Comparison: Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq

In the Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq battle, we bring you all the interesting aspects from their features to their dimensions and more, to help you decide which is the better compact SUV for you.
By - Yaajyaansh Bhardwaj
August 19, 2023

In today’s car market, there is no segment more saturated in India than mid-size SUVs. Consumers have a wide range of options to choose from and each has their own pros and cons. For a car of this range, one would expect an all-round product, which is premium in factors such as performance, build quality, comfort, fuel economy, features, safety and a lot more. In this space, we look at a battle between the Skoda Kushaq and Kia Seltos. In terms of popularity, look no further beyond these two SUVs here.

On one hand, you have the brand new Kia Seltos. A SUV which needs no further introduction, the Korean SUV has dominated the Indian market over the past few years. Now, with a design refresh, it is quite the all-rounder with incredible performance, high-class features and good comfort. Next, we have the Skoda Kushaq. The SUV is first to come out heavily localised and therefore is now cost competitive. The smart Czech is loved by driving enthusiasts, is built strong and is high on passenger space and comfort. Now, we take a deeper dive to see whether the might of the Czechs or the ingenuity of the Koreans comes out on top.

Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq: Dimensions

Image Credit: Zigwheels
Kia Seltos
Kia SeltosSkoda Kushaq
Length4365 mm4225 mm
Width1800 mm1760 mm
Height1645 mm1612 mm
Wheelbase2610 mm2651 mm
Boot Space433 liters385 liters
Ground Clearance190 mm188 mm

When it comes to dimensions, the Kia Seltos is marginally bigger than the Kushaq. It is considerably longer, wider and taller which definitely helps give it more road presence. However, the Kushaq has a longer wheelbase, which enables it to have better cabin space than the Seltos. This ultimately means that some boot space has been compromised, with the Seltos coming on top here. Both these SUVs have similar ground clearance at 190 mm, which is pretty sufficient for Indian roads.

The Kushaq is a smart compact looking SUV, with its upright stance, bold and wide grille, aggressive fascia and its sharp design language attract quite a lot of customers. The new Seltos, now with a design refresh, looks more bolder than ever. It is better proportioned than the Skoda and the sleek fascia, planted stance and its butch design help it stand out amongst a crowd. When comparing the dimensions between these two SUVs, the Kushaq is more compact and still has better cabin space than the Kia. However, the Seltos has greater presence, thanks to its bigger dimensions, comes with more boot space and is the better looking SUV here. 

Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq: Engine and Transmission

Kia SeltosSkoda Kushaq
Engine Options1.5L petrol engine/1.5L diesel engine/1.5L turbocharged petrol engine1.0L turbocharged petrol engine 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine
Transmission Options* 6-Speed Manual for all three engines * 6-Speed iMT and CVT and for 1.5L NA petrol * 6-Speed torque converter for 1.5L diesel * 6-speed iMT or 7-Speed DCT for 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine6-speed manual for 1.0L and 1.5 L turbocharged petrol engines 6-speed torque converter for 1.0L turbocharged petrol engine 7-speed dual clutch transmission for 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine
Power115 PS 115 PS 160 PS115 PS 150PS
Torque144 Nm 250 Nm 253 Nm178 Nm 250Nm
Mileage16.8 km/l for petrol, 21 km/l for diesel, 17.7 for turbo petrol19.20 km/l (MT) & 17.20 km/l (AT) for 1.0L turbocharged petrol engine 17.95 km/l (MT) & 17.70 km/l for 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine

When comparing the powertrain of the two SUVs, the Kushaq offers only petrol variants whereas the Seltos indulges the user with both petrol and diesel variants, giving the user more options. Both the petrol versions of the Kushaq are turbocharged and they offer an exciting performance. The Seltos is paired with both a naturally aspirated engine which offers a relaxed drive and a turbocharged engine which has a livelier performance. In terms of diesel variants, only the Seltos has options which can be paired with a manual or an automatic transmission.

The hearty Kushaq has a 1.0L TSI which churns out a healthy horsepower of 115 PS and 178 Nm of torque whereas the 1.5L diesel TSI makes 115 PS and 250 Nm. The brand new Seltos is equipped with a bigger 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine which puts out 160 PS, making it one of the fastest cars in its segment. However, when it comes to real life acceleration, the difference in engine size isn’t quite noticeable, since the Czech SUV has an extremely efficient and punchy 1.5-litre turbo motor, despite being smaller in size. Moreover, the Kushaq is more fuel efficient, giving out a mileage of up to 19.20 kmpl on both engines compared to the Seltos’ 17.70 kmpl. In terms of performance and driving dynamics, the Skoda Kushaq offers more value, with an equally good, if not better performance plus a healthy fuel efficiency. 

Apart from the turbo petrol options, the 1.0-litre petrol engine of the Kushaq and 1.5-litre NA petrol engine of the Seltos offer equally good performance (115 PS each). Only the Kia has a diesel engine. But you won’t be missing it: hopping into the driver’s seat and flooring the pedal will leave you with a wide grin if you’re on the 1.5-litre turbo version of the car.

Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq: Features and Comfort

Kia SeltosSkoda Kushaq
Infotainment System10.25 HD touchscreen8 inch HD touchscreen
Music System8-speaker BOSE setup6-speaker setup
Climate ControlAutomaticYes
Ventilated SeatsYesYes
Adjustable SteeringTilt and telescopic adjustTilt and telescopic adjust
Drive ModesYesNo
Instrument ClusterDigitalAnalogue with MID/Digital on Top Trim
SunroofYes (Panoramic)Yes
Adjustable SeatsPowered driver seatManually adjustable
Rear AC ventsYesYes
60:40 rear seat splitYesYes
Cruise controlYesYes

As expected for a SUV in this range, they are loaded with all the bells and whistles one could hope for, which make either of these cars great choices. The Skoda Kushaq comes with a great package which enhances the driving experience with features such as an 8.0 inch infotainment system, cruise control and a sunroof. However, it misses out on key features such as automatic climate control and drive modes.

That is where the new Kia Seltos steps in and offers a very premium package for users. It comes added with a bigger 10.25 HD touchscreen infotainment, 8-speaker BOSE music system, ventilated seats, digital instrument cluster and a lot more. While the Kushaq has an impressive feature list, it just doesn’t have the premiumness of the Kia Seltos which comes with a stronger package and wins this round with ease.

Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq: Safety Features  

Kia Seltos Airbags
Kia Seltos Airbags
Kia SeltosSkoda Kushaq
GNCAP Safety RatingNot Tested5 star (adult and child safety)
Airbags6 airbags as standardDual front airbags as standard; up to 6 airbags
ABS with EBDYesYes
ESCYesYes
Traction ControlYesYes
Automatic HeadlampsYesYes
Rain-sensing wipersYesYes
Hill hold assistYesYes
Hill descent controlNoNo
Rear sensorsYesYes
Rear parking cameraYesYes
ISOFIX child seatsYesYes
ADASYesNo

Safety standards have raised a lot in Indian cars and both these cars have ample safety features. However, the more important aspect for safety of cars is the build quality. Skoda continues its legacy of building the safest cars around with the Kushaq scoring an immense 5-star in adult and child safety. While the new Kia Seltos has received some structural improvements over the previous model, the new model has not been tested in the GNCAP safety test. 

Both these cars tick most boxes and it comes equipped with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking camera, hill hold assist, electronic stability control and a lot more. A point to note here is that Kia offers six airbags on all variants of the Seltos while six airbags are only available on the top variants of the Kushaq. The new Kia Seltos now even comes with ADAS Level-2 with 17 autonomous features. However, while considering overall safety, it is the Skoda Kushaq which offers better structural safety compared to the Seltos.

Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq: Price Comparison 

Kia SeltosSkoda Kushaq
Base VariantsRs 10.90 – 12  lakhsRs 11.59 – 13.34 lakh
Mid VariantsRs 12.10 – 15 lakhsRs 14.99 – 16.49 lakh
Upper Mid VariantsRs 15.20 – 19.20 lakhsRs 16.79 – 17.79 lakh
Top VariantRs 19.80 – 20.00 lakhsRs 18.09 – 19.69 lakh

Skoda has always been perceived as a premium brand and it is quite evident here with the price of the Kushaq. These cars were neck-to-neck in terms of pricing when the Skoda Kushaq came into the scene, the addition of subsequent variants and raw material costs has led to an increase in price, but Skoda have made sure to not compromise in quality. The added cost does bring in robust build quality and a premium safety package.

Both these SUVs have several variants to choose from and come with different engine and gearbox options. The base model of the Kia Seltos starts at Rs 10.90 lakhs and goes up all the way to Rs 20.00 lakhs. The Kushaq, on the other hand, starts at a much higher Rs 11.59 lakhs and goes up till Rs 19.69 lakhs. In short, the Kia Seltos is more affordable and loaded with features, but it compromises on build quality and safety. If safety is important for the user, the Skoda Kushaq with a few extra bucks would make more sense.  

Summary

As the battle nears an end, it is clear that both are incredible SUVs with their unique personality and quirks. They are both quite popular mid-size SUVs in today’s market and each would make a great addition to your garage. They are set in an attractive price range and have a wide range of safety, comfort and performance features.

The Skoda Kushaq offers a more powerful engine, great ride and comfort, and an unmatched safety package at a slightly more premium price. The new Kia Seltos, openly advertised as “The Badass Reborn”, is a sporty SUV which fits the bill of most Indian consumers. It is aggressively priced and comes with an incredible feature list which attracts a lot of customers. With the design refresh and an improved package, the Seltos is quite the all-rounder and has gotten much stronger in the Indian market. For this reason, the Kia Seltos wins the battle between the two SUVs. 

FAQs on Kia Seltos vs Skoda Kushaq

Which car is better between the two: the Seltos or the Kushaq?

The Seltos now comes in an updated model with refreshed design and features. It is well priced, feature packed and is a better SUV between the two.

Which car is more fuel efficient between the Seltos and the Kushaq?

The Kushaq has more fuel-efficiency between the petrol variants. The Seltos however, has a diesel engine which is quite efficient.

What are the disadvantages of the Kia Seltos as compared to the Kushaq?

The Kia Seltos has lower build quality and loses out on safety rating. It also isn’t great to drive as well.

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