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Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

skoda-kushaq-slavia

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia became the safest cars available in the Indian market after scoring the highest points under the new regime of Global NCAP. While they have been duly tested for safety, we drove them around the NATRAX (National Automotive Test Tracks) to see how they handle high speeds and twisties. In short, we pushed the limits of the car to check how they perform and here is what we think.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

Skoda Slavia 1.5 DSG on high-speed track

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

After having driven the Slavia on public roads on several occasions, it was time to test the stability of the car at high speeds. And so we did on the high-speed test track of NATRAX. Putting the gear lever to ‘S’ and keeping the accelerator against the floor, the Slavia took off.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

The 1.5-litre TSI is quick. It generates a maximum power of 148 Bhp and peak torque of 250 Nm. Working with the blinking fast DSG, the Slavia did not take much time to reach 100 km/h. Soon, the speedometer displayed 150 km/h and then 190 km/h. The struggle to reach 200 km/h starts after that but the sedan did reach 203 km/h, which is the top speed.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

All this while, the DSG worked like a wonder to shift without any kind of jerk. What really impressed us is the stability of the Slavia. It feels planted. We drove it on a day when the wind speeds were on the rise and still the sedan did immensely well to remain rooted to the tarmac.

Skoda Slavia 1.5 DSG on handling track

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

Taking the Skoda Slavia to the handling circuit revealed its weakness, which is the lifeless steering wheel. The 3.6 km long track, which is not very wide and is made up of hair-pin bends, sweeping curves and short straights allowed us to push the Slavia.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

While the engine and the DSG are an extremely powerful and effective combination, the steering could have been much better to match the competent set-up. Nonetheless, after a familiarisation lap, we did a full-fledged push lap, which caused a lot of squeals from the tyres. The Slavia is a pretty decent handling car and is much better than most of the options available in the market.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

Skoda Kushaq 1.5 DSG on handling track

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

The Skoda Slavia and Kushaq share the same platform, engine and transmission. But the Kushaq sits a bit taller than the Slavia. The couple of laps in the Skoda Kushaq also felt similar to the Slavia where the steering feedback was a missing component. Apart from that, it is a wonderful handler and most “enthusiasts” would choose it over the other options available in the market.

Skoda Kushaq and Slavia: Driving India’s safest cars on NATRAX

Overall, the Skoda Kushaq and Slavia win the enthusiast’s trust especially because of the extremely potent engine and super quick DSG.