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Skoda Yeti : First Drive


After loads of anticipation, Skoda has finally brought out its fifth all-new model here in India. The Skoda Yeti is all set to mark Skoda's presence in the SUV segment.

 

 

 

With a name based on the abominable snowman, it wasn’t too difficult to fathom what Skoda’s fifth all new model is going to be like. Skoda has been around for ages now and has churned out one success story after another. This time however, Skoda is trying to 'cross-over' to an all-new segment. With the burgeoning SUV segment, it was about time Skoda made its presence felt here and its doing it with the Yeti.



The Skoda Yeti has stayed true to the concept which we saw in Geneva back in 2005. It may resemble the roomster, one of the models of Skoda, however yeti is been enhanced with some phenomenal features. And the functional Skoda design language makes the transition from saloons and superminis to SUV with ease. Most of the entries in this segment are pure softroaders and are built more towards being on the road than off it. The Yeti follows the same principle with a big ace up its sleeve, its radical but compact dimensions which is bound to be a boon around the urban jungle.

 

The interior design is pretty much run of the mill Skoda with most bits and pieces lifted from the Laura which is not a bad thing at all. The seating system in the Yeti is pretty much like the internationally sold Roomster’s flexi seating system which Skoda terms as Vario Flex seating system. There are three seats are the rear which can be folded or completely removed in case of emergency space. The space can accommodate up to 1760 liters of luggage. The removal of the middle seats gives a chance for the outer seats to move length wise and makes it more comfortable. Compared to the Roomster, the Yeti gives up 20 liters of boot space due to the fact that its roof is lowered.



Powering the Yeti here in India is the brilliant 2.0 litre CRDI unit from the Laura. Pumping out 140 PS @ 4200 rpm and a maximum torque of 320 Nm between 1750-2500 rpm, the Yeti is pretty quick footed. While a full test will follow, first impressions are brilliant and the Yeti is an absolute hoot to drive. A short drive up the ghats of Purandar fort just established how sure footed this mountain creature is. The 4x4 system just rein the car in no matter how hard you push it around the corners. While it might not be a hard core off roader, it's definitely right up there with its soft-roading counterparts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking care of the off-road activities, the Yeti features an electro-hydraulically actuated Haldex multi-disc clutch mounted along with the final drive and rear axle diff in the same housing. In normal dry operating conditions, especially on tarmac, up to 96% of the engine's torque is directed to the front end but any difference of speed between the front and rear wheels is detected by an army of sensors in the vehicle, the system diverts up to 90 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels. Further, thanks to the limited slip rear differential employed, the drive can also be split and distributed equally from side to side, thus ensuring superior grip and traction on all sorts of surfaces. For the moment, the Yeti is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission with a slush box expected soon. Shift quality on the manual is simply superb and going up or down the box is an absolute joy.

 

Ride quality is also pretty sorted and the Yeti feels pretty compliant around town. However suspension setup is on the stiffer side and on really bad roads, the Yeti clearly tells you it’s made more for the blacktop rather than being off it. But that’s pretty much how the competition stands as well.



Safety has been well taken care off as well. A complete array of drive and safety systems works with the all wheel gear employed with ABS and ESP. With ESP engaged, the Haldex is completely ruled by the ABS - ESP control unit and when ABS comes into play the Haldex is decoupled. It also features an off-road mode which can be actuated by the driver by punching a switch on the dashboard. On doing this the system re-maps the throttle openings and along with the ABS - ESP combo, helps the power delivery to be softer yet firm so as to make for better traction on loose surfaces.



With a brilliant diesel motor, spacious flexible seating and butch looking exteriors, the Yeti is sure to go down well with the SUV buying public. And with prices ranging from Rs. 14.98 lakh for the Ambiente trim to Rs. 16.18 lakh for the Elegance trim, this Yeti is sure to cause an avalanche. Keep watching this space for a full blown road test soon.

 

Recommended Variant : Yeti Style 4X4

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