Introduction: First unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, Skoda Yeti offered a unique mix of unmatched on-road and off-road capabilities, which immediately caught attention of buyers in the segment. With success in Europe, Yeti arrived in India in 2010. Here too, it managed to catch attention of buyers, but this failed to result in sales, mainly due to high price tag and poor after sales service. But, Skoda Inida did not lose faith in Yeti. After Skoda showcased the facelift Yeti at 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the SUV was launched in India earlier this month.
Exteriors: Not strikingly different from outside, Yeti facelift does come with pleasant updates, making the car look fresher and sharper. Just like new Octavia, Superb, and Fabia, Yeti facelift also receives the same language for front design. It also receives chrome surround radiator grille, logo, headlight, all of which fall under the new Skoda design language.
Headlights now come with bi-xenon projectors with DRLs and dynamic levelling. Foglights have now gone a little below, and are housed inside lower bumper, and not adjacent to headlights, as was the case in outgoing variant. Lower bumper also looks little wider because of this, thanks to the flat finish applied, instead of a rounded one in the previous Yeti. Also, Yeti facelift’s lower bumper now houses a larger faux diffuser as compared to old Yeti.
On the side, Yeti facelift has more protruding wheel arches, new 16 inch alloy design – Dolomite for 4×2 variant and Forest for 4×4 variant, ORVMs (with turn indicators) feature silver finish on 4×2 and black finish on 4×4. Rear carries no change on its upper part, while lower part of rear is revised, forming a sharper shape, instead of the bland look of outgoing Yeti. Tail-lights get LED treatment, and also new trademark C shape as seen in new Skoda cars.
Another interesting update seen in Yeti faceilift is the option of choosing roof colour. To add a dash of style, Skoda India offers 2014 Yeti in a choice of three roof colours – Black/White/Silver. Apart from this, you also have an option of choosing seven exterior colours – Candy White, Mato Brown, Terracotta Orange, Black Magic, Brilliant Silver, Lava Blue, and Corrida Red.
Interiors: Step inside new Yeti, and you will find not much has changed. Interiors are same as they were seen in old Yeti. Front seats are comfortable with added lumbar support (with adjustment), offering good support on those corners or while off-roading. Rear seats lack enough thigh support, while boot space is in abundance. For rear seats, shoulder support can recline, but they do not move in front or rear to increase decrease legroom. Also, declining is restricted due to rear parcel shelf.
Yeti has a boot space of 416 liters, enough to fit your holiday luggage. If you want more space, fold rear seats, this increases boot space to 1485 liters. Fit and finish of Yeti’s interiors are premium. Dashboard comes with dual tone finish with wood decor. As was seen in previous Skoda Yeti, the overall design of dashboard remains same. What has changed is the steering wheel design. Facelift Yeti now comes with a more stylish steering wheel design, with an even more premium feel.
Though seating is for five passengers, over longer journeys rear seats might feel a little cramped. There is no headrest for centre rear seat passenger, but a seatbelt is on offer. This seatbelt is located on the roof, over passenger’s left shoulder, unlike in other cars where they have aeroplane type seatbelts. Talking about roof, there is no sunroof on offer.
Features: Offered only in two trims – 4×2 and 4×2, both Skoda Yeti facelift variants are only offered in the top of the line Elegance variant. Features on offer are height adjustable front seats (12 way electrically adjustable for driver seat with memory), leather upholstery, dual zone climate control, electric ORVMs with memory, rain sensing wiper, reading lamps for all passengers, cruise control, multifunction steering wheel audio and telephone controls, multifunction TFT display, roof mounted glass compartment, coming home and leaving home lights, Bluetooth connectivity for music and telephone, boarding spot lamps, air quality sensor, rear AC vents (cabin cooling / heating happens in an instant), aluminium pedals and SD card reader.
For entertainment, Yeti comes with 6 CD changer 8 speaker music system which gives great sound quality. A 6.5 inch TFT touchscreen is housed in centre console, which controls functions for music, phone connectivity, etc. Surprisingly, Yeti facelift does not offer a USB port. What it does offer is a MDI port – Multimedia Device Interface. This needs an additional cable (not on offer with the car, has to be bought as accesory), in order to connect with USB, iPod, or Aux in.
