Skoda cars at the 2011 Surat Auto Expo covered by the Indiandrives team

Skoda cars have always been special for me. The reason been that they have this indestructible look to them which forces one to give them a second glance and moreover makes them all the more desirable. Courtesy of Torque Automotive Pvt Ltd, Skoda cars were shown at the 2011 Surat Auto Expo. As with the other Germans, people weren’t allowed to touch the cars or even enter them. However we got the much needed access after we spoke to the General Manager of the Sales team from Torque Automotive. He assigned one Mr. Prashant Bhatt to help us with understanding the cars better. Though there was nothing new at the Skoda stall, there were some novelties like the Skoda Yeti and refreshed Skoda Fabia.

The Skoda Fabia that was standing at the stall was a white colored one like the rest of the cars. It was however the top of the line 1.6 liter petrol engined unit. Getting behind the wheels of the Skoda isn’t that tricky even for a tall person like me. Moreover, we had the Polo at the back of our minds as a comparison tool but personally speaking, I did feel that this car was now a bit more cramped than the time I had actually tested it. The feel of quality had also diminished a bit but the interiors did feel solid enough. There is now only a single CD changer with no electrical folding for the outside rear view mirrors. Door locks remind one of the Volkswagen Polo. There is manual adjust for recline and lumbar support. Keeping the same settings, I moved onto the rear seat and here the feeling of space which I had for the Fabia when I tested it remains. More spacious than the Polo and come to think of it, both are based on the same platform. Boot space is also good.

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Skoda Superb was the longest car in the Skoda stable and had that immense sense of space exuding from even outside. The Volkswagen Passat like instrument cluster and the design of the central console immediately gave a feeling of being one with the VW group. Compared to the Passat however the Superb seemed less cluttery with the buttons limited to the essential ones only. The leg space was simply superb as demonstrated in the pictures uploaded in the gallery section. At the rear, it is like stretching out in a long wheelbase Audi. There are also AC vents on the B pillars and they do a good job of cooling the chauffer driven. The bimodal boot is also spacious plus the Superb gets a privacy screen and an exclusive Skoda umbrella. Attention to detail is very good.

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Last is the odd man out, the Skoda Yeti. The big circular dials is what catches one’s attention when you sit inside this car. The seating position though a bit awkward is fine once one settles down to the chores of driving this car. Not enough gizmos to play with however all the needed ones are taken care of. The air conditioner works superbly and is very effective in bringing down the temperature of the cabin. Prashant said that if need arises, one can actually store away the rear seats at home and use the Yeti more for transporting goods. I would say that this is a neat feature given by Skoda and complements the utility aspect of this small SUV. Rear seat space is good for two people in this compact SUV and the 418 liters boot space is also huge.

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