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Skoda Kushaq Review

 Skoda Kushaq Review

Skoda Kushaq Review

Skoda has recently introduced the Kushaq Onyx Edition, the third special edition for its Kushaq SUV. Unlike the previous special editions based on the top-spec fully loaded models, the Kushaq Onyx Edition finds a place between the entry-level Active model and the Ambition Classic variant, with a premium of Rs 80,000 over the former.

On the outside, the Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition has five significant updates that make it stand out as a special edition. The Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition boasts LED headlamps, fog lamps, and Onyx Edition graphics adorning its sides. Additionally, the car features Onyx badging on its B-pillar and stylish new design wheel caps.  While the rear remains unchanged, this new mid-level version now comes with a rear wiper and defogger, expected to be seen as significant value additions to the overall package.

The cabin of the Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition is mostly similar to that of the Active Classic variant, with a black and grey theme made possible by combining fabric seats with a leatherette center section. As a part of the Onyx updates, the car now comes with Onyx motif headrests and Onyx badged scuff plates. The interior layout, elements, and spaciousness remain unchanged in the cabin.

The Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition's feature list mainly focuses on two highlights within the cabin. Firstly, climate control is now available from the Ambition variant, which was only present in the standard car. Secondly, the Onyx Edition boasts a seven-inch touchscreen unit, similar to the ones introduced by Skoda in its lower-spec models last year. However, the interface is primary regarding display quality and function, encouraging users to plug in their smart device and switch to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for better usability.

Under the hood, the Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition is powered by the 1.0-liter TSI petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine produces 114bhp/178Nm, is now BS6 Phase 2-compliant, and meets the new RDE norms. Although it would have been desirable to have a more advanced version of the Onyx Edition, equipped with either the 1.5 TSI engine or an automatic transmission for the 1.0-liter engine, the inclusion of either of these options would have substantially increased the car's price, even with the introduction of this special edition.

The Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition is priced at Rs 12.39 lakh (ex-showroom). It is available as a new variant between the Active and Ambition Classic, with a price difference of Rs 80,000 and Rs 38,000, respectively. It rivals the likes of entry-level models of the Kia Seltos, MG Astor, and Honda City.

Skoda's move to capture the entry-level buyer is quite a departure from its usual plans and among its rivals. Many unique edition cars released in recent years have been top-spec models with fully loaded features, leading to a significant increase in price compared to the base variant.  Skoda's move to target the entry-level market should be advantageous in the first mover phase.

In conclusion, the Skoda Kushaq Onyx Edition is an attractive offering that adds significant value to the Kushaq range. While the visual updates do refresh the cabin, offering more optional bits like Onyx lettering on the dashboard (passenger side) and probably alternate color options for the fabric would have been welcome. Nonetheless, the car's competitive price, feature list, and Skoda's brand value make it a worthy competitor in the entry-level SUV segment.