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Welcome Launches

Last month we witnessed the global unveiling of the Škoda Kushaq and, a week later, Volkswagen unveiled the Taigun. Both the SUVs share a common platform, drivetrain, and suspension set-up. What sets them apart is the exterior and interior design.

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to drive the Kushaq prototype in Goa. It is a true-blue Škoda and it ticks all the right boxes, whether it is performance, handling or safety. The only aspect in which it differs from the previous Škoda cars is the interior leg-room, which used to be at a premium. Now, however, there is plenty of leg-room at the rear. Even with the driver’s seat set for my driving position, there was plenty of leg-room for the rear passengers. The ride quality is on the firm side, which is good, and this SUV handles like a sedan with hardly any body-roll. During an interaction with the Press, the company officials said that the turbo-petrol TSI would match the fuel efficiency of diesel engines, as there is no diesel engine in the pipeline.

For the last three months I have been driving down to Goa for first drives of cars made by different manufacturers, starting with the Kushaq. Thereafter, it was the Renault Kiger, Mercedes A-Class Sedan, and VW Taigun. The condition of the roads there is the best I have seen to date, barring the road work from Panaji to the Goa border. My travel time between Pune and Panaji has come down considerably, to about five and a half hours, which is also due to a decrease in truck traffic on the Pune-Bengaluru highway.


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