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Frankfurt show: Skoda expands Yeti range

Creature comforts: The updated Skoda Yeti will arrive in Australia mid next year and could be available in two distinct variants.

Facelifted Skoda SUV ushers in city-centred and Outdoor variants, plus more features


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16 Aug 2013

SKODA has taken the wraps off a facelifted Yeti light-sized SUV – now with two distinct model variants for the first time – ahead of its premiere at the Frankfurt motor show next month and Australian launch around June 2014.

The mid-life upgrade is headlined by a comprehensive styling revision that brings the Yeti in line with other key new models bound for Australia – notably, the the Octavia mid-sizer due in the final quarter and the Rapid Spaceback small car coming in the first half of next year – but now with two variations on the crossover theme.

Skoda Australia has confirmed to GoAuto that it is studying the case for both new variants, which are described by Volkswagen’s Czech brand as an “an elegant, stylish city look” and an “off-road look for trips in the country”.

With both dispensing with the current split-headlight design, the main points of differentiation are the front and rear bumpers, undercarriage guards, exterior mirrors, side mouldings and door sills, with the latter painted in body colour for the city Yeti and remaining in black plastic for the Outdoor.

Australian specifications are still to be finalised, but the front-end redesign brings with it optionally available bi-Xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights for the first time.

LEDs are also now available in the revised smoke-lens tail-lights, and the lower section of the tailgate takes on “cubist triangular elements”.

Other standard facelift fodder includes fresh wheel designs and new metallic paint finishes, while the cabin picks up different seat fabrics, a three-spoke steering wheel (up to seven variations were developed) and more decorative elements on the dashboard.

In the cargo area, a double-sided floor covering is now included – as seen in other Skoda models – along with a detachable LED torch.

Importantly, the facelifted Yeti becomes the first model in the Skoda stable to offer a rearview camera, and adds other technology new to the series such as automatic parking assist and keyless start/stop.

Skoda currently offers three model lines for Yeti in Australia, with either a manual or DSG dual-clutch transmission: the front-drive 77kW/175Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol 77TSI the all-wheel-drive 118kW (DSG: 112kW)/250Nm 1.8-litre turbo-petrol 112TSI and AWD 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel 103TDI.

Four diesel and three petrol engines are offered in Europe, although no major mechanical changes have been made and there are no indications that Australia will look to revise its powertrain line-up.

The local subsidiary will, however, be looking for improved sales with the upgraded model, which is positioned at the lower end of the increasingly competitive city SUV segment.

Holden now has an entrant with the Trax launched this week, Ford is following suit with the EcoSport in December, and Nissan has the Juke (final quarter) and a redesigned Dualis (first half of 2014) in the pipeline.

Yeti sales are down 14.4 per cent this year, with just 559 units sold to the end of July. In comparison, Hyundai has sold more than 11,000 examples of its market-leading ix35, Nissan has shifted just shy of 8500 Dualis units and Subaru has racked up more than 6200 XV sales.

Internationally, Skoda is proclaiming the Yeti as a success story, with 263,200 worldwide sales since its 2009 launch, including 87,400 last year and 41,800 in the first half of 2013.

It will launch a stretched version developed specifically for the Chinese market by the end of this year, produced in China with partner Shanghai Volkswagen.

Australian-spec cars are built at the company’s Kvasiny factory in the Czech Republic.

“The Skoda Yeti is one of the most attractive compact SUVs on the market and has far exceeded our sales expectations since its launch four years ago,” said Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland.

“With this all-new look and being offered for the first time in two variations, we are establishing new benchmarks. We plan to continue our outstanding development in this rapidly growing vehicle class.”

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