May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Skoda’s Yeti was first spotted on New Zealand terrain last year and was offered only in diesel engine/manual transmission form. Some were at first frightened by its unusual looks and segment-bridging body shape, but soon enough we all began to accept it. Quickly, people in the know went from accepting to admiring, and very soon the Yeti was scooping up nominations and awards both domestically and internationally. Now for 2011, a second Yeti has reached our shores to form a two-strong Yeti pack with its diesel-powered pioneering sibling. This new Yeti is a full $10k cheaper and while it offers slightly less than the diesel model, its practicality and driver-friendly nature are shared. Car and SUV was very impressed during its first Yeti encounter last year and again after a fresh sighting of the new-to-NZ petrol model. Now we can answer the questions of curious kiwi motorists.
So what the hell is it?
Good question, the Yeti is a small crossover vehicle or you could think of it as a high-riding hatchback. It shares its platform with the Volkswagen Golf and uses a 1.2-litre TSI engine that also has service in the Golf, Polo and the smaller Skoda Fabia. Continue reading “Skoda Yeti TSI 2011 Review” »
November 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Ten cars, ranging from mainstream models from Japan and Korea through to exclusive European luxury machines have been selected as finalists for the 2010 New Zealand Car of the Year Award.
Voted for annually by more than three dozen established motoring journalists, each of whom is a member of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild, the award is the country’s most comprehensive. It is also the most respected by the car industry itself, being the embodiment of the opinions of experts representing every automotive medium.
This includes the motoring sections of the country’s major daily and weekly newspapers, several automotive websites, car and lifestyle magazines, and a number of radio and television outlets.
Over several months, the Guild’s Car of the Year committee has assembled its shortlist of finalists, which has been selected from all new models launched in New Zealand during the 12 months prior to 1 November 2009.
The cars on the 2010 shortlist include (in alphabetical order) the new Audi A5, the latest iteration of the BMW 5-series, Hyundai’s recently launched iX35 small SUV, the radical new Jaguar XJ saloon, and the Kia Sportage SUV. A pair of Peugeots — the striking new RCZ sport car and 3008 crossover – have also made the cut as finalists, as has the second-generation Porsche Cayenne, the Skoda Yeti mini-SUV and Suzuki’s first full-sized saloon, the Kizashi.
Continue reading “NZ Car of the Year Award – finalists announced” »
June 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Why don’t we have Yetis in New Zealand? That’s a question seldom asked here. I mean we have enough crazy people to see them and it was Sir Ed Hillary that first climbed the highest peak in their native Himalayan region, surely he could have organised safe passage for at least one. But we still don’t have any Yetis¦ until now.
Skoda has come to the rescue and made its new Yeti crossover vehicle available to all curious kiwis. So is this latest product from the world’s most underrated automaker really a dynamically competent, uniquely styled and keenly priced specimen? Or is that just fantasy? Car and SUV tracked down one of NZ’s very first Yetis to find out more.
At first glance the Yeti is distinctive and modern but probably won’t scare anyone. Its nose is the Skoda corporate grille that sits between uniquely designed headlight clusters. Character lines crease the bonnet and a colour-coded B-pillar breaks up the wraparound glass house. It’s neutral in stance and is fairly restrained but still displays soft roader styling cues like enlarged wheel arches, black plastic protective skirting, integrated roof rails and nudge plates front and rear. The rugged yet refined look is finished off with 5-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels. Overall, it’s a well-defined vehicle, while it won’t suit all tastes, it’s square back, chunky bumpers and four-eyed face have an unorthodox charm.
Continue reading “Skoda Yeti 2010 Review” »
December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Skoda Yeti 2009: be prepared for something wild
December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Skoda has officially introduced its fifth model line and entered the crossover segment. Footage includes on and off road scenes from the UK press launch.
November 6th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
The European Car of the Year contest is usually stacked with European cars, of course, if not cars from around the world that are sold in Europe. But this year, the fight is being waged almost exclusively between European cars with outside manufacturers barely getting a look in.
The candidates for the 2010 awards were announced back in June, but that’s really just a long list of vehicles that are eligible. Now the panel of automotive journalists from across the continent have chosen their seven nominees among from which the final winner will be selected.
Those up for the prize are:
The iQ is the only non-European product in with a chance, and the Mercedes the only car among the finalists even currently available in the North American market.
The winner should be announced by the end of November.
May 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
The first Skoda Yeti rolled off the assembly line at Skoda’s Kvasiny, Czech Republic plant on Tuesday 12 May 2009. With the start of series production, Skoda has officially introduced its fifth model line and entered the crossover segment. The very first Yeti spotted leaving the production hall was an Aqua Blue, four-wheel drive model, fitted with a 1.8 TSI engine.
Skoda has designed Yeti as it does all its models — for the way people use cars. Unique solutions include a VarioFlex rear seat system, which makes it easy to increase Yeti’s carrying capacity to as much as 1,760 litres.
Earlier, Skoda performed a number of final tests in the area around Oslo, Norway, which offered a variety of road surfaces similar to those seen in all European countries and most of the key regions outside Europe. The test team (which included members of the international media) used the diversity of roads and weather conditions to check some of the key systems, such as the driving stability system, ventilation and air conditioning system performance. The tests provided valuable information about the interaction between the respective control units, the chassis parameters and acoustic comfort, as well as the characteristics of the off-road systems.
The vehicles tested in Oslo were a 1.8 TSI petrol and a 2.0 TDI diesel, both 4×4 models. The drivers tested the vehicles’ behaviour on forest roads, as well as on an extreme downhill course using the downhill assist, a function enabling the driver to go down extremely steep hills and maintain control.
Thanks to its higher ground clearance (180mm) and Haldex clutch system, the Yeti is expected to be capable on-road and off-road. Add in low fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions and Yeti gives today’s drivers some green credentials also.
The Yeti is scheduled to make an appearance in New Zealand early in 2010 powered by the 2.0 TDI diesel engine.
April 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Skoda Auto has produced the seven millionth Skoda vehicle in its modern history since becoming part of the Volkswagen Group in 1991.
The model that triggered off an extensive transformation and convinced Volkswagen Group to invest was the Skoda Favorit that Skoda produced from 1988 till 1994 when the Å koda Felicia was launched. The product portfolio has been extended since then.
A major change came in 1996 with the Skoda Octavia. Seen as a solid value-for-money proposition, the car remains popular and the company keeps producing the original version under the name Octavia Tour.
Another important model was the Skoda Fabia that the Company introduced in 1999. The vehicle came in three versions — a hatchback, a wagon and a sedan. The second-generation Fabia replaced its predecessor in 2007. Two versions are available now — a hatchback and a wagon.
In 2001, Skoda Auto entered the upper medium segment with the Skoda Superb. The Company’s flagship was then modernised in 2008, and the new vehicle offered numerous original solutions including a tailgate system called TwinDoor.
In 2006 Skoda Auto entered the segment of small MPVs with the Skoda Roomster. Introduced at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, the fifth product added to the portfolio is the Skoda Yeti with which the Czech-based car manufacturer is entering the SUV segment.