Skoda Auto has made quite a name for itself in India however the after sales part of Skoda Auto is a bit of worry in India. Well, why go for a Skoda product then? The reason is that they make some of the best engineered cars in India. They sell cars in hefty numbers as well. All this started with the Skoda Octavia and continues with the latest entrant into Skoda world, the Skoda Yeti. The Skoda Yeti is priced at almost Rs 16 lakhs and so is the Skoda Laura. Now the big question comes in is whether you would want to buy a SUV or a saloon? Skoda may have never thought of this however cannibalization of sales would definitely happen. A customer coming in for a Laura may be tempted by a Yeti and vice versa. We settle the war as to which would be a supreme buy and total value for money thing. It’s the Skoda Laura in India going up against the Skoda Yeti in India.
As far as the looks thing goes, the Skodas are known to be very elegant vehicles. While the Laura looks all set with it looking like hewn from a single slab of metal while on the other hand the Yeti looks more like a chocolate cake in its muddy brown color. It is a known fact that both the Skodas share the same platform however their design element is totally different. The Yeti doesn’t look like a Laura and nor does the Laura look like the Yeti. Well, the Yeti doesn’t even look like a Laura on stilts. Speaking of the Skoda Yeti in India design, it is a quirky odd ball one. Four head lamps or rather a head lamp and fog lamp pair make it look like a Bentley car from a distance. Ok, we were exaggerating on the Bentley part. The jaw or rather the aluminium skid plate is something which is another distinct character of this muscled Laura. The roof rails and all actually make this SUV look like a toy car. The Skoda Laura in India looks almost similar to the Skoda Superb but not like the Octavia from which it has evolved. The very prominent Skoda badge and those angular head lamps make quite an impression. The ORVMs have the turn indicators embedded into them while the rear with its LED configuration looks desirable. The front fog lamps however may not be to everyone’s liking as it’s very big and big always doesn’t mean beautiful.
The more balanced design theme is that of the Laura while the Yeti is a quirky one. Heads would definitely turn when the Yeti passes by however the Laura’s design would age more gracefully. Overall, we found the Laura’s design theme more alluring and one which would stand the test of time.
The Skoda Yeti in India shares most of its interiors with the Skoda Laura in India. However the one on the Laura seem more plush. The wood finish on the central console in the Laura takes on a dark hue which we feel has been plucked from the Volkswagen Passat. The Yeti uses lighter materials whereas the Laura uses darker ones. The instrument binnacle in both is however very different. While the Laura gets straight faced dials, the Yeti boasts of two deeply embedded dials. A multi information display is present in both though which shows the average fuel efficiency and other important parameters. The Yeti however boasts of having a touch screen audio system while the Laura doesn’t have one. Seating position in the Yeti is a bit high however getting into it takes some effort while the Laura is more than accommodating. However once seated inside, both the cars are superbly comfortable. While the Laura can easily accommodate 3 passengers in the rear, the Yeti can accommodate only 2 with ease. The Yeti also feels slightly cramped as far as the rear leg room for taller passengers is concerned. The Laura has a cavernous boot space of 560 liters which can actually accommodate more than the weekend trip luggage but then the Yeti has a VarioFlex seating arrangement which means that one can dump the rear seats off their rails and get more than 1000 liters of boot capacity. Originally the Yeti’s boot space is only 416 liters. Storage spaces however are more in the Laura. The steering wheel is shared between both the Skodas but then the Yeti gets steering mounted controls for its touch screen audio system.
Though the Yeti feels a bit short in the comfort department, overall a person buying an SUV wouldn’t crib about the shortage of space. The Yeti is a more practical options as well if one intends to use it for hauling goods along. The Laura is more for the chauffer oriented ones while the Yeti is for the self driving bachelor.
Handling and ride quality
While both these cars use the same platform, the Skoda Yeti in India is more of a top heavy vehicle. This doesn’t mean that it is not an agile handler. Infact it handles a wee bit better than the Laura due to its intelligent all wheel drive configuration. The front wheel driven Skoda Laura in India has got a good steering wheel which lets the driver know as to what exactly are the Eagle NCT tyres upto. Though the steering wheel on the Yeti is also the same, it feels a bit heavier than the one on the Laura. However since you are seated high up in the Yeti and due to its short overhangs and compact dimensions, the Yeti is more easier to pilot in traffic than the Laura. The ride quality however is equally good in both the cars with the Laura being a bit more pliant than the Yeti. The Yeti bounces off sharp ruts on the road. NVH is equally good in both and hence no comparisons on that front. Parking is better in the SUV since it has rear parking sensors which the Laura doesn’t have.
The Yeti for handling a wee bit better and being the easier car to drive as also park.
Engine, performance and fuel efficiency
The Skoda Laura as also the Skoda Yeti along with sharing their underpinnings, also share their engines. The 2.0 liter turbocharged common rail engine makes 140 Bhp of top power and 320 Nm of maximum torque. While the Laura gets a superb 6 speed DSG, the Yeti gets a 6 speed manual transmission. Both the Laura and the Yeti do tend to stall in traffic and you always have to keep the revs coming in. The Laura feels the livelier of the two with its lower kerb weight of 1465 kgs than the 1543 kgs weight of the Yeti. The 0-100 kmph mark is covered by the Laura in 9.3 seconds while the Yeti does it a whole second later. The Yeti also has a lower top speed of 185 kmph compared to the 200 done by the Laura. Turbo lag is a bit of issue in both but the shorter gearing more than makes up for it. Fuel efficiency is also a plus point in the Laura with it returning an overall 16.7 kmpl to the Yeti’s 15.6 kmpl. Both the cars more or less travel the same distance with the Yeti having a 60 liters fuel tank while the Laura gets a 55 liters tank. Both the cars are rich in features as far as safety aids are concerned. The Laura gets ABS, EBD, ESP and so does the Yeti. There are almost 6 air bags on stakes for both along with a number of other aids.
The Laura wins this round due to its superior performance however the Yeti being a SUV does provide good performance.
The Skoda Yeti and the Skoda Laura are both competent products. While the Yeti has no real competitor, the Laura does have its fair share of competitors. If that wasn’t enough, then the Laura has got competition from within its stables. Not only does the Yeti prove to be a handful to the Laura, it also shows it a thing or two in one or two parameters. Typically a customer looking to buy an Indigo E-cs would be tempted to try for the base version of the Tata Manza and a similar situation arises here as well. Finally, the question arises as to which car to select as the winner. While the Laura has no off-roading experience at its hands, the Skoda Yeti is a proven 4×4 vehicle. So when the going goes tough, it is the Yeti which would take you to that extra mile and this multi talented personality is our choice between the Laura and the Yeti. The Skoda Laura price in India range is from Rs 13.52 to 18.24 lakhs while the Skoda Yeti price in India is Rs 15.38 and goes upto Rs 16.76 lakhs.
Our top pick for the day is the Skoda Yeti in India.