Before Skoda introduced the Karoq, which is among the brand’s best-sellers, the Czech company had the Yeti. It was its first compact crossover (by European standards) with a sort of off-road-inspired styling and proven Volkswagen Group tech under the skin. It wasn’t as popular as the Karoq but it was definitely a breath of fresh air in the segment, which was starting to boom at the time. The Yeti was discontinued in 2017 but it is now a popular choice among second-hand customers on the Old continent.
That rugged exterior design of the Yeti wasn’t complemented by amazing off-road skills but the crossover was doing decently out of the paved road for what it was. With just a few modifications, it was capable of even more and a new drag race video shows what is its potential for proper off-roading. There’s no better way of showcasing that potential than a direct off-road drag battle with one of the undisputed off-road kings – the Mercedes-AMG G63.
This may seem like a rather weird lineup, especially considering the prices of the two cars. The G63 starts at around $180,000 in the United States and that’s the price for the base model before options. This used and modified Yeti, in turn, costs somewhere around $2,500 but, obviously, you can’t find one for sale in North America. Under the hood, the differences are even bigger.
The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the G63 delivers 585 horsepower and 627 pound-feet (850 Newton-meters) of torque, reaching all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic gearbox, 3 lockable differentials, and other gimmicks to make the SUV more capable. Against it, the Yeti has only a 2.0-liter diesel engine with 180 hp with a Haldex all-wheel-drive system. That’s not the most important thing about the Yeti though, as it has been lifted significantly from its stock form and has special tires and underbody protection.
So, the G63 has obvious advantages in terms of power and torque, but it’s also significantly heavier and rides on road tires. How do all of these factors mix up in off-road challenges? Let’s find out.