Accessories: Along with 2014 Yeti, Skoda India is offering a range of accessories to match its off-roading spirit. On offer for exteriors are rear bumper protector, side door sill cover, decorative door sills, protective roof strips, front/rear mud flap, stainless steel exhaust pipe, new alloy designs, roof luggage basket, lockable bicycle carrier with aluminium profile, transverse roof rack, safety bolt set, tow rope, lockable ski board.
For interiors you have child seat as per age group, connecting cable for MDI, 15l/20l coolbox, handy holder, removable waste bin, clothes hanger, netting system, rubber boot mat, double side carpet, etc. Skoda also offers a rough-road package, which will protect Yeti’s underbody with additional acoustic damping and thermoplastic material.
Safety: Apart from being a solid, robust car, which makes you feel at ease while driving, the Skoda yeti facelift is also offers a host of safety features. On offer six airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System, EBD – Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, HBA – Hydraulic Brake Assistant, ASR – Anti Slip Regulation, TCS – Traction Control System, EDL – Electronic Differential Lock, ESC – Electronic Stability Control, HHC – Hill Hold Control, TPM – Tyre Pressure Monitoring system, Front and rear sensors for park assist (no rear camera), engine mobilizer, remote locking, open and close windows via remote.
Engine, and Mileage: Just like old Yeti, new Yeti facelift in India is offered in same diesel engine. 4×2 variant gets 2.0l TDI tuned to deliver 110 PS and and 250 Nm torque, while 4×4 variant gets the same engine, but tuned to deliver 140 PS and 320 nm torque. Both come mated to a manual gearbox, 5 speed in 4×2 and 6 speed with Haldex clutch (new generation) in 4×4 variant. Sadly, DSG gearbox is not on offer. This is surprising as the same engine powered Yeti is offered with a DSG in Europe and considering that Yeti is sold as CKD in India, it will not make much of a difference economically to offer DSG in India.
Claimed mileage for Yeti 4×2 variant is 17.72 kmpl and that of 4×4 variant is 17.67 kmpl. We got a mileage of 11.5 kmpl. (During media drive, we were allocated Yeti 4×2 variant, and thus we couldn’t find out real life mileage of 4×4 variant)
Drive and Handling: Skoda Yeti facelift, just like its predecessor, continues to impress when it comes to handling and drivability. New Yeti feels light and easy to maneuver, but at the same time, it gives you the feeling of being very safe and strong. On the straights, Yeti easily picks up speeds, each gear offering you more than you expect. Within a few seconds you are in triple digits. On curves, the 215/60 R16 tyres (stock Goodyear one’s) give a superb grip, even when you are a bit careless. Same goes while braking. The brakes have enough bite to bring this almost 2 tonne (gross wt) beast to a halt.
Driving Skoda Yeti on the treacherous terrains of Gulmarg – Srinagar and Srinagar – Sonamarg, and that too in heavy rains, not even once it lost grip or skidded. Every pothole, every bump, Yeti facelift swallowed with ease, even at high speeds, without even blinking.
Especially while off-roading, new Yeti comes with Off-Road Mode. Located on the center console, pressing this button will not only automatically adjust ABS, ASR and EDL, but will also limit your engine’s rpm count to 2,000, keeping engine in maximum torque output range, very much helpful while off-roading. Only complaint when you are off-roading or are on bumpy roads, rear seat passengers might feel a little uncomfortable, probably due to two reasons, less thigh support, and stiffer suspension settings.
Verdict: With an aim to overhaul their product line-up and improving their dealer/sales/service experience, Skoda India is on a renewed mission. Already having launched three exciting new cars in a short span of eleven months, the Czech company’s new product Yeti is a complete car. It can do what you want it to do. It can be a driver’s car, your weekday car for office commute, a family car, a weekend holiday car, an off-roading car, or your home away from home. All in all, Skoda Yeti delivers much more than you bargain, and that too in some style.
Why would you buy Skoda Yeti
– Only European SUV under Rs 20 lakhs
Why would you not buy Skoda Yeti
– No DSG
Price of Skoda Yeti (ex-showroom, New Delhi)
– 4×2 – Rs 18.99 lakhs
– 4×4 – Rs 20.53 lakhs
Tech specs of new Skoda Yeti