Unconventional Comparison: Skoda Yeti, Maruti Ertiga and Tata Aria

Skoda Yeti:-

From the German automaker, is the crossover which we at IndianDrives are just in love with. It is smart and more practical than most SUVs out there, and is the only crossover offered by Skoda. Yes, it’s the Skoda Yeti.

For some reason, it did not perform so well in the Indian market, however, we have tested it and also tested the new 4X2 version and it definitely gives more than a match to luxury segment SUVs in the market. And why not? it is more compact, cleaner, and offers a fuel-economy that wont burn holes in your pocket.

Exterior:

From outside, it is the arguably the most stunning to look at. On the front, it features chrome radiator grille, which is surrounded by bold headlamps and massive fog lamps, featuring corner function that guide you through turns in the dark. The headlamp sweeps across to the fender of the body and is provided by daytime running lights. It is the first Skoda to feature chrome bumper brush guard surrounded by black slats.

Skoda Yeti

With some great ground-clearance and roof running rails, it has a sporty guise. Moreover, with the compact and sleek design you can never make out how spacious it is from the inside. The Skoda Yeti has black color waistline molding and side skirts; the roof sports silver shade rails, running across till the C-pillar. The wheel arches are pretty wide that accommodate 16-inch alloys.

Skoda Yeti

For a dramatic climax, the tail lamp hugs the wings and the letter ‘C’ lights up when you hit the brakes.

Interior:

Windows have a good view from the outside, and on the inside, there is greater visibility. However, the seats are lower than the usual SUVs an average 5’7” can have trouble seeing across. Controls are sensibly laid out with proper marking, and its excellent when it comes to ergonomics.

Skoda Yeti interior

The two rows can accommodate five passengers and loads of luggage at the same time. The rear seats can be folded, tumbled or removed for a larger boot space. Rear sliding seats provides extra space to already spacious leg-room.

With the basic variant, you get the AC, power window, CD player and for a little extra money, you can upgrade to alloy wheels, fog lamps and rear power windows. Dig a little deeper into your pocket, and your Yeti will feature, climate control, parking sensors, leather upholstery and xenon headlights.

Skoda Yeti engine

In terms of safety, Yeti sports 6 airbags and anti whiplash head restrain, while the stability control is exclusive for the top variant only.

Verdict:

This is one of the smartest SUVs out in the market, and is style conscious too, but with just 5 seats, is it really practical for an SUV?

Maruti Ertiga:-

The thing about Ertiga is, it is built for the Indian roads, Indian people, Indian style, good fuel economy and with very shallow price tag, it is designed keeping in mind the everyday needs.

Maruti Suzuki launched the second generation Swift hatch back in 2004. It was such an impressive car, that Suzuki went on to add a trunk on its rear, turning it into the Dzire Sedan. And now since they have become an expert at it, they reproduced the styling into an oversized hatch or lets say an undersized SUV, the Ertiga.

Exterior:

On the front you get a glimpse of the Ritz hatchback with bulging bonnet and wide bumpers. Of course, to distinguish the MPV from the hatch, there is larger air inlet under the body color bumper and fog lamps. The headlights are more or less Swift-y with the sporty appearance and sweeping sideways.

Maruti Ertiga

Being a MPV, Suzuki increased its wheelbase and ride height. While on the rear, it features these tail lights hugging the body, like in most Suzukis. Coming along with the increased wheelbase is the extra room on the rear. However, it does not look hideous like the Dzire’s boot added out of curiosity. It has quarter glass panel that gives the third row passengers somewhat clear view of the outside. Alloy wheels and wheel cover just enhance its MPV factor. The Ertiga’s rear windshield has been tainted in a manner to give a pillar-less appearance when viewed from the rear, however, the tail lamps are not very impressive.

Maruti Ertiga

Interior:

Japanese cars are not known for boasting luxury, and you can expect the same from Ertiga. Though it is spacious and very practical, it does not sparkle when it comes to quality. From the driver’s point of view, it is very much the Swift, however, the Ertiga features three rows of seating – two in the front, three elders or five children in the middle and again two elders at the rear. With more or less features borrowed from the Swift, it is lightweight and has mid-segment features.

