The 2021 Skoda Kushaq small SUV has been unveiled exclusively for the Indian market.
Measuring 4221mm long, 1760mm wide and 1612mm high, the Kushaq measures 20mm shorter in overall length, 33mm narrower and 59mm taller than the small Skoda Kamiq sold in Australia, with the wheelbases of both cars identical at 2651mm.
There's a chance the identical wheelbases can be attributed to the Indian-market model's MQB-A0-IN platform – a more cost-effective, India-specific variant of the MQB A0 architecture underpinning the Kamiq and an array of other Volkswagen Group models.
Ground clearance is also shared between the pair, at 188mm.
Inspired by the Vision IN concept of 2020, the Kushaq's smaller footprint but taller body than the Kamiq translates to straight-sided styling and upright proportions, with interpretations of Skoda's split LED headlights, trademark front grille, L-shaped LED tail-lights and other trademark SUV styling cues.
Alloy wheels up to 17 inches in diameter fill the arches, while five exterior colours are available, including the Kushaq-specific Honey Orange and Tornado Red metallic hues.
Inside, a choice of 7.0- or 10-inch touchscreens with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sit in the centre of the dashboard, with higher-grade models gaining a Wi-Fi hotspot and satellite navigation.
Skoda's two-spoke steering wheel carries over to the Kushaq, though unlike the Kamiq, there's no widescreen digital instrument cluster sitting behind it.
Front passengers in the flagship Style sit in ventilated leather seats, and are treated to automatic climate control, an electric sunroof, and white ambient lighting.
Other available comfort and convenience features include a six-speaker sound system with subwoofer, two USB-C ports, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, wireless smartphone charging, and keyless entry (but no push-button start).
A range of Skoda's signature Simply Clever practicality touches are on offer, including a 2.2-litre 'Jumbo Box' centre console storage bin (as part of a total of 26.2 litres of interior storage space), a ticket holder in the A-pillar, bag hooks in the boot, a non-slip front cupholder, and smartphone storage pockets in the front seatbacks.
The Skoda offers 385 litres of boot space behind the rear seats, with practicality aided by a 60:40 split-folding second-row bench.
Powering the Kushaq is a choice of turbocharged petrol engines: an 85kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder, and a 110kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder.
Both mills are paired to six-speed manual transmissions driving the front wheels as standard, with a six-speed torque-converter automatic available with the three-cylinder as an option, or a seven-speed dual-clutch auto with the four-cylinder.
Electronic stability control is standard across the Kushaq range – a first for the segment in India, according to Skoda – while other standard or optional assistance features include multi-collision braking, hill-hold assist, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and tyre pressure monitoring.
Up to six airbags are available, though front side and side curtain airbags are restricted to the options list.
However, no active safety features are available on any variant, from adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist to forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking.
Order books for the 2021 Skoda Kushaq will open in India in June, with first deliveries to commence in July.
The model will be sold exclusively in India, and therefore won't make its way to Australia – though even if a production slot for international markets were to open, the Kushaq's lack of active safety technologies (which would likely lead to a low ANCAP safety score) would rule it out for our market.
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