Why I chose the VW Taigun over Skoda Kushaq: Upgrading from Honda WR-V

Fuel efficiency in the city will go down to as low as 7 km/l in heavy traffic, otherwise around the 9 km/l mark in moderate traffic.

BHPian thirdmainroad recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My previous car was a Honda WRV 1.5 Dtec, and I liked it. I found it to be peppy enough on the highway, liked the way it handled, and was most impressed with its mileage, and I've juiced well over 30 km/l over 100 km many times, though I usually would get 19+ on the highway - I drive 90% on highways.

Every 3/4 years I get the itch to upgrade, and I had done over 80k Km in 4 years on the WR-V but was still very happy with it, and I had spared no expense to make sure it was in tip-top shape.

But come a Sunday in December, I was bored at home and with no thoughts of upgrading, I waltzed into a Skoda showroom, really to kill the afternoon and I test-drove the Kushaq 1.5. Man, I loved that car instantly and had to have it then and there. My wife was dead against an upgrade, but I argued that since we take long drives all the time, it'd be good if we have a bigger auto that she could also drive - she drives an Ignis AMT, and though I would have liked to get the Kushaq in the manual, I knew that would be the ONLY way I'd get her to agree. So I paid the advance amount and came back home to research more on the car.

What I did feel even on the initial test drive is that the Kushaq has a very soft suspension which is great for sitting in the car, but not for driving. After reading a bit and calling a few of my friends, I decided to check out the Volkswagen Taigun. It did come with a stiffer suspension and offered much better driving dynamics. Its handling felt much better, it braked much better. But my wife preferred the softness and ride comfort of the Kushaq, and after a few arguments, I called the Skoda showroom to cancel my booking.

They were aghast. They couldn't believe I was going for the Taigun instead of the Kushaq. They thought me to be mad and said everyone prefers the Kushaq over the Taigun, that it's a bit cheaper, and that it has better everything, and begged me to take the Kushaq on a long test drive. I agreed and test-drove it on a long stretch of the highway. And I felt the same again - a soft suspension that was good for comfort but not driving. This leads to the car shuddering when one brakes hard at high speeds and it did not seem to corner and handle as well as the Taigun.

The Skoda guys were shocked and had the regional manager call me. He swore that the suspension set-up was the same on the Taigun and Skoda, but I certainly felt a difference and told him so. The manager then requested I wait a day and that he'd like to check the Kushaq test car I had driven. The next day, they got 2 Kushaqs for me to drive, the same old one I had driven - they had changed the tires, wheel balanced and aligned, and they also got a Kushaq which had done less than 100 km, which was to be their test drive car. Took both the cars for a long test drive again, and felt the same and told them so. They were convinced I was mad and left rather disappointed. I started thinking that perhaps I was a bit mad (I mean I know I am a little cuckoo for sure, and was wondering if I was imagining things) and I asked the VW guys to come back for a test drive. Told them what Skoda had done and that I was quite impressed with their pre-sales push and that I would like a long test drive to which they agreed.

So took the VW Taigun on a 100+ km test drive on the ECR off Chennai. I no longer had any doubt. The Taigun did have a harder suspension setup, which leads to a stiffer and bumpier ride but which affords much better driving, braking and handling dynamics.

And that was it, I booked the 1.5 DSG and I had the car delivered to me about a week after booking.

Once I got the car, man, I was and am obsessed with the way it handles. I had to get the 1000 km run-in (which the manual specifies that one should do) ASAP so that I could unleash the car. I spent the 2 days after getting the car running it in on the ECR, spending the whole day going up and down and up and down. 3 days after I had got delivery, the 1000 kms was done, and it was due for an inspection service + I had reversed it into my wife's Ignis, which had led to the rear bumper of the Taigun cracking - but not a SCRATCH on the Ignis much to her amusement. It's weird how the force works upon impact.

The car took a week for it to come back as I opted for insurance to replace the bumper, and have since been finding all the possible excuses to drive it on long trips.

I live in Chennai and I've driven to Coorg two times. I had to, of course, check how the car performs on hard ghat sections so did a separate trip to Masinagudi where I spent a day going up and down the Kalhatti ghat below Ooty. I can't stop whizzing about the Mysore - Bangalore expressway - such a good road that and only going to get better once they ban autos and motorbikes - set to happen on the 12th of March when it's officially inaugurated. Now clocked 7300 km in just over 2 months (with the car staying in the workshop for a week + me having to go visit the in-laws in Rajasthan for 10 days - I of course wanted to drive, but the wife argued she couldn't take 4-5 extra days off work so had given in and fly)

The car has gone for its 7500 km service today - the guys at VW were rather astonished that it was in this early and asked me if there was an error on when I had taken delivery. I am to go on a drive either to Thekkady or to Aqua Outback in Tuticorin - the gulf of Mannar tomorrow. (Have any of you been there? I live like right NEXT to the sea, and I am not too sure of going on a beach vacation, but I thought I'd learn to angle fish there but I am not sure it's worth the 11k per night they charge.)

This trip is going to add another 1k + km on the odo and I thought I'd give it in for inspection service 200 km earlier rather than 1000 km later.

So here are my observations

One of the major reasons I upgraded was safety. I always thought Honda will do well on the safety front, but with the WRV getting the dismal safety stars in the recent NCAP tests, scoring just a tad better than the Marutis, I had to let that car go.

