The automotive market is rife with a multitude of options to suit every buyer. One of the biggest segments here in India is now the SUV segment. Constantly bombarded by a stream of launches, the prospective SUV owner is spoilt for choice. Out of the dizzying number of models currently on sale, the Mahindra XUV5OO has been a chart topper since its launch. Although the Mahindra SUV has been left untouched since its launch, the incredible range of options across all three variants and well executed design has allowed the XUV5OO to remain on top.
Czech car maker Skoda on the other hand is a rather obscure marque in the world of off-roaders. Although the Skoda Yeti has been hailed by many as one of the best SUVs in International markets, the car’s lackluster design and high price tag discouraged buyers from choosing the Czech SUV. Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm shown by the Indian audience, Skoda has launched a face-lifted Yeti for the year 2014. Let’s see how this new model stacks up against the crowd favorite.
The 2014 Skoda Yeti Face-lift is more of an evolution of the car’s previous generation than a total revamp. The car still maintains its boxy structure but drops the dual headlight design for a more refined classic Skoda look. The 2014 model also comes with Skoda’s new butterfly grille as well as the redesigned logo. However, while the new Yeti is a massive improvement from the previous generation, the SUV still features uninspiring bodywork.
Despite Mahindra’s choice of retaining the XUV5OO virtually unchanged since it’s launch, the SUV’s design still manages to grab eyeballs. The front end’s striking headlights coupled with the stylish mesh inserts endow the XUV5OO with a very strong road presence. The SUV’s flared wheel arches as well as imposing build add to the visual mass of the XUV5OO. Unlike the almost ordinary facets the Yeti displays, the XUV5OO uses more of a shock and awe approach. A tactic that works quite well for the Indian audience.
Mahindra’s SUV is also a clear example of how an indigenous car maker’s work can truly stand toe to toe with renowned International marques.
Round 1 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO
The Yeti’s interiors follows similar design methodologies as most cars in Skoda’s range. Simple, elegant and uncluttered, the SUV’s cabin features the standard array of tech and safety equipment. The international model features a faux wood panel running across the all black dash adding a bit of luxury appeal. Skoda’s SUV comes with a 2 DIN music system with the usual iPod, Bluetooth, AUX connectivity. True to German standard, the Yeti’s interiors are well built and makes use of high grade plastics and leather-work. Steering mounted controls allows the driver to control the audio system as well as receive calls.
The neatly organized interiors maybe one of the German car maker’s strong suites, however, the car does seem to lack a bit of the Skoda panache we’ve come to know and love.
The XUV5OO is truly one of Mahindra’s greatest achievements in the design segment. The blend of curves and cuts endow the SUV with one of the most interesting cabins till date. Unlike the woodwork in the Yeti, Mahindra’s implementation of the same is far more impressive. In the center we are greeted with a fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system complete with rear parking sensors. The generous use of quality plastics and leather give the XUV5OO a luxurious interior lacking in most Indian SUVs.
Round 2 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO
Under The Bonnet:
The Yeti makes use of a 2.0 L TDI CR engine that churns out 138 HP @ 4200 RPM and a max torque of 320 Nm @ 1750 RPM. Power is either sent to the front wheels or all four wheels via a 5 speed manual gearbox.
Powering the Mahindra XUV5OO is a 2.o L mHAWK engine that features a variable geometry turbo. The Mahindra SUV produces 140 HP @ 3750 RPM and a max torque figure of 330 Nm @1600 RPM.
Although the power difference is minimal, the XUV5OO’s overall bulk might give the Yeti an edge with its greater power to weight ratio.
Round 3 Winner: Draw
Despite the obvious reasons why one would choose the Mahindra XUV5OO, the Skoda Yeti has a better track record as a versatile everyday car as well as a credible off roader. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Mahindra’s SUV. While the 4×4 variant can perform well off the beaten track, Mahindra still has some kinks to work out with its two wheel drive variant as well as the rather disconnected steering system.