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Why I chose the Skoda Kushaq 1.5 TSI over the Taigun, Creta & Elevate

"We were keen to replace our ageing Wagon R VXi 2009 which had 1.2 lakh kilometers on the odometer."

BHPian Prasad03 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

SEARCH FOR A NEW CAR

The search for a new vehicle began in October 2023 when we were keen to replace our ageing Wagon R vxi 2009 which had 1 lakh 20 thousand kilometers on the odometer. The Family wanted to upgrade to an SUV or moreover a car with high ground clearance due to the usage requirements. The budget was roughly around 20-22 lakhs. We took test drives of :
Scorpio-N - did not enjoy the handling and driving dynamics, evident body roll being the reason not to go for it. Also had practicality issues for a family of four.

Creta - though feature loaded even the 1.4 turbo somewhat felt underpowered and the steering response was not up to the mark which resulted in poor handling, seats were not that comfortable especially the contouring and poor build quality forced us to drop it as an option

ELEVATE - It could have been a perfectly packed car but had a concern of low fuel efficiency, wind noise at speeds of above 90, and the 1.5 i-vtec did not feel as punchy as in the city.

HYRYDER - performance was not up to the mark though we were getting an advantage of fuel efficiency with an average build quality.

TAIGUN - taigun 1.5 was amazing in all aspects. performance, driving dynamics, handling, and build but only felt a bit stiffer on rough patches.

KUSHAQ The last test drive We took was of Kushaq 1.0 and were amazed by the combination of handling along with the ride quality. The taigun did offer the same or slightly better handling but felt stiffer on bad patches. Considering the 5-star build quality we finalized the kushaq to be our next car. There was confusion about the engine option between 1.0 tsi and 1.5 tsi. While I was aware of the ACT ( active cylinder technology) which comes with a 1.5 TSI engine the salesperson kept on telling me it comes only with 1.5 TSI DSG. Anyway, that misguidance hardly mattered as I knew what's the fact. Got some good discounts along with an exchange bonus so finalized the Kushaq Ambition 1.5 TSI. Booked on November 28th and got delivered on 25th December 2023.

On 21st December we did the PDI as there were some holidays on the following days. Vehcile had 4km on the Odo. The vehicle's paint didn't have a single flaw and not a single scratch or soil mark on the vehicle. However, the infotainment system was not updated. The Android auto/Apple carplay was not there in the infotainment neither did Bluetooth connectivity work. Asked the salesperson to fix the same before the delivery. As 25th December was a holiday the Showroom was partially open only for delivering Vehicles. The salesperson arranged a smooth but not so exciting delivery experience but we hardly complain as there were only 4..5 staff of the showroom.

To my surprise, the infotainment system wasn't fixed yet. Asked the salesperson to fix the same which he called us and did after two days of delivery. If Asked to rate the buying experience I would rate a 3 out of 5.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE

The 1.5 TSI engine producing 150hp and 250 nm torque mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox provides an amazing amount of pulling power when put in the right gear. The engine seems to be in notable lag under 1400 rpm but as it Crosses 1600 rpm it pulls and pulls. In the city drives and in stop-and-go traffic I preferably put 1st gear to pick instead of 2nd or else I end up stalling and the clutch is soft but the travel is on the longer side. On highways, it's absolutely stellar to drive, thanks to the German genes that make it a stable highway cruising car. It holds on to the curves and even lane changes at 80kmph inspire you confidence. The suspension setup is on the stiffer side making it a great highway car but on uneven roads, some of the bumps do travel into the cabin.I have driven Innova Crysta and Creta, what 80kmph feels like in Innova 110 feels in Kushaq.

Comfort

The seats are designed to hold you in perfect place. The front seats are very comfortable for 600 700 kms journey at a stretch, the rear seats are very much designed for two passengers and very comfortable. Had It been a little more reclined it would have been more comfortable on long journeys the firm seats help in reducing body aches. The kushaq takes on the bumps and undulations with quite ease except for some major uneven roads. A thud noise comes from the suspension sometimes at slower speeds over irregularities of the road.


Mileage

It returns around 9 to 12 kmpl in the city with mild to heavy traffic in Bhubaneswar. On highways, it completely depends upon your driving. If you wish to cruise sedately with cruise control around 80 to 85 it returns around 19 to 22 thanks to the active cylinder technology which cuts power to two cylinders when not required. But if you constantly pull and rev it will return around 14 to 16 kmpl or even less if you rev more.

Air conditioning

Ac for me works well, having temperatures of 44 45° C in Bhubaneswar, the A/C chills the cabin in 5 to 7 minutes. When the temp is below 40 it perfectly chills the cabin in 3 to 4 minutes. When set to auto mode it helps in faster cooling of the cabin.

INTERIOR QUALITY

The interior quality could have been better with the usage of soft-touch materials on the touch points. the plastic quality could have been improved. some premium touches on the steering wheel and the dashboard makes it look and feel good but a lot more could have been improved. the dashboard as a whole is sturdy and it does not rattle but a silver panel on it rattles at times when passing over uneven roads. the top part of the infotainment screen is flimsy and makes a squeaking noise especially when the dashboard heats up when parked under direct sunlight.

FEATURES -

In the Ambition model, I get a fair amount of features such as LED projectors, cruise control, tpms ( not active), 8-inch infotainment, wired Apple car play, and an android auto. Some basic features that I have missed out on are ventilated seats, a sunroof( not a fan of it), auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, rear fog lamps, electric seat adjustments, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

I have missed 6 airbags as Ambition has only 2 of them

ISSUES TILL NOW-

  • Cabin noise - I have been facing some noises in the cabin coming from the dashboard ( not rattling) the screen squeaks sometimes upon heating, I put a towel on the dashboard, and it's gone. Very rarely a noise comes from behind the a/c console, a thud kind of noise. a consistent noise has been there from the right side rear wheel cladding or somewhere from the boot or rear right door, though it's very negligible but is there. Door beadings squeaking noise has come up from last 1000kms on undulations when a car passes slowly over it. Will check these issues with the service center at 7500 KMS at the time of the oil top-up and will update the forum.
  • To date I have not received any E-mail regarding the payment for the Standard Maintenance package and extended warranty. I had made the payment of 60000 to the salesperson for the above two mentioned items combined. I was told within in a month I would be officially notified regarding these, it's already 4 months but no update from their side even after reminding them twice. Will have to meet them physically and take constant follow-ups.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

The 1.5 TSI engine is an absolute mile muncher.  Just fill the tank and get going. the stability at high speeds, handling, and overall ride comfort make it a perfect highway cruiser. Still have not had a long road trip in this car. Will come up with a detailed review once the road trip is done.

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