Maruti Ertiga interior

Maruti Ertiga has made the best out of the space inside, with seven seats along with flexible usage of space. The second and third row passengers enjoy individual AC vents and armrest with cupholders. The bootspace is not very roomy, but with the third row seats folded, you get sufficient room for luggage.

In terms of comfort, the Ertiga features power windows, power steering, AC, multi trip meters as standard for the LXI model. For the mid range segment, you get central locking, electronically folding RVMs and keyless entry. If you go for the top variant, the Ertiga will sport ABS, EBD, dual SRS Airbags, Leather Upholstery and Music system.

Maruti Ertiga engine

Verdict:

Coming to your Maruti showrooms in April, the Ertiga is sure to impress. It is more practical, more spacious, better fuel economic, than the Yeti. However, it fails to impress when it comes to power and quality. So will it sell?

Tata Aria:-

There are two reasons to buy the Aria. One – its Tata. Two – its Tata, I mean why would you not buy the most trusted Indian brand?

Exterior

A huge capsule is what it is. Though it has a sophisticated friendly appearance, it does not please the younger crowd, who demand a cooler and more aggressive appeal.

Tata Aria

It is undoubtedly the biggest crossover of the three. With the front fascia of traditional Tata and the body line similar to those of Innova, the Aria stands tall and fierce. What distinguishes the Aria from Manza or Vista, is the dual barrel front headlamp that features darkness sensing. And why we called it a capsule, is because the bumpers and wheel arches have the same body color, giving a more humongous overall appearance.

The five door MPV has 17-inch alloys with tubeless radial tyres. Tata Aria’s rear tail-gate rises like a hatch with high mounted vertically stacked tail lamps. That is attention to details and which is why we love Tata. It goes without saying, Aria has a very-very good built quality.

Tata Aria

Interior:

On the inside, the Aria features practical functionality, things that a driver uses even for a trip around the town. It can accommodate 7 full-grown passengers comfortably. Moreover, the third and second row seats can be folded over for making room for extra luggage. In terms of luxury, it can give the premium class SUVs a run for their money. With big chunky buttons of audio and phone control, on the already adjustable steering wheel, the ergonomics are simply superb. The instrument cluster has the good-old analogue tachometer and speedometer, which is very smart. No fancy digi system, and attention is paid to what lies beneath, and that is where it matters.

Tata Aria interior

Featuring two-tone interiors, the Aria gives an elegant feel. Contrasting with the dark instrument cluster is the LCD screen, which sits in middle of the dash, also comes standard. On the top of the range Aria Pride, there are 6 airbags, (count along) ESP, TCS, Sat-Nav, Tata Blue (something that pairs up to 5 phone devices), reverse guide system, dual AC with Climate control, rain sensing vipers, glove box chiller and full leather upholstery.

Tata Aria engine

verdict:

For final words, the only problem with any car loaded with tonnes of features is that, things can and do go wrong, and it is no different with Tata Aria. Moreover, it fails to justify the sharp price tag on a longer run.

But it is arguably the most comfortable and practical car in this category.

Specifications:-

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Skoda Yeti : Big and Small

Skoda called SUVs as the next logical step at the Geneva Motor Show. According to the company, SUVs have the highest volume and a more emotional connect with the customers than any other segment. This gives a chance for Skoda to expand out of Europe to eastern countries like Russia, China and even India.

The German brand currently has one crossover in the market, the Yeti. It is a remarkable machine, and we at IndianDrives just adore it. We recently took trial of the new Yeti 4X2, and it was more of a city car than an off-roader. Nevertheless, Skoda did not compromise in styling, features and quality of the crossover and it can compete with top-level SUVs in the market.

Skoda had already announced the production variant of Mission L mid-size hatch, which will sit between Fabia and Octavia. It should hit the market by late 2012. Further, it plans Octavia uplift for 2013.

