SKODA YETI: STILL PRO­VID­ING VALUE IN THE SUV CLASS

The Yeti was Skoda’s first SUV. De­spite its sturdy looks, it has won rave re­views and a le­gion of fans for its re­li­a­bil­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity.

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - News - BY PAUL CON­NOLLY

WHAT’S NEW

No sub­stan­tive changes in the past cou­ple of years apart from some tin­ker­ing and a clutch of spe­cial edi­tions.

Beauty is in the eye of the be­holder, of course, and the Yeti tends to di­vide peo­ple with its rather boxy looks. But don’t let looks fool you: the Skoda Yeti is se­ri­ously good car.

Own­ers love it. Look at cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings and the Yeti is al­ways at or near the top.

In­spect re­li­a­bil­ity sur­veys and the Yeti tops those too (as does Skoda gen­er­ally).

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The last sig­nif­i­cant Yeti up­grade, for the 2016 sales year, pro­duced a car that was even bet­ter than its pre­de­ces­sor: smarter, more ef­fi­cient and nicer to drive.

There’s also a de­cent off-road ver­sion that, whilst no Range Rover, will al­low you to in­dulge in a spot of mud-plug­ging.

Skoda im­proved the Yeti back then be­cause the cross­over/small SUV mar­ket­place had be­come a lot more com­pet­i­tive than it was when the model launched in 2009. Ri­vals in­cluded the likes of the Nis­san Qashqai.

The mar­ket has changed further since then, and Skoda is in­tro­duc­ing the Karoq as the Yeti’s suc­ces­sor, as well other SUVS like the big­ger Ko­diaq.

UN­DER THE BONNET

The 2016 mod­els’ re­vi­sions kicked off un­der the bonnet with a range of petrol and diesel en­gines. The en­try-level petrol is a 1.2-litre PSI unit that is only avail­able in two wheel drive.

More in­ter­est­ing are the diesels in­clud­ing a 2.0-litre TDI with ei­ther 110 or 150PS teamed with a choice of front and all-wheel drive op­tions.

The Yeti is fuel-ef­fi­cient – the of­fi­cial fig­ures claim al­most 63mpg for the most ef­fi­cient, two wheel drive diesel model. (The 110PS petrol ver­sion is