A Yeti is a myth, but this baby beast has learned to walk on two. The predecessor of this SUV, Yeti 4X4 was clearly a fun to drive, powerful, small machine. However, the rising fuel costs made it appear like a thirsty monster.
How cleverly, Skoda took initiatives to give this myth, a touch of reality. The new Skoda Yeti 4X2, is now front wheel drive only. And the changes don’t stick to the transfer case alone, the engine has been tuned to give less horses. The power figures now are as 110bhp from 140 bhp and the torque is reduced to 250Nm from 320Nm. Also, to keep the power going to wheels at this reduced torque and power figures, Yeti employs new 5-speed transmission.
The Skoda 4X4 Yeti was a brilliant car, cleaner, greener and smaller than most SUVs. Fortunately, it has left its footprints in this new FWD version. Apart from lack of power, the new Yeti has high-end features, which make it no lesser than any premium class SUV in market. Though the power transfer is only to two wheels now, Skoda has retained its standards, where it matters. You don’t feel excessive power, or the lack of it, just like in the more powerful version. The engine is super refined and tempts you to push further.
There is a drop of 30bhp from the more powerful version. But to compensate with that, Skoda has given a very clever gearing ratio. With the new 5-speed transmission, there is power flowing to the wheels without the sense of lag. The turbo kicks at below 2000revs and above it, its just glides effortlessly.
The acceleration is definitely good for city. It overtakes cleanly without having to tap down gears to rev higher. Its compact design and good ground clearance gives an extra edge in traffic. However, the new gearbox doesn’t pay off as much on highways. On higher gears, the SUV doesn’t give the joy of driving like its predecessor.
The SUV performed best between 3000 to 4000 rpm and keeping the gears high. It wasn’t surprisingly fast, but not agonizingly slow either. Ideal for city driving with the compact design and good ground clearance, this is stable at the sudden throttle responses. However, it is not the same when you go off the track. The 4X4 was undoubtedly the beast of the mountains, this FWD is not faster out on the trails.
With a dead to 100kmph of 11.55 seconds, the FWD is only a second slower than the 4X4. Skoda smartly detuned the engine while keeping the weight low to give a better fuel economy. An expected 12.5kmpl in city and 19.5kmpl on highway, the Skoda Yeti is not thirsty like other SUVs.
The SUV is fun to punt around corners. Being a FWD car, it does have understeer, which is good, unlike most cars of its subsidiary Volkswagen. Its quick and aggressive like a sedan. And so is its ability to corner.
Skoda have packed in a lot, in this baby SUV. However, it retains its good and solid quality, and high on comfort nature. Not the best SUV on paper or off-road, but that isn’t where you will be driving this SUV. The more than adequate power, compact design and good fuel economy makes the Skoda Yeti a better city SUV than any other.