Skoda Yeti

That brings us down to the SUV. Eckhard Sholz, Skoda’s board member for technical development said, “We are successful with the Yeti. But there is room smaller than the Yeti, and there is also room for bigger than Yeti. So why not?” He also believes making cars out of mainstream into emerging markets is the only chance of survival and the SUV will help them grow.

In India, Skoda will be competing against some major brands who have tried going off-stream with mid-size SUV. There is the Ford Kuga, the soon launching Mahindra mini Xylo and Maruti Ertiga. Do tell us what you think the Skoda’s new SUV should be like.

Source: Autocar

SUV Buyers Guide within the Rs 25 lakhs budget

SUVs world over have been rebuked for depleting the Earth’s natural resources due to their gas guzzling habits however has anyone wondered why people still are crazy about buying SUVs? The very reason why people buy SUVs is because on a road, when you are trailing behind a car and if that person sees a SUV in his rearview mirror then he automatically gives way to it. I totally believe in SUVs and would rather go off track by saying that SUVs are the need of the hour. Don’t believe me? Just imagine how much fuel one would save by avoiding braking and waiting for others to give road? In this article, I have put through a SUV Buyers Guide in India within the Rs 25 lakhs budget.

Within Rs 7 lakhs budget –

No one would have thought of it, but there is a SUV available in India within the Rs 7 lakhs budget and if you do go in for the base version of this SUV, then within Rs 7 lakhs, you would have this SUV on-road. Well, it is the Premier Rio. Not a true blue SUV but it has all the essential elements that give it a SUV stance. The bad thing is that the Premier brand name has been blasphemized enough due to the Premier-Fiat debacle early on. There are three variants of this small SUV and LX variant which is available for Rs 6,33,979 (ex-show room, Mumbai) makes sense. If it’s a true blue off-roader SUV that you are looking out for, then it would be the Mahindra Thar CRDE top end variant which can be yours for this budget.

Within the Rs 10 lakhs budget –

There are two SUVs slotted into this segment and those are the Tata Safari and the Mahindra Scorpio. Of the two, in a recent comparison, I had picked up the latter over the Tata Safari. The very reason for this was that the Scorpio scored over the dynamics front a wee bit more than that of the Safari. Going for the top end Vlx model which is available for Rs 9.5 lakhs (ex-show room, Thane) is one of the safer bets. However suggestions are that one should rather wait as Mahindra are out to bring in more modifications and an entirely new look into the Scorpio in a few months time.

Within the Rs 10-15 lakhs budget –

In this price bracket comes the Skoda Yeti and the Mahindra Scorpio Vlx AT. I would heartily recommend the Mahindra Scorpio over the Yeti since it has an automatic transmission to boast of plus all the bells and whistles that come with the top end manual variant. The 4 wheel drive variant with airbags and auto transmission is available for Rs 1188400, ex-show room, Thane. The Yeti would come in as the second choice but then it doesn’t have an auto transmission. But it has all the necessary features that one can ask for plus seat 4 comfortably. It has got a bigger and more flexible boot than the Scorpio though.

Within the Rs 15-20 lakhs budget –

Soft roader category this is and here comes the first choice the Ford Endeavour. The Endeavour is a butch SUV which is available at a starting price of Rs 16.25 lakhs. It has got an auto transmission option and many more features compared to the others of its ilk. The Mitsubishi Pajero, a hardcore off-roader SUV is available in this budget as well. Buy it only if you can live with its dated interiors and you need to wade rivers everyday.

Within the Rs 20-25 lakhs budget –

Hell lot of options here and moreso most of them evenly matched. The pick of this lot, if it were to be for manual SUVs would be the Hyundai Santa Fe. The top end variant boasts of many luxurious features in its cabin plus excellent diesel fuel economy. Next up is the Toyota Fortuner, a towering SUV which has both decent on-road and off-road manners. Amongst the automatics, first up would be the Chevrolet Captiva TDCi . It is a diesel SUV with an automatic gearbox and nice interiors. Amongst the manual soft roaders, another name that crops up is the BMW X1, Imagine owning a BMW within the Rs 25 lakhs budget. The Honda CR-V also makes its presence felt as also the worthy Mitsubishi Outlander. You would be literally spoilt for choices in here. The very worthy Nissan X-Trail base variant makes a compelling case for itself here.

