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AIMS: Skoda’s new Yeti from under $29K

Snow beast: Skoda's quirky Yeti compact-SUV has finally arrived in Australia, with prices starting at under $30k.

New Skoda Yeti to undercut most compact SUV rivals from October

Skoda logo1 Jul 2011

SKODA has announced a sub-$29,000 starting price for the new Yeti crossover range that arrives in Australian showrooms from October, undercutting the cheapest versions of most Japanese compact SUV rivals.

For $28,690 plus on-road costs, Yeti buyers will have access to the entry-level front-wheel drive variant, powered by a 1.2-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission.

The Yeti 1.2 TSI 4x2 delivers 77kW of power and 175Nm of torque between 1550 and 4100rpm – matching the same engine in Volkswagen’s latest Polo and Golf hatchbacks – and will also be available with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

No pricing has yet been revealed for the latter, but Skoda Australia also used today’s Melbourne motor show opening to announce a $35,690 (plus on-roads) admission price for the second Yeti variant to become available in three months.

29 center imagePowered by a 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder turbo-diesel that produces 103kW and 320Nm between 1750 and 2500rpm, the Yeti 4x4 – featuring the VW Group’s fourth-generation Haldex clutch-actuated part-time AWD system - will be offered with six-speed manual and six-speed DSG automatic gearboxes.

The same diesel engine in VW’s closely related Tiguan SUV range here costs $1300 more at $36,990, although the all-AWD compact VW wagon line-up starts at $33,990 for the 125kW Tiguan 2.0 TSI - $1600 less than the most affordable Yeti 4x4.

Skoda is keeping further details of its Australian Yeti range close to its chest for now, but has revealed all models will come standard with seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, plus electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes with EBD, ASR and Hill Hold Control.

As we reported before, Skoda’s first bona fide SUV made its Australian debut at last year’s Sydney show, the Yeti offers a generous 180mm of ground clearance and measures 4223mm long and 1793mm wide, making it about the same width but almost 350mm shorter than Subaru’s top-selling Forester.

Skoda’s distinctive five-seat wagon, which has received a maximum five-star independent safety rating from Euro NCAP, wears the Czech brand’s familiar rib-shaped grille with a chrome surround topped by the green Skoda logo, foglights that overlap its headlights, black pillars and standard roof rails.

First released in Europe in June 2009, the Yeti was due on sale here a year ago and is expected to eclipse the Octavia as Skoda’s most popular model in Australia, where the fledgling VW brand’s sales are up a massive 52.5 per cent so far this year.

Officially relaunched Down Under in October 2007 after an absence of more than 25 years, Skoda is on a roll here this year thanks to a more affordable version of the Octavia (sales of which are up 27.3 per cent to May), a DSG-equipped Octavia Scout crossover (up 66 per cent) and sedan and wagon versions of the full-size Superb (up 146.5 per cent).

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