Meeting the new Yeti is like meeting a distant cousin who just got himself a new pair of Ray Ban aviators and a new haircut. You know something is new and it works really well too. But do these changes ensure that the crossover will finally manage to pull in the sales numbers like Skoda hopes? Well, it looks promising for sure.
The most prominent changes on the face are the new bumpers and the headlamps. Gone are the round lamps housed next to the main units and are replaced by a neat rectangular design, which also has a LED strip running under them. The car now mirrors the Skoda family look and looks more sophisticated and posh than ever before.
There are more subtle styling changes too. There are new bumpers at the rear as well but it looks similar to the last gen car. The tail-lamps now get LEDs in a ‘C’ pattern. The Yeti also gets two designs for its alloy wheels – one each for the 4x2 and 4x4 options. But the funkiest part is that you now have the options of getting the roof in a different colour to the body colour option. All in all, these changes go a long way to make an already attractive design even more appealing.
The Yeti now gets a start/stop button and a new steering wheel. The stereo is all new as well and now gets Bluetooth connectivity. The Yeti's generous height and width ensures that there is acres of head- and shoulder-room in the cabin. The seats themselves are very comfortable with good amounts of support for the back as well as thighs. Legroom is good all across the cabin. The high set seats also means that you have a good view of the road ahead and know what’s happening three-four cars ahead of you, giving the driver a sense of confidence. You also get a big boot which can accommodate 416-litres of space with the second row up, and the rear seats can be folded down. With the seats tumbled forward, it increases to 1485 litres. The seats can be removed completely if you are planning to shift house in this car.
Quality levels are upto usual Skoda standards, which means they are brilliant. Overall, a great place to be.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
The Yeti comes with only one engine option. A 2-litre common rail diesel which comes in two states of tune. The 4x2 version comes with 108bhp while the 4x4 version comes with 138bhp.
Nothing much has changed in the driving experience from the last car and that’s simply because the Yeti was always a very good car to drive so Skoda didn't tinker with that department too much. This is a car that will immediately impress anyone taking it out for a test drive.
Skoda has however made the clutch pedal feel lighter than before and also the tendency for the car to stall at low revs has been taken care of. Performance is brisk by most SUV standards and the 4x4 system works flawlessly too. Although we couldn’t test its off-roading abilities, our previous experiences with the Yeti show that the car is very capable as a proper off-roader.
The manual gearbox is a delight to operate with crisp yet short throws. One of the best gearboxes on any SUV in India without a doubt. Skoda claims fuel efficiency figures of 17.72kmpl for the 4x2 version and 17.67kmpl for the 4x4, impressive considering the size and class of this vehicle.
Ride and Handling
Grip levels from the Yeti’s tyres are very good and even when you shove it into a fast corner the car has confidence inspiring handling. Body roll is very minimal and the car's steering offers communicative responses. High speed stability is good too. But there is a harsh edge to the ride which means that some sharper crevices at slow city speeds do enter the cabin, but never uncomfortably so. Overall, the Yeti remains one of the best handling SUVs in its class.
Safety and Equipment
The Yeti comes really well kitted. You get six airbags, ABS with EBD along with traction control and brake assist. The Yeti also gets a six-CD changer, automatic climate control, rear AC vents, electrically operated driver’s seat and leather interiors among other things.
Being a compact SUV the Skoda Yeti doesn’t really have any real competition at this price point which really means that buying one will offer you plenty of exclusivity as well.
The Yeti has always been a car with loads of personality and this upgrade only enhances it further. If you want a stylish and capable car that can also do good off-roading but doesn’t have the bulk of a traditional SUV, then the Yeti it is.