Skoda Kushaq Monte Carlo: A Renault Duster owner’s perspective

The Kushaq now faces competition from the Urban Cruiser Hyryder as well, apart from the Hyundai Creta & Kia Seltos.

BHPian smilinkgakash recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I took a TD of the Kushaq 1.5 TSI DSG yesterday (will take another one for the manual soon).

Monte Carlo Edition

Interiors: The pictures of the interiors online were ugly and I did not want to sit in one. The SA still wanted me to check this out. I can safely say the looks are polarizing- Some people will hate it and some will truly dig the sporty feeling.

Exteriors: Everyone loved the exterior treatment for Monte Carlo Edition

Is it worth it additional 80k over the 6 Airbag Top variant?

  • If wireless Android Auto/ Apple Car Play are must for you then this is the only current edition in Kushaq which offers the same. Also, the unit has a 10 inch screen (as offered initially by Skoda).
  • Better sound quality with Sub-Woofer. Good for music buffs but if you are not too keen on music, this is not the most important factor.
  • Exterior and Interior cosmetic features are a plenty with lot of Monte Carlo Badging
  • Monte Carlo edition also has 6 Airbags so if that is a priority for you, then only Monte Carlo and Top model Skoda (Style with 6AB) will fit your bill.

Driving the 1.5 TSI DSG

The DSG is a hoot to drive  However, coming from a Duster, the assured feeling with acceleration was somewhat missing. In no way, did the Skoda feel light but Duster always feels a lot more comfortable with sudden acceleration surges (Perhaps my love for the car over 10 years).

What I liked about Kushaq was it felt like a very easy car to maneuver in tight areas, parking etc. Felt a lot smaller while driving and that makes it very good for the city ride. Has enough juice (1.5 version) for good highway runs as well.

Boot Space

After Hyryder disappointment (I still have the booking), I have started looking for backups. Budget is flexible 20-35L but in NCR due to no-diesel mantra, the options surprisingly become very limited. Unless Hyryder makes practical sense (Will check if by removing the parcel tray and false tray, the weekend luggage is feasible), I may have to cancel the booking.

Coming to the Kushaq’s boot space. On paper it says 385L (less than Duster). However, I have learnt to take these figures with a pinch of salt (Case in point with boot space figures of Creta which in real life do not equate to same usable bootspace).

I was pleasantly surprised by the height provided. Make no mistake guys, the usable boot space is good in Kushaq. If you are like me worried about boot space in this car then you can put your doubts to rest

Back seat comfort

  • Seats are alright- No complaints there. But can you seat 3 healthy adults on the back seat for a long trip? Sadly the answer is NO. The only 5 seater cars (20-35L Budget) which can do this today are Duster, Creta, Tucson and City. Even Jeep Compass fails the back seat width criteria.
  • You can always buy a 7 seater and use the last row for your boot. Case in point- Carens, Alcazar, Innova. However the 7 seaters are too long for most people and are often chauffeur driven.
  • So if you are a family, which often seats 5 then your options are limited. For city runs, it should not be a problem. However, for long highway runs, the comfort for 3 adults in the backseat is highly questionable.

Worth spending 22-23 L for Top Model (6AB version)/Monte Carlo?

Kushaq has niggles but also is perhaps the best to drive (Even compass DDCT is laggy). Fuel efficiency is decent for a petrol SUV.

However, for this sort of money there are other options in the market. Hyryder/Vitara hybrid models will be in direct competition. Also, the omnipotent Korean twins which are the behemoth in this segment. Yes, we do not like them for average safety and banality of their presence on the roads. However, Creta is still the most spacious, has Hyundai reliability and has great resale value.

Join the circus of conundrums before buying Kushaq. I do believe, it is one hell of a car and owners (even with niggles) have a smile while driving this beast.

Read BHPain comments for more insights and information.

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