The Volkswagen Taigun 1.5 GT DSG is a FANTASTIC car to drive. Though I thought I'd miss the manual, the DSG does a great job at shifts. The car handles exceptionally well at high speeds and on ghat sections, corners great, has no body roll and is just a dream to drive. The engine is very peppy, and does prefer a tad bit of linear acceleration, but does well on sudden and hard accelerations too.

The car LOVES to be driven hard and hates city traffic. You can feel the car PLEAD to not be driven in city traffic.

This is not a car you want to get if you drive in the city much, or are mileage conscious. Mileage in the city will go down to as low as 7 km/l in heavy traffic, otherwise around the 9 km/l mark in moderate traffic. I wouldn't be surprised if people in Bangalore get 4-5 km/l. On highways, you can juice 20 + easily, but have to be sedate, which if you like driving you'll find very, very difficult to be in this car. When you floor it, expect around 12-14 km/l returns.

Pro Tip: Sign up with the Indian Oil rewards program, and get some rebates when you book a gas cylinder or such. I got Rs 523 off a Gas cylinder recharge for spending 1750 Indian Oil points I had accrued filling in XP 95 over the last two months!

Note: The car does perform better - power and mileage on XP 95. Haven't checked out Speed 97 yet. Been toying with trying XP 100, but it's like Rs 50 more than XP 95 at Rs 160 a litre

You hardly ever need to use the paddle shifts. Sports mode is great for quick overturns and bursts of acceleration. The car of course handles and drives much better in sports mode on the ghats.


Hated the delivery experience of Sundaram Volkswagen. They deliver new cars in a used car showroom of theirs, and it's a very off-putting experience to get a brand new car in a used car showroom. Wrote a stinker to VW on this.

The auto start and stop are very sensitive and will kick in even when slowing down, not having to halt. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, it kicks in all the time. I wonder if it's ok for the car's engine to start and stop as much as it will in heavy traffic and if that increases wear and tear on the engine + battery + decreases mileage when the engine fires up often. My friend argues that VW would have kept that in mind when designing the function and that it is a made-for-India car. I avoid city drives as much as possible, so I am not going to look this up too much.

I hate the fact that the car came with Ceats. My other choice was MRFs, and I hate them even more. This car needs to have come with better tyres. I can't wait to get on Michelins but was/am cash crunched with this impulsive and unplanned buy, and also spending on constant road trips. I figure I'll wait till I cross 15k kms and switch to Michelins. Yes, I am a total Michelin fanboy!

I wonder if it would have been better for the car to have rear discs. The car does have a lot of power and will hit triple-digit speeds very easily. The car's brakes are more than sufficient and it does hold nicely, but I still do wonder. I test-drove the XUV 700 as well before booking the Taigun, and it comes with rear discs and brakes PIN POINT! But I disliked everything else about it so wasn't an option I must say the braking on that thing did make me think twice about if I should pick it up.

I do not like the music system at all. The head unit is great - much better than the 60k Pioneer I had on my WRV, but the speakers to me suck. But that's probably just me. I love Hi-FI Audio, and for the setups that I like, it costs 5-7 lakhs for cars. Have to wait a bit for me to get that cash, and I'll be making a beeline to Speedfreaks in Chennai to get an Audio upgrade, hopefully very soon.

I found the 125 + KMPH sound chime driving me mad. The car comes with a chime at 80 km/h which is once every minute, which is good as you cannot feel the speed in the car, and the chime is unobtrusive. It then has a 120+ km/h chime, which of course is constant, but cross 125 km/h, it gets LOUD and maddening. 5 minutes and Rs 2000 at Vagmaster, Velacherry, Chennai had the 120+ km/h chime be history.


  • Sun films. I drove the car for a few days without Sun films, and it was horrible. too much glare, and too much stress on the AC even though it was early January. I have come to learn that Sun Films are THE MOST important investment on a car and choose the best and most expensive - Solar Shields Nanoceramics. More here.
  • Screen Guard for the infotainment system. Found a very good and high-quality one on Amazon.
  • Petrol Sticker. Found a very good and high-quality one on Amazon which goes well with the GT badging.
  • Jumper Cables - With the car's auto on/off kicking in as much as it does, I am sure the battery won't last long. And even though you have the option to switch off auto on/off, and I don't drive in the city much, AND I have dealt with dead batteries in the part, I picked up a Jumper Cable.
  • A Tow Rope. A friend in a Nexon and I found a way through a forest onto the banks of the Cauvery and we drove right to the river rather foolishly and got ourselves stuck in the slush. I managed to get unstuck - with more power than the Nexon and with Traction off, but the Nexon was stuck hard. But luckily while we were dealing with this - it was a late night, another Nexon popped up and did exactly what we did and got stuck exactly how we were about half a KM from where we were, and they called in a Bolero to pull them out and they pulled my friends Nexon out as well. That prompted me to get a tow rope.
  • ProKlear Wiper Wash - Been using this for a while and find it to be very good.
  • 3M Rodent Spray - I've had wires in cars chewed on by rats and know the damage they cause. I have been diligently using 3M rodent spray once every 3/4 months and have never had a rodent issue after. Much cheaper on Amazon than elsewhere.

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