Skoda Yeti (09 on) - Review

Review by Dan Harrison on
Last Updated: 25 Feb 2014
5
Part family hatch and part SUV, the Skoda Yeti is an unusual model. It's a similar idea to the Nissan Qashqai and combines the user-friendliness and affordability of a hatchback along with the practicality of a four-wheel drive.

4 out of 5

Performance

There is a broad range of engines to choose from and a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. As part of the facelift at the end of 2013 the engine range was expanded to seven options: four diesel and three petrol.

Petrol engines

There's a good choice of engines in the Yeti starting with the 1.2 TSI with 105bhp. It may be small, but thanks to the fact it uses a turbocharger it's surprisingly nippy and has decent low down pulling power, plus it's available with an optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which uses two clutches to deliver incredibly quick and smooth gear shifts.

A larger 1.4 TSI Green Tec variant is available, with a manual gearbox only. The ‘green’ bit refers to the fitment of a stop/start and brake energy recovery system, as well as low rolling resistance tyres.

Top petrol options is the 1.8 TSI which boasts 160bhp. It's available as a 4x4 only and manages the 0-62mph sprint in 8.4 seconds while returning a respectable 35mpg. It's also great to drive with an impressive turn of pace and strong in-gear acceleration.

Diesel engines

The main diesel choice is a 2.0 TDI available with either 110bhp, 140bhp or 170bhp - the latter only in Elegance trim. It's a common rail engine and as a result is much quieter and more refined than older Skoda TDI engines, but just as strong and punchy.

Economy is also a strong point and the 140bhp version returns 46mpg while managing 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds. The 2.0 TDI models come with four-wheel drive as standard, except for the 110bhp which is also available as a front-wheel drive.

There’s a Green Tech variant of the 2.0 TDI with a manual gearbox and the same energy saving technology detailed in the petrol section above.

A smaller 1.6 TDI Green Tech engine is also available, equipped with the DSG auto ’box.

Economical Greenline II versions get a 1.6-litre diesel with 104bhp, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds. They are front-wheel drive only but are claimed to be capable of averaging 61.4mpg. Performance is adequate, and the engine surprisingly refined and smooth, but it does not like to be laboured at lower speeds.

Parkers recommends

The Skoda Yeti Greenline II makes sense for company car drivers thanks to its economy and 119g/km emissions, but for the optimum balance in Skoda Yeti performance and efficiency we’ll take the punchy 140bhp 2.0-litre diesel for its greater all-round driving manners.

4 out of 5

Handling

The Skoda Yeti is designed for family comfort more than keen driving. It's composed enough in corners considering its height, and rides surprisingly well. Even with four adults on board it soaks up bumps and potholes with ease, making a great long distance car.

The steering is nicely weighted too and along with the precise gearchange adds to the reassuring feel of the Yeti. The more powerful models come with four-wheel drive which gives extra traction on slippery or loose surfaces, such as gravel tracks.

Yet even on more demanding terrain, it is very impressive. The Yeti uses the same 4x4 system as the Octavia Scout which can divert up to 90% power to the rear wheels if it senses a loss of grip.

There's also a special off-road mode which includes a hill descent control system to maintain a constant speed down sleep slopes - useful features for those who only occasionally off-road.

Greenline models get slightly lower suspension, which can make the Yeti a little jittery over rough surfaces, but overall it remains comfortable and easy to drive.