The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Skoda Yeti offers brilliant build quality and impressive practicality in a low-cost, cheap to run package.
Reasons to buy:
- Airy, spacious cabin
- Impressive practicality
- Comfortable ride
How good does it look?
The Skoda Yeti looks like a bulked-up Roomster with its chunky bodywork, sculpted bonnet and 17-inch alloys. Skoda has marked out the Nissan Qashqai as its main rival and the two couldn’t look any more different. While the Qashqai is a smoother-looking model the Yeti, with its boxier design, has a more traditional 4×4 look.
What's the interior like?
The moment you open one of the solid-feeling doors to get inside the Yeti you’ll be amazed at the build quality of this Czech motor – it’s amazing. While the interior is fairly plain and classy, it has a feel which suggests you’re in a car two or three times more expensive. Our model had the panoramic sunroof which gives the car an airy, spacious cabin.
How practical is it?
This is where the Yeti needs to excel for it to be a success and it doesn’t disappoint. Skoda fits the Yeti with its ‘Varioflex’ system which has more than 20 different seating combinations. All seats can be individually folded down while the middle seat can be removed completely. The boot’s 322-litre capacity is adequate but roll up the seats and this extends to a minivan-like 1,485-litres.
What's it like to drive?
The Yeti is billed as having the benefits of a 4×4 but the practicality of a hatchback. Due to the car’s height it doesn’t have a hatchback’s planted stance, meaning plenty of bodyroll. On a plus side, the ride is excellent, soaking up poor road surfaces. The diesel and 1.8-litre petrol models are also available with four-wheel drive and this proves the Yeti to be a useful off-roader.The six-speed gearbox is slick and refined with plenty of feedback from the steering wheel.
How powerful is it?
The Yeti is available with a choice of three 2-litre diesel engines developing 110bhp, 140bhp or 170bhp. In 110bhp front-wheel drive guise, the Yeti will accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds with a top speed of 110mph. The 140bhp and 170bhp 4×4 models accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and 8.4 seconds and have top speeds of 118mph and 125mph respectively. Skoda also offers the 4×4 Yeti with a 1.8-litre petrol engine developing 160bhp, making it capable of 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and 124mph. The smaller 1.2 and 1.4-litre turbocharged engines also punch above their weight and do not feel like second rate choices.
How much will it cost me?
The diesels are the models to choose if you’re looking to keeps running costs to a minimum. The front-wheel drive 110bhp averages 52.3mpg and the 4×4 46.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 140g/km and 159g/km respectively. Despite having more power than the 110bhp 4×4, the 140bhp and 170bhp models have very similar green credentials, averaging 47.1mpg and 46.3mpg with carbon emissions of 157g/km and 159g/km respectively. However, we struggled to get near the 47.1mpg mark, averaging 39.9mpg over a 340-mile motorway and A-road route. If that’s not enough, the Yeti is also available in Skoda’s eco-biased Greenline II spec. Fitted with a 1.6-litre diesel engine, it manages an impressive 61.4mpg combined with low CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
How reliable is it?
Skoda is well known for its reliability and the engines and transmissions are tried and tested across the VW group. As already mentioned, the Yeti has a fantastic build quality so you’re unlikely to get too many issues with bits falling off.
How safe is it?
In the EuroNCAP crash test rating, the Yeti was awarded the full five stars – achieving an amazing 92 per cent for adult occupancy. This is thanks to its crumple zones which absorb energy in a collision while the doors are stiffened in the event of a side impact. Base models get six airbags with an additional driver’s knee airbag on S, SE and Elegance models.
How much equipment do I get?
The Yeti comes in four trim levels: E, S, SE and Elegance. Entry level E models get features including air-conditioning, trip computer and front electric windows. Upgrade to S and you’ll benefit from 16-inch alloys, and electronic stability programme while SE boasts 17-inch alloys, parking sensors, dual-zone air-con and cruise control. Elegance models get Bluetooth, xenon headlights and heated seats. Elegance 4×4 models also get hill hold control and an ‘off-road button’. This includes downhill assist which allows the Yeti to maintain a stable speed during a descent of slippery, wet or snowy surfaces moving forward or in reverse.
The Yeti – alongside the Superb – is one of Skoda’s finest achievements. It’s practical and safe, has an amazing build quality and is an environmentally-conscious alternative to more traditional 4×4s. With its name and design, it also has a quirky persona. It’s a premium family car at heart, but if you only need it for minor off-roading, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t also consider the Yeti over more expensive 4×4s.