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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Buyers Guide for Skoda

Skoda has by far been one of the most successful automobile brands in India, even though it has met with many criticisms. One of such all time famous criticism is that the Skoda company has a real bad after sale service. As I said earlier even after such heavy criticism the company has managed to do well in the market. It has been possible only because of the various excellent vehicles this company has delivered over the years. This company was established in India in the year 2001. Their first offering, Skoda Octavia was also their first runaway success. The pricing strategy that the company had adopted at that time made it possible. Also this company has been famous to lure customers with their amazing offers and marketing techniques. But this is not what makes this company so big, it is its vehicles which have managed to create its say in the market and that is the topic for today.

Skoda Fabia

Ok. So what is Skoda Fabia? Skoda Fabia is a confused soul who is confused about its own identity. Yes, there has always been a problem attached with Skoda Fabia in the Indian automobile market. It was hatch back with distinct features for sure but people were still not ready to pay such price for hatchbacks. So, recently the company decided to cut the price in order to make it more affordable. Anyways, this car is well built with features that can give run for their money to even some of the sedans available in India. Ride quality of this car is amazing, space is indeed good when compared to any other hatchbacks available in India. This car is available in three engine options where two are the petrol variants and one is the diesel variant. With the new improved price and marketing strategy it seems that Skoda Fabia will be one of the bestseller under its category.

Engine Options:
1198cc\ 1199cc (diesel)\ 1598cc

Powertrain:
5 speed manual

Power:
75 Bhp @3700 rpm\ 70 Bhp @4000 rpm\ 105 Bhp @5250 rpm

Torque:
11.3 Kgm @3800 rpm\ 18 Kgm @3800 rpm\ 15.6 Kgm @3800 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Space and ride quality

Thumbs Down:
Price and the under powered engine

Head on Competitors:
Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo

The Catch:
Rs 5.1 lakhs to 6.2 lakhs

Skoda Laura

For quite a while Skoda Laura had created a monopoly of its own under its segment. Reason was very clear that Skoda Laura is the only car in this category which is available in a diesel option and not just any diesel option it’s the power pack 2.0 litre diesel engine. This engine is mated with either the 6 speed manual or automatic transmission. Besides the diesel engine, this car is also available in 1.8 litre petrol engine. Both the engines perform exceptionally well. Skoda Laura in looks is quite similar to Skoda Superb. The interiors of this car are class apart. As far as the comfort of one and all is concerned, with the awesome ride quality this car is also available with the various comfort features. I know there is a tough competition between Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Civic but according to me the clear winner is  Skoda Laura.

Engine Options:
1798cc\ 1968cc\ 1968cc (AT)

Powertrain:
6 speed manual\ 5 speed manual\ 6 speed automatic

Power:
158.5 Bhp @4500 rpm\ 110 Bhp @4200 rpm\ 138.5 Bhp @4000 rpm

Torque:
25.3 Kgm @1500 rpm\ 25.3 Kgm @1500 rpm\ 32.5 Kgm @2500 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Engine performance and ride quality

Thumbs Down:
Uncomfortable rear seats.

Head on Competitors:
Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis

The Catch:
Rs 13.1 lakhs to Rs 17 lakhs

Skoda Yeti

This four wheel drive and five seater all new SUV has managed to grab enough eyeballs to rack up the bookings for it. When I first heard the name I was expecting a big and muscular SUV but then I came to know that it is one of the compact SUV’s available in town, so I think they could have done much better to find a suitable name which lives up to its identity. Anyways, this SUV looks simply beautiful with its finely crafted compact body. Though the aggressive looks are missing but still this SUV manages to grab enough attention. This SUV is designed on the same platform as that of Skoda Laura, so as an effect, this SUV is also blessed with the same diesel engine. The off road ability of this vehicle is really good and also the ride quality. What I sorely missed in this SUV is the automatic transmission option. Also the seven seating arrangement if available, will boost its sales prospects even more.

