The hugely capable Skoda Yeti may not be a big seller in India but the manufacturer hasn't given up on it just yet. In fact, the Czech carmaker is preparing the facelifted version for launch by September this year. Internationally, the revamped Yeti is available in two avatars — a standard 'City' version and a more beefy 'Outdoor' version, with the latter featuring bolder cues in its body cladding and scuff plates. Skoda had shown the Yeti Outdoor at the 2014 Auto Expo and as the spy pic of a test car taken by Autocar India reader Madhav Jewalikar confirms, this is the version headed to India.
Leading the list of changes is the revamped car's frontal styling that now conforms to Skoda's new corporate look. There's a wider grille, more angular headlights (the round fog lamps are gone) and a different front bumper too. While the Yeti does look a lot sharper than before, it has lost some of the quirkiness of the original car. The distinctive glasshouse, however, has not been changed and that should make the Yeti easily identifiable, even in profile. A mildly revised tail gate and lights complete the makeover.
With the update, Skoda is likely to give the Yeti some more kit. In other markets, the Yeti is available with a keyless entry and go system, an electrically adjustable driver's seat, cruise control and rear view camera. Some of these features could make it to the Indian car as well. Changes to the cabin will be limited to a new three-spoke steering wheel and colours for the plastics.
Skoda will continue to offer the Yeti with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel in two states of tune. There will be a 108bhp, front-wheel drive version that will sell alongside the more powerful (and expensive) all-wheel-drive 138bhp Yeti. Both engines will be solely available with manual gearboxes. Sadly, there will be no dual-clutch gearbox on the revamped Yeti either. Interestingly, Skoda is looking at the possibility of launching the Yeti with a 1.4-litre TSI turbo-petrol motor in the future.
While Skoda hasn't announed pricing yet, we expect the new Yeti to cost 7-8 percent more than the current version. That would equate to prices in the Rs 15.5-19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) bracket. While the Yeti's sound mechanicals and brilliant comfort make it ideal for India, it's not found too many takers on grounds of its poor performance on the price-to-size front. What remains to be seen is, if the updates help the Yeti garner the attention it always deserved.