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Price-wise, Skoda Yeti offers a great deal

Last updated on: September 17, 2010 20:50 IST

Price-wise, Skoda Yeti offers a great deal

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The Skoda Yeti, unveiled for the first time in India at the 2010 Auto Expo held in New Delhi, is named after the Abominable Snowman supposedly found in the Himalayas similar to the Big Foot monster found in North American hills.

This is Skoda's first ever SUV that has gone into production. For now, a 100 per cent CKD (completely knocked down) version of Yeti will be sold in India.

Later, the company plans to localise some of its parts. The Yeti will be officially launched sometime during the first couple of weeks of November.

The bookings of the Yeti had started a few months ago and the company claims it to be difficult to meet all the current orders till this year end.

Will this Big Foot be able to able to set a footprint in the Indian SUV arena? We uncover the mystery in our first drive.

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Image: Skoda lifted the veil off SUV Yeti for the first time in India at the 10th Auto Expo 2010 in New Delhi.
Photographs: Courtesy, Skoda India
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Design

The Yeti doesn't look big neither does it show any signs of aggression; rather it looks more like a lifestyle vehicle.

Skoda aimed to design a utility vehicle which is capable of doing some serious off-roading and something that would serve the purpose of a good city car.

So they built a compact SUV which will fulfill both the criterias. This is Skoda's first hand at building a SUV and they have achieved what they had perceived.

The Yeti's front-end gets the new age Skoda front grille and hood. Apart from that, there is nothing Skoda-like in the design to spot the similarity between the Yeti and its other siblings.

This sharp radiator grille (Skoda's tongue) is surrounded by four headlamps which designers at Skoda claims to be the synonym for fun.

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Image: The front view of Skoda Yeti.

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The side profile of the Yeti is very unique, with blacked out A, C and D pillars while the B-pillar gets the body colour.

The shallow green house, the roof rails also add to the uniqueness of the utility vehicle.

The low front and rear overhang suggest that the Yeti is a capable off-roader, as the chances of the bumpers scraping on uneven surfaces are less. The flat rear end design of the Yeti suggests practicality.

The Skoda Yeti scored a maximum of five-star rating in the EuroNCAP crash test.

The Yeti scored 92 per cent in occupant protection test; this is basically the test for the protection of the passengers sitting inside the car.

For the child occupant protection, the Yeti scored 78 per cent and for pedestrian safety, it scored 46 per cent.

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Image: A view from the rear.

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Interiors

Most of the Yeti's interiors show that they've been picked up from its sibling, the Laura.

The Yeti will be made available in two trim levels, the Ambiente and the Elegance.

We had the Ambiente and this had leather upholstery and in-dash Swing mp3 player with eight speakers as standard.

The Elegance trim gets the touchscreen Bolero audio system, with six-CD changer which plays music through 12-speakers.

Skoda chose leather upholstery as standard.

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Image: The audio system.

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Price-wise, Skoda Yeti offers a great deal

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The overall feel and the build quality of the Yeti may not be superior to its competitors, but is definitely at par with them.

The door shuts with a thund and you feel isolated from the outside world, once you get in the car.

The Yeti gets beige and black dual-tone interiors. It also gets a twin-dial instrument cluster with chrome surrounds.

The digital information system gets squeezed in-between the dials. It can comfortably seat five passengers.

Each of the three rear seats on the Yeti can be folded individually and each one can be removed as well.

This flat bed has a whooping volume of 1,760 litres which is massive indeed. Even the regular boot has 416 litres of space, which is the best-in class.

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Image: Yeti's interior.

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Get into the driver's seat and you can easily get comfortable with the mechanical seat adjustment and the telescopic steering wheel, which can be adjusted for rake and reach.

One worry that people generally have with an SUV is parking in tight spots.

With the Yeti being compact in size, things are easier. To make things even simpler Skoda has given reverse parking sensors as standard in both trims  and the top-of-the line gets parking sensors in the front as well.

The Yeti gets side view mirrors that have to be folded by hand rather than the electrically retractable ones.

Talking about safety, the Ambiente variant gets two airbags and the Elegance gets six. All the three rear seats get three-point seat belts, with the centre seat gets its seat belt from the roof, rather than a regular two-point seat belt.

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Image: The dashboard of Yeti.

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Engine

The Skoda Yeti gets a 2.0-litre common rail diesel engine from the Volkswagen family which is currently being used on the Skoda Laura automatic and Skoda's flagship model, the Superb.

This engine develops 140bhp of power and 320Nm of torque.

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Transmission

The Yeti gets a six-speed manual transmission box to transfer power to all the four wheels through a fourth-generation Haldex Traction multi-plate clutch.

The six-speed manual gearbox on the Yeti is slick and the shifts are positive and one can do lighting quick shifts thanks to the design of the gearbox.

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Image: The front head lamps.

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Fuel efficiency

ARAI claims the fuel efficiency of the Skoda Yeti to be about 17kpl which is closer to the figure it has suggested for the Chevrolet Cruze.

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Driving dynamics

The Skoda Yeti has been designed on Volkswagen's A5 platform which is the VW first design with for A-platform cars with all independent suspension systems for the front and the rear.

This A5's PQ35 design is shared by Volkswagen Jetta and the Skoda Laura as well.

The Yeti sports the McPherson at its front and multi-element axle at the rear which are tweaked for decent ride and great handling.

The ride on the Yeti can get a bit harsh on bumpy roads, as it has stiff suspension for better off-roading and even for better handling.

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Even though an SUV, the Yeti is definitely one of the best handling utility vehicles in its price range.

Drive into tight corners and the Yeti takes up almost anything thrown at it, if you fail to control, the ESP will take charge and get things under control.

The steering wheel of the Yeti is like any other Skoda, light at low speeds and weighs up well as the speed increases.

The Skoda Yeti gets disc brakes even at the rear and these brakes bite progressive.

Skoda Yeti Ambiente gets 215/60R16 tyres, with our press demonstrator running on Continental ContiSportContact 2.

These run with five-spoke alloy wheels, while the Elegance gets seven-spoke alloys with 225/50R17 tyres.

The Yeti's turning radius is 5m. This is definitely one of the best in its class and makes parking in tight spots very convenient.

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Overall evaluation

Skoda is yet to make an official price announcement of the Yeti, but we predict it to cost somewhere between   15-18 lakh (  1.5-1.8 million).

Considering this pricing, Skoda's build quality, styling and practicality and off-roading capability it is a great deal.

The Skoda badge is a considered to be a prestigious in the Indian car market and so this adds on more weight to Yeti's case.

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Image: Rear view of Skoda Yeti.
Photographs: Courtesy, Skoda.
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