Engine Options:
1968cc

Powertrain:
6 speed manual

Power:
140 Bhp @4200 rpm

Torque:
32.7 Kgm @2500 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Performance and handling

Thumbs Down:
Seating option and the unimposing stance.

Head on Competitors:
Tata Aria, Premier Rio

The Catch:
Rs 15.1 lakhs to Rs 17.1 lakhs

Skoda Superb

Ok what will you get if we add, the space of Mercedes S Class, features of Mercedes E Class and a reasonable price against it? The answer is Skoda Superb. The looks of this car is simply elegant and upmarket. This car is available in three engine options. All the three engines deliver excellent performance especially the V6 engine with all wheel drive option. The overall performance of this car is again amazing. Besides the ride quality of this car is really good and to add to that this car is available with a comfortable seating option with lots of space. It won’t be wrong to say that this car has been truly christened according to its performance or rather I should say that this car truly lives upto its name.

Engine Options:
1798cc\ 1968cc\ 3598cc

Powertrain:
6 speed DSG\ 6 speed automatic

Power:
158.5 Bhp @4500 rpm\ 138.5 Bhp @4000 rpm\ 258 Bhp @6000 rpm

Torque:
25.3 Kgm @1500 rpm\ 32.3 Kgm @1750 rpm\ 35.3 Kgm @2500 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Performance of all three engines, ride quality and handling.

Thumbs Down:
After sales service

Head on Competitors:
Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat and Nissan Teana

The Catch:
Rs 18 lakhs to Rs 26.8 lakhs

Skoda Yeti – The abominable snowman

The name of a car is sometimes reason enough to buy it. Sometimes, the name would just actually speel out the qualities of the car much to the likes of the Honda Civic and the car in question now, the Skoda Yeti. Yes, this car has been launched in India within barely 10 months after the display at the Delhi Motor Show in 2010, early on. Skoda Auto India have actually tried to present a car to the Indian car buying public much to their confusion. Which segment does this car actually represent? It doesn’t look like anything on the market now. It can be called a sporty hatchback but its tall stance belies that. It doesn’t have the girth of an SUV however looks like a mini SUV. When I first saw the SUV{should I dare call it that?} in flesh, I was taken aback. This vehicle looked much better in flesh than in the pictures. Here, I am now really tempted to drive this SUV and here goes the review for it.

Looks

Its definitely love it or loathe it. A quick poll in our office{with even the watchmen and receptionist included} showed that every one loved this car. This means that Skoda Auto India have got their first main thing right and that is in the looks department. Viewed from the front, the new Skoda Yeti in India looks like a bigger Skoda Fabia. The head lamps are the first thing that would strike any one. The somewhat square head lamps flanked by round fog lamps. The typical Skoda grille is there giving a family face to the Skoda Yeti. There are also day time running lamps inside the head lamps however those are disabled for India. The air dams are also rectangular and outlined by fiber scuff plates. There are two soft kinks on the bonnet. The windscreen is also sort of raked.

The outside rear view mirrors are huge and chunky and they have the side indicators integrated into them. The sides are actually quite boxy and the waistline is also not that huge. There are huge chunky roof rails as well. The talking point is the 16 inch multi spoke alloy wheels which fill up the wheel arches quite well.

The rear is also quite boxy with a huge glass area with a single wiper doing duties. Actually the car resembles more like an extended wheel base Maruti Wagon R. The tail lamps are also semi circular. The bumper is also quite big and has been integrated neatly with a scuff plate like the front one doing guarding duties. The reflectors are also placed in the rear bumper.

