Come January 2012, Skoda India will launch the less pricey front wheel drive variant of the Yeti 5-seater SUV powered by the 2.0-litre 110 bhp engine, mated to 5-speed gear box. The new variant is expected to be priced at around Rs. 13.5 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.
CarToq spoke with Skoda dealers and they confirmed the launch in January 2012. The Yeti front-wheel drive model will most likely be available only in one variant: the Active (base) variant.
Looks and comfort
The Yeti 4×2 will most likely retain the same looks of the Yeti 4×4 variant except for the missing 4×4 badge on the tailgate. The Yeti 4×2 will have all the lines that characterize a compact SUV though it has radical design cues especially at the front and the sides. Expect the Yeti 4×2 also to come with integrated roof rails and high-mounted stop lamps.
Comfort wise, the Yeti 4×2 will have an ergonomically laid out dashboard design just as in the 4×4 variant. The front passenger comfort is excellent but at the rear, the legroom and elbow room is just adequate. The high transmission tunnel eats into the rear middle passenger’s legroom, while the rear AC vents also intrude into the middle passenger’s space. The 5-seater Yeti may turn down buyers who look for 7-seater SUVs in the market.
The 4×2 Yeti will be powered by the same 2-litre diesel engine that powers the Skoda Laura Ambient variant, mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels. It will put out 110 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. The present Yeti puts out 140 bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed gearbox in all-wheel drive configuration.
The performance of the Yeti 4×2 (front wheel drive) will likely be close to the performance of the XUV 500 and the Aria two wheel drive variants. The Aria 4×2 can achieve the 0-100 kmph mark in about 14 seconds while the light weight XUV 500 could achieve the same in about 12.5 seconds.
It has to be noted that the XUV 500 FWD has a power to weight ratio of 78.4 bhp per ton while the Aria 4×2 has a power to weight ratio of 69.3 bhp per ton. The Yeti 4×2 will have a power to weight ratio of 76.1 bhp per ton and hence it will accelerate better than the Aria 4×2 and should be at a par with the XUV 500 FWD.
The Yeti 4×2 will be launched only in the Active trim which means it will not have driving aid features such as the Hill Hold Control (HHC), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), ESP (Electronic Stability Control), parking sensors and lumbar support adjustments.
Here’s a list of some features that the Yeti 4×2 variant will have:
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Expected price of Yeti 4×2
We assume the Yeti 4×2 Active will be priced Rs. 1.80 lakh lower than the Yeti 4×4 Ambition variant which is currently priced at Rs. 15.35 lakh. Hence, expect the Yeti 4×2 Active to be priced at around Rs. 13.55 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. Although, the Yeti 4×2 may still have a premium pricing when compared with the Aria Pleasure 4×2 (Rs. 12.61 lakh) and the XUV 500 W6 (Rs. 10.80 lakh), it will make the Yeti much more accessible to customers who aren’t really looking for the 4×4 functionality.
The Yeti 4×2 with a lower price tag may attract budget conscious buyers. It will make sense for buyers who want a compact SUV for city use, that is rugged enough for bad roads, but do not need 4×4 capabilities. However, with the launch of the Mahindra XUV 500 at an attractive price and against the spacious Aria 4×2, it’s a tough road ahead for the Czech brand’s snow man, the Yeti!
*Prices mentioned are ex-showroom Delhi