Black top and back track
It’s not a pretty face but this SUV can safely go off the bitumen
It all started with a dream to head off the beaten track and explore this great and vast land of ours but the tough-as-nails wagon we once used for chasing our dreams has morphed into a much softer town-based family wagon.
Few would survive the Outback — they're simply not built for bush bashing. One that just might be up to the task is the Skoda Yeti.
The Yeti isnt a full-on fourwheel drive but its AWD version has a very capable drive system that shifts the torque around to the wheel that needs it the most and that makes it a useful off-roader able to go where most town folks want to go.
Skoda released two variants at the initial launch, the frontwheel drive 77 TSI petrol version and the all-wheel drive 103 TDI with a turbo-diesel. A third variant, the all-wheel drive 112 TSi, was added to the range in 2012.
The Yeti was distinctive but appealing, standing out from the SUV crowd. Inside, the seating could be rearranged to suit almost any need you might have. With the flick ot two of a lever it could be transformed from a comfortable five-seater into a load carrier of impressive dimensions — or anything in between. With such flexibility it could be put to a multitude of uses and appealed to a variety of users.
Overall the cabin took its cues from VW in terms of design and materials used, which was no bad thing.
There was a choice of petrol and diesel power. A 77 kW 1.4litre four-cylinder turbo opened the bidding in the front-wheel drive version. To get a diesel it was necessary to step up to the all-wheel drive version, which then got you driving a 103 kW turbo diesel.
In 2012, for the release of the all-wheel drive 112 TSi, Skoda added a 118 kW turbocharged four-cylinder.
As well as picking petrol or diesel power ,Yeti buyers could also choose between manual and DSG auto gearboxes.
On the road the Yeti was quiet, handled well and its ride was compliant and comfortable.
The Yeti was a member of the extended VW family and used the same engines and gearboxes, and suffered the same issues.
Carsguide has received few complaints about Skodas in general and the Yeti in particular, and while that’s an encouraging sign that owners are generally happy, it’s important to keep in mind the issues that have plagued VWs in recent times.
When checking a car ask the seller for information about oil consumption, as that can be an issue for the petrol engine. It’s not uncommon for VW petrol engines to consume an excessive amount of oil right from new. When this occurs, dealers first carry out a consumption test to determine the amount of oil the car in question is using.
The other area of potential concern is the DSG gearbox, which has had issues with abrupt shifting, vibration and other maladies that led last year to a recall of some models equipped with this transmission.
Carefully assess the operation of the DSG gearbox during your test drive by putting it through many different driving scenarios but particularly low speed manoeuvres and parking.
It’s important to check for a service record, one that indicates the car has been serviced by a mechanic with Skoda or VW experience.
It has a comfortable and flexible interior, great diesels, and a competent all-wheel drive.