SKODA YETI OUTDOOR
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.