While the Yeti has oodles of street presence to compete in its class, the interiors also need to be up to the mark. Not only does it complete against the new boys Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Aria, it also fights the battle with D segment sedans such as the Cruze and Fluence.
D segment cars need to have a very pleasant atmosphere. It has to justify why the asking price is 15+ lakh rupees. So does the Yeti have what it takes to make it?
Step inside the Yeti and it feels as if you are sitting in a slightly taller sedan. From the inside, the Yeti does not exude the character of an SUV. More importantly, because most of the Yeti’s interior is sourced from the Skoda Laura, it has a very familiar upmarket feel to it.
Unlike big SUV models like Toyota Fortuner and Tata Aria, the Skoda Yeti has a very easy ingress and egress. Even older people can get in and out very easily. Once inside, you notice that because most components are sourced from the Superb and Laura, it looks and feels plush. The materials used are of good quality and there is no cheap plastics anywhere in the cabin.
The typical four spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel is sourced from the Laura and has a perfect grip. It can be adjusted for height and reach. Like most Skoda’s, the indicator and wiper stalk position has been interchanged.
The dials behind the wheel have a white glow on a black surface – very classy. There is a small MID in between the dials that give you all sort of driver information such travel distance, fuel economy, etc.
Being European, the headlight controls are in the form of a knob to the driver’s right. One interesting functionality that I noticed while driving is that if you enter a tunnel the Yeti dims the lights of the dial cluster and only keeps the needles lit. This helps you focus on the traffic ahead. A handy toll ticket holder on the driver side is a boon for holding toll receipts that need to be kept handy.
Moving to the center console, because our Yeti test car was an Ambition variant, we got the Skoda Swing stereo with a CD player. The music system has eight speakers and the sound quality is impeccable. The Yeti 4X2 does not get climate control or dual zone air conditioning.
But the standard air conditioning unit does its job pretty well..no complaints there for sure.
The gear stick is designed like a golf club and shifting is quite relishing. Your hands don’t slip and neither do you miss-shift. The glove box is well lit and is quite deep to hold all the important documents. Unlike the 4x4 version, the 4x2 does not have a fake wooden trim on the dash.
I am pleasantly surprised with the Skoda Yeti’s storage solutions. One gets plenty of cubby holes and bottle holders have been designed to fit any kind of petty luggage. From water bottles to soda cans, everything has a place to fit inside the Yeti.
The lighting solution are also clever. You get puddle lamps and roof lamps to help you in the dark.
The seats are leather wrapped and very comfortable. They give you good lumbar support and can be adjusted for height as well. The Yeti offers fantastic headroom and legroom for any passenger. You will never feel cramped for space inside this big boy.
Coming to the rear, the Yeti can either carry three passengers or you can have an arm rest with cup holders if there are only two. Notice the cushion pad on the armrest? That’s attention to detail!
The rear seats are 2 inches higher than the front ones so the rear passengers get an excellent view out of the windshields. The rear passengers also get individual AC vents to keep things cool at the back. There are even blowers beneath front seats for the rear passenger’s feet. The cabin is superbly insulated against all the outside noises
The Skoda Yeti adopts something called the VarioFlex seating system. It is like the Honda Jazz's seating system so each seat can be folded or taken out completely to release bootspace.
There are three seats that can act independent of each other which leads to 20 combinations to suit just about any circumstance that may arise. This means that the boot space is usually 415 liters but when you take the seats out, it becomes a whopping 1760 liters.
Things that I did not like about the Yeti’s interiors:
- The first two variants do not get steering mounted controls. Now that even a 4 lakh rupee hatchback gets it, it’s very disappointing.
- There is no USB input - this is the shocking omission
- The MID provides information in European format. So it displays 6L/100kms instead of 16mpl, you need to be good at fractions to learn your fuel efficiency
- Absence of an optional sun roof on any of the variants is a let down
- I do not like the fact that there is no Elegance trim in the 4X2 with all awesome features such as 6.5 inch display, dual zone air-conditioning, Air quality sensor, climate control, etc. The Ambition is the Yeti's range-topped and it feels a bit under-equipped.
The Skoda Yeti is a classic example of functional styling intelligently packaged in a length of 4,223 mm. It is a very versatile crossover that can adapt itself to any for your storage demands and the best companion to a convoy of 5 people on a long distance tour. The quality dashboard materials and friendly ergonomics impress us.
Stay tuned for the driving review, the most important section in this three part story.