Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


The Yeti line-up plays to Skoda’s strengths of rea­son­able fea­tures for rel­a­tively lit­tle money. Prices go from $23,490 for the front-wheeldrive Ac­tive to $28,290 for the Am­bi­tion model with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto to $33,590 for the top of the range diesel AWD Out­door. Stan­dard equip­ment for all in­cludes rear-view cam­era, in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen and cruise con­trol. Capped price ser­vic­ing for the first six years has an av­er­age an­nual cost of $495.


AWD, un­der­body cladding and a will­ing 2.0-litre turbo diesel give the top-spec Yeti cred­i­ble off-road cre­den­tials. Fuel con­sump­tion is a stated 6.7L/100km and the six-speed dual-clutch auto’s ra­tios suit the en­gine’s torque spread. There’s the typ­i­cal hes­i­ta­tion on take­off, then ef­fi­cient and early shifts up and down the cogs.


A two-box de­sign is squared away with an­gu­lar sty­ing and a nonon­sense ap­proach to max­imis­ing space. Cabin stor­age is good but the 321L cargo area is roughly 10 per cent shy of the Jeep’s. Rear head­room is good, shoul­der room less so. The Var­i­oflex rear seat­ing slides and tilts the tree pews in­di­vid­u­ally and they can be re­moved if more space is needed.


Seven airbags and a five-star rat­ing put the Yeti near the top of the small SUV pack. But the Yeti was tested in 2011 and the safety cri­te­ria have been tough­ened since. VW Group tech­nol­ogy un­der­pins the con­struc­tion, so the body should stand up to a hit.


It won’t as­cend the Hi­malayas but the Yeti is more than ca­pa­ble of scrab­bling up a slope. Ride height is the lim­it­ing fac­tor, so snow, sand or mud are the ob­vi­ous play­grounds and the Skoda will ac­quit it­self well on all sur­faces. On the bi­tu­men it is just as com­pe­tent, if not par­tic­u­larly re­ward­ing to drive. Grip is rarely an is­sue and the light steer­ing is per­fect for city du­ties. Vi­sion is good and the re­vers­ing cam­era is clear in most light con­di­tions.

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