Skoda Yeti: car review

Posted on May 28th, 2014 by James Luckhurst

The Yeti is fun to drive, practical and good value for money.

Skoda Yeti:  car review

nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image

What is it?
The Skoda Yeti crossover has been updated and the range split in two: the regular Yeti looks like a conventional hatchback, whereas the Yeti Outdoor is more a mini SUV.

How safe is it?
Euro NCAP gave the old version a five-star rating, and there are new technologies available on the facelifted Yeti which should make it safer still.

Who should buy one?
Anyone looking for a fun to drive and reasonably practical crossover. The revised Yeti is good enough to rival completely new designs like the latest Nissan Qashqai.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE

Skoda Yeti:  car review
The Yeti has always been one of the most enjoyable crossovers to drive, and that’s still true of the new car. It’s also surprisingly capable off road if you choose the right model.
This is where things become a bit confusing. The regular Yeti is now two-wheel-drive only. The Yeti Outdoor looks like a 4×4, but not every model sends power to all four wheels. The Outdoor 105PS 1.2 TSI petrol and 105PS 1.6 TDI are only sold in two-wheel-drive form, while buyers who opt for the 110PS 2.0 TDI have a choice. Go for either the 140PS or 170PS 2.0 TDI engine and you get four-wheel-drive as standard.
Good Motoring took the 140PS Yeti on an off-road course of muddy tracks and steep slopes. In very slippery conditions the car needed second attempts to climb some gradients, but we were impressed considering just how boggy the tracks were.
Few owners will treat their Yeti Outdoor to regular mud baths, but it did prove how well the Outdoor would cope towing a caravan over a wet field, for example.
Back on Tarmac, we drove the 105PS 1.6 TDI Greenline (the most fuel-efficient model), the 110PS 2.0 TDI and the 1.2 TSI. The 1.6-litre diesel feels a little flat below 1500rpm, but then wakes up and accelerates strongly. The 2.0 TDI is only slightly more powerful, but because it lacks the extra fuel-saving measures fitted to the Greenline it’s actually slightly cheaper to buy.
The 105PS 1.2 TSI petrol may not have the mid-range punch of the diesels, but it’s quieter and far from sluggish. If you’re thinking of buying one of the more powerful and expensive models do yourself a favour and take one of these for a spin first. You could surprise yourself and discover this engine has all the performance you need.
Every car we drove handled well and steered accurately, although the Yeti’s suspension is on the firm side.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Skoda Yeti:  car review
For such a short car (just 4.22m) the Yeti packs in a lot of space. The driver and front seat passenger have plenty of head and legroom and the facelifted car is noticeably better finished than before. There’s enough room in the back for adults to get reasonably comfortable, while children should find there’s more than enough room and will enjoy a good view out thanks to the deep windows.
There’s 416 litres of boot space with the rear seats upright. The three rear seats move back and forth on runners to trade some legroom for a bigger boot, or can tilt forwards to sit against the front seats or be removed completely. This gives a maximum capacity of 1760 litres.
Most modern crossovers have seats which fold into the floor to give maximum luggage space, wheras with the Skoda’s removable seats you have the hassle of finding somewhere to put them when taken out of the car.

SAFETY
Skoda Yeti:  car review
As well as a five-star rating for overall safety from Euro NCAP for the pre-facelift model, owners have the reassurance of seven airbags as standard across the range. Stability control, traction control and front and rear fog lights are also fitted. A hill-hold control to prevent rolling backwards is optional on the two more basic levels of specification, and standard on more expensive models. A driver fatigue sensor is an inexpensive extra (£40).

EQUIPMENT
Skoda Yeti:  car review
The entry-level S trim comes with air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a four-speaker stereo. SE models gain larger alloys, dual-zone air conditioning, rear parking sensors and four additional speakers. Elegance spec adds bi-xenon headlamps, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers and leather upholstery. Top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement cars have a panoramic sunroof, a heated front windscreen, satellite navigation and a system to steer the car into parking spaces automatically.

COSTS
Skoda Yeti:  car review
With prices starting from £16,605, the Yeti compares favourably on price with rivals like the new Nissan Qashqai (which costs upwards of £17,595).
It should be affordable to run, too. According to the official figures, the 1.2 TSI can achieve 46.3mpg on the combined cycle. The most 1.6 TDI Greenline returns 61.4mpg. Resale values are very healthy, and the Yeti has performed very well in owner-satisfaction and reliability surveys.

WE SAY
The Yeti is fun to drive, practical and good value for money.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £16,605
Performance: 0-60mph in 14.5 seconds
Economy: 46.3mpg combined
Insurance: Group 13
Tax: Band F (£145)

Figures for the 1.2 TSI S