Skoda Yeti: v Grand Vitara

Soft-roader showdown

While the major competition for the Yeti comes in the shape of rival crossovers like the Nissan Qashaqai and Peugeot 3008, with four-wheel drive and soft-roader looks mean it is also up against the likes of the Suzuki Grand Vitara.

We've had a Grand Vitara on test for more than six months and I've had the chance to drive it a couple of times so thought it would be ideal to see how well the two cars matched up against each other.

First off is the cost. Our Suzuki is the 1.9 DDiS SZ5. Being top spec you get plenty of kit for your £21,020. Our Yeti will set you back more than £1,000 more, although without the extras it's only around £800 at £21,825. On the value-for-money front the Grand Vitara is the better choice.

The Grand Vitara has the looks of an off-roader while the Yeti is more subtle about its terrain-tackling looks. When it comes to size there isn't much difference between the two cars. The Grand Vitara may be longer at 4.4 metres against the Yeti's 4.2 metres, but the Yeti is wider while the height is around the same for both.

More importantly is how the cars perform.

Despite being a so-called 'soft-roader' the Grand Vitara is built on an old ladder chassis. This means it has good ground clearance and also stops passengers bouncing about. This makes it pretty handy when it comes to driving off-road as we recently found out. The problem is driving on road, the Grand Vitara is noisy, sluggish - it really does need a sixth gear - and doesn't cope well in tight bends with plenty of roll.

The Yeti on the other hand is more than capable on the road and even puts some hatchbacks to shame. The 2.0TDI engine is punchy and refined.

There is a little bit of body roll but nothing too off-putting and the handling is weighty and engaging even through tight corners. Its off-road ability hasn't been tested yet but I'm confident that it will perform pretty well thanks to the off-road button that features uphill start assist and downhill start assist. Hopefully I'll get to test these out in some tough terrain soon.

Current mileage: 5825

Average mpg: 44.1