Interiors

Typical Skoda Auto India high quality interiors define the Skoda Yeti. The doors shut with a solid feel, expected only from the Germans. The dashboard looks more like the one from the Skoda Laura. Even the 4 spoke steering wheel is derived from the Laura. The steering wheel however is devoid of steering mounted audio controls. That is not a bad thing after all however like the Toyota Fortuner carrying over the Toyota Innova’s interiors, I definitely feel that such an expensive and up market car should have been given more distinguishable interiors.The dash itself is made of very high quality materials and every surface is soft to touch. A clean line seperates the upper and lower dash. The front seats are way comfortable once you are seated in them. I felt myself a bit struggling to adjust in the driver’s seat because of my 6ft 4 inch frame however once I found a comfortable position, it was all good. The other things adding to this convenience was the 8 way adjustable power seats for the front passengers. The headrests are also of the adjustable types. The steering wheel, hand brake, gear lever and seats are all in leather though.

The rear seats are also comfortable and much in the Honda CR-V ballpark. This is because of the individually reclining seats. When you want just 4 passengers to be seated, the rear middle seat flips forward to act like an arm rest. There is a rear AC vent as well with separate controls. There are many small storage spaces inside the cabin. The rear seats though feel a bit upright. The boot space is a goood 415 liters however the rear seats have a 60:40 split seat arrangement and this liberates a huge 1665 liters of luggage space.

Handling and ride quality

The new Skoda Yeti in India from Skoda Auto is based on the Skoda Laura platform. This means it should be an agile car nee SUV with a good enough ride quality as a plus. This SUV stands at 4.2 meters and isn’t too long. 2 inches short and this would have qualified for an excise SOP. The car gets an all independent high tech suspension system. It however is a bit on the firmer side. This car also uses a full time four wheel Haldex drive system. This one is variable just like the one found in the Honda CR-V. Normally the SUV sends 90% of its power to the front wheels however when the rear wheels begin to slip or lose grip, that’s when more power is sent to the rear ones.

The direct steering though a bit lacking in the feel{we have been spoilt by BMWs recently, I think} is quite a good unit. It does exactly what it is said to. However the Skoda offering can definitely teach a thing or two to the much expensive and highly acclaimed Honda CR-V. This small SUV corners like it is on rails and there is little body roll going around fast corner. However the astonishing thing is that even at high speeds around corners, the ESP rarely cuts in to spoil the fun. All this translates to a slightly lumpy ride around city. The small potholes or sharp ruts do upset its apple cart a bit.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

As of now, the Skoda Yeti is been offered with only one engine option and it is the 2 liter Common Rail Diesel from the Laura. It has a 6 speed manual gearbox. As I know, from previous experience from the Skoda Laura, this engine only has the slightest hint of turbo lag at low speeds. It produces 140 Bhp of power and 32.63 Kgm of torque. This engine isn’t peaky like the unit from the Chevrolet Cruze and this means driving even in city traffic isn’t a chore. The gear box is also very good with its slick movements and the ratios well spaced out. NVH is also well taken care off and there is only a hint of engine noise at very high speeds. For the record, the 0-100 kmph comes up in only 11.2 seconds and the top speed is 162 kmph. The SUV does feel sprightly to drive with the responsive engine and tandem of smooth gearbox.

Halting the 1.5 tonnes of metal is the 4 wheel disc brakes supported by Brake Assist, traction control, ABS and ESP. This is one of the safest SUV in the Skoda Auto India range of vehicles with a wide array of safety features like Hill Holder Clutch, electronic differential lock, 4 air bags, collapsible steering wheel and 3 point seat belts for all the occupants.

Fuel efficiency which is so paramount to the Indian customer is appreciable with the SUV returning 12.5 kmpl in the city and 19 kmpl on the open highway.

Verdict

The Skoda Yeti is really a commendable offering from Skoda Auto India. This is because of the niche clientele it would be catering to. However due to its widespread appeal as a costly hatchback, small SUV and even a sedan it would be well received. This was confirmed by the approximately 1500 bookings that the company received within the first 7 days of its launch. The mini SUV has all that people would want. Its stylish, spacious, has a small footprint, near perfect ride and handling, fuel efficiency and power. The only thing that may go against it is its high sticker price and poor image about Skoda Auto India service part. The Skoda Yeti is been offered in two trims, Skoda Yeti Ambiente and Skoda Yeti Elegance. The 4 wheel drive is standard on both the trims. The Skoda Yeti Ambiente version misses out on auto dimming rear view mirrors, climate control, cornering lights, 6 CD changer and touch screen audio controls. The Skoda Yeti Elegance however gets all these and special versions of the driver aids. The Skoda Yeti Ambiente sells for Rs. 17.03 lakhs{ex-showroom, Mumbai} and the Skoda Yeti Elegance goes for Rs. 19.25 lakhs {ex-showroom, Mumbai}.

Skoda Yeti Technical Specifications

Engine

Engine Type: High-pressure direct injection system in-line, liquid cooling system, Turbocharged diesel engine, turbocharger with self-aligning blades, 16V DOHC, transverse in front
Displacement cc: 1968
Power (PS@rpm): 140 Bhp @ 4100 rpm
Torque (Nm@rpm): 320 Nm @ 1850 rpm
Valve Mechanism: DOHC
Compression Ratio: 18:1
No of Cylinders: 4
Cylinder Configuration: Inline
Fuel Type: Diesel

Dimensions and Weights

Overall Length (mm): 4224
Overall Width (mm): 1796
Overall Height (mm): 1692
Wheel Base (mm): 2577
Ground Clearance (mm): 181
Boot Space (liter): 417
Kerb Weight (kg): 1549
Gross Vehicle Weight (kg): 2072
Number of Doors: 5

Fuel Economy

Mileage Highway (km/liter): 12.5
Mileage City (km/liter): 19
Mileage Overall (km/liter): 15.75

Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (liter): 60
Seating Capacity (person): 5

Performance

Maximum Speed: 162 Km/Hour
0-100kmph: 11.2 seconds
1/4 Mile: 18.01 seconds

Transmission

Transmission Type: Manual
Gears/Speeds: 6 Gears

Suspensions

Rear Suspension: McPherson suspension with lower triangular links and torsion stabiliser
Front Suspension: Multi-element axle, with one longitudinal and three transverse links, with torsion stabiliser

Steering

Steering Type: Direct rack and pinion steering with electro mechanical power steering
Minimum Turning Radius (meter): 5

Brakes

Front Brakes: Ventilated Disc brakes with single/piston floating caliper
Rear Brakes: Solid Disc brakes

Wheels and Tyres

Wheel Type: Alloy Wheels
Wheel Size: 7.0 J*16″
Tyres: 215 / 62 R16

Skoda Yeti – two new variants to flow in

On the other hand, Skoda Auto India are quite happy that their first SUV and that too a compact crossover has been welcomed well by the Indian customers. They have reportedly received over 2000 bookings of the Skoda Yeti within a week of its launch. Not one to rest on its laurels, Skoda Auto India are contemplating bringing in two more variants of the Skoda Yeti in India. Those would be a 1.6 liter diesel from the Volkswagen Vento and the other would be an all new 1.2 liter TSI motor which would be from its international line up. The former would be in the same state of tune as the Volkswagen Vento and would make 105 bhp of peak power and 25.5 kgm of peak torque. These figures are enough to propel the Skoda Yeti from 0-100 kmph in 12.3 seconds. Importantly, it would be offered only in 2 wheel drive and also a 5 speed manual gear box. Top speed is said to be 176 kmph.

The latter engine would make 104 Bhp of power and about 23.6 kgm of torque. This would propel the Skoda Yeti from 0-100 kmph in 11 seconds and its top speed would be 175 kmph. This would also be offered with a 5 speed manual and 2 wheel drive mode only. However for the 1.2 TSI engine, Skoda Auto India aren’t sure if it can withstand the Indian fuel or not. Currently tests are been undergone and we would definitely have an answer on it come early 2011.

Bringing these two engines to India would give the Indian consumers a wide range of choices from Skoda Auto India’s wide arsenal of engines. It would also help lower the asking price of the Skoda Yeti. For the 1.2 TSI, Skoda would charge an asking price of Rs. 13 lakhs to 14 lakhs for the 1.6 liter diesel engine. This would make it a value for money proposition. Also Skoda Auto India are bucking up by introducing new show rooms as well as ramping up their much flaked service centers.