virtus along with Keyless entry. Its a big plus.
10) Ofcourse Kushaq fares better in ground clearance by 12mm.
11) I personally liked Beige black interior of Virtus vs Grey black of Kushaq.

If I have to choose one between these, unless I need a smaller footprint car, i will anyday choose Virtus over Kushaq.

Go ahead with Virtus.
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Old 10th September 2023, 14:57   #8
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Go for the highest variant in kushaq. Having compared these two, i bought the kushaq recently.

Your only reason for the purchase of kushaq is that you will simply not be able to sit in the rear seat of the virtus. Your head will hit the roof when you suit in the rear seat, as i found out during my td. Moreover, the High ground clearance of the virtus means that you will not have any under thigh support in the rear passenger seats.

The virtus boot is bigger though
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Old 10th September 2023, 17:31   #9
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

I don't know why people are suggesting 1.5 engine, or ATs, especially, looking at the budget constraints.

I own a Virtus Topline MT and I explored almost all cars in this budget irrespective of body types. I'd simply suggest you to go for the Virtus MT and the variant that suits your budget. I don't drive in bumper to bumper traffic (WFH) and I feel very satisfied having saved ₹1.5 L by getting the MT with the top variant.
It's much better than the CSUV counterparts.
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Old 10th September 2023, 19:03   #10
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Get the sedan while they are still a thing. The Virtus slots in the sweet spot with its styling, engine / gearbox ( especially the 1.5 TSI AT) and the overall practicality. You will come to enjoy your long drives and it can still take you places with its higher ground clearance. I would although vote for the 1.5 motor as opposed to the 1.0 TSI. Get the top model when you can as you can keep it for a long time and extract the maximum value.
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Old 11th September 2023, 00:49   #11
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

It's a good dilemma to have. Myself too is itching for an upgrade though my 2018 MT Swift is absolutely running fine, wfh may be the only reason I've not bit the bullet. My honest suggestion to you would be to seriously consider the AT's. All the major cities infras have totally fallen. It will get even worse before it gets better, maybe in another 20 years. AT's will be a basic necessity. Even if it means stretching your butget a bit, it'll be worth it totally. Having said that, i would go for the Virtus eyes closed. VW service too is marginally better than Skoda. Man the Virtus is THE best looking car south of 50L. All Class. Will age absolutely like a fine wine. Kushaq though it looks good lacks that finesse Virtus has. 1.5 though is a hoot to drive, DSG remains a sole liability. 1.0L with TC is the Engine & GB to have - Solid performance and RELIABLE. Hope this helps

Last edited by RYP : 11th September 2023 at 00:54.
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Old 11th September 2023, 13:20   #12
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Thanks a ton for the suggestions everyone. So, as I can tell, most of us feel Virtus is a better choice for my requirements. I haven't considered anything beyond the MT or the 1.0 TSi as I feel the combination should be a good upgrade for me. Also, me being an enthusiastic driver, I would prefer a manual over an AT for my personal car. I haven't actually looked at the 1.5 MT till date and will definitely take a look and update the prices here.
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Old 11th September 2023, 18:32   #13
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Originally Posted by Puneet0051 View Post
7) Steering feel and buttons - Virtus is better with no blank button. Kushaq has 1 blank.
My friend owns a Virtus GT 1.5 Automatic (Got in June 2023). This also has a blank button on the steering. On pressing, you see an alert "Button Without Function".
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Old 23rd September 2023, 14:29   #14
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

Originally Posted by Rohit_Quad View Post
The reason why the Slavia and Taigun were not considered is because of the lack of LED head lights in the mid spec variants. Kindly give your thoughts, which will greatly help with my decision.
Between the two cars, like most have suggested get the virtus. Looks ravishing, has better interiors and boot and handles better. Even has more equipment.

However, don't let LED lighting be a major criteria for your choice. A good set of aftermarket LED headlights will set you back by around 8-9 K only.

I would also like to warn you regarding the probable hassles of owning a VW 2.0 car in India. Considering you had a Ford you are probably taking the fuss free after sales service, niggle free nature of car and reliability for granted.
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Old 23rd September 2023, 17:33   #15
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Re: The Skoda Kushaq or VW Virtus dilemma

We have a 1L TSI MT(Kushaq) and the 1.5 TSI DSG(Virtus) at home and we love both of them, each for their own use cases. While the 1.5 is obvious choice for highways given the performance on offer, the 1L TSI is the one which will surprise with its capabilities. 1.5 is more linear when compared to the rush of power in the 1L, the 1L TSI easily catches speed more than the defined limits on the expressways, only catch is that it becomes a bit boomy after 120.

To me, the popup infotainment system on the Kushaq feels less premium when compared to the integrated one in the Virtus. In the Virtus, you will get more car for the money paid considering its road presence, boot and rear space. Kushaq/Taigun are comparatively smaller than their competition not that it matters for us but for few that is one of the criteria for not going for the VW twins.

If possible, if going with the Kushaq get the Monte Carlo red in the 1L TSI, it looks smashing in that avatar .

Happy hunting!
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