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Skoda slashes Yeti prices

Slashed: Skoda has thrown the Yeti amongst the pigeons in the front-drive compact SUV segment with revised pricing for the 77TSI entry-level variant.

Czech brand Skoda has cut pricing on its Yeti compact SUV ahead of October release

23 Sep 2011

BEFORE it has even been launched on the local market, Skoda has dropped the starting price of its Yeti compact SUV range to a cut-throat $26,290.

The Czech company initially announced a $28,690 starting price for the range when it made its public debut at the Australian International Motor Show in July, meaning buyers will have saved $2400 by the time the car is launched here next month.

This price, which does not include on-road costs, applies to the entry-level 77TSI front-wheel drive variant, which is powered by the same turbocharged 1.2-litre engine already found in the recently-released Fabia, as well as the Volkswagen Polo and Golf.

The diminutive mill, which punches out 77kW and 175Nm of peak torque delivered between 1550 and 4100rpm, is matched as standard to a six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic will be available at launch for an extra $2300.

Skoda claims the 77TSI engine can push the 1340kg Yeti from zero to 100km/h in 11.8 seconds (12.0 for the DSG) while sipping 6.4 litres of 95 octane fuel per 100km on the combined cycle. Braked towing capacity is a claimed 1200kg.

The company said it had been engaged in talks with head office for some time about getting the price down to a level that undercuts similarly-sized competitors in the bustling compact SUV segment – one of the few segments this year to exhibit year-on-year growth.

Head of Skoda Australia Matthew Wiesner told journalists at the recent launch of the Fabia light car that the brand was “serious about having a crack in there amongst those Asian brands that pretty much dominate that 2WD market”.

29 center imageThe revised starting price means the quirky compact will undercut two-wheel drive variants of rivals such as the Hyundai ix35 (from $26,990), Kia Sportage (from $26,720), Nissan X-Trail (from $28,490) and Toyota RAV4 (from $28,990).

Mr Wiesner spoke of the fact that the majority of Yeti enquiries gathered so far had been toward the four-wheel drive variant, which will powered by a gutsier turbo-diesel engine with 103kW and 320Nm of peak torque between 1750 and 2500rpm.

“We’ve seen a lot of enquiry… which has been quite heavily four wheel-drive skewed,” he said.

“We’ve also been watching the reaction in regards to the two wheel-drive, and yes there’s been activity, but probably not as strong as we’d have liked.

“The compact SUV segment is probably 60 per cent 4WD and 40 per cent 2WD at the moment but it’s evolving.

“We’ve been watching that pretty carefully and we think we have a pretty strong opportunity there in the two wheel-drive segment.”

Pricing for the top-spec 103TDI all-wheel drive Yeti remains unchanged at $35,690, making it exactly $1000 cheaper than the closely-related Volkswagen Tiguan with the same engine, but $1700 more expensive than the entry-level 125TSI four-wheel drive Tiguan variant.

As GoAuto has reported, the 103TDI Yeti will feature the VW Group’s fourth-generation Haldex clutch-actuated part-time AWD system and will be offered with both six-speed manual and six-speed DSG automatic transmissions.

All models have a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and will include standard equipment such as seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, plus electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control and hill-holder.

The Yeti offers a generous 180mm of ground clearance and measures 4223mm long and 1793mm wide, making it about the same width but around 200mm shorter than the ix35, Sportage and Tiguan.

Mr Weisner projected at the Fabia launch that the late addition of the Fabia light car and the Yeti compact SUV to the Skoda range should help the brand almost double last year’s sales tally of 1652 units.

The company sold 250 units in August, the brand’s best monthly result since it was re-launched Down Under in October 2007.

The car-maker had already notched 1418 annual sales to the end of August – meaning annual growth of 41.5 per cent – spurred along by a drive-away pricing promotion on the Octavia, a new base diesel-powered Superb variant and a DSG version of the Octavia Scout“This year we’ll end up with around 3000 units for the year, and that’s only with a little bit of effect of the Fabia and Yeti,” Mr Wiesner said.

“If we can do those sorts of numbers with just Octavia and Superb and a very small amount of Fabia and Yeti, I think next year is looking pretty good.

“This month, for example, with our first touch of a few Fabias and a little bit of Yeti coming through, we’ll do 300-400 units this month.

“If we maintain those volumes per month, roll that out over a 12 month period into 2012, we’re looking at another spurt of growth through next year.” This year has seen an additional 12 Skoda dealers added to the national network, in "key" metropolitan and regional areas, with the total now standing at 32.

Skoda Yeti pricing:
77TSI&nbsp $26,290
77TSI (DSG) $28,590
103TDI&nbsp $35,690
103TDI (DSG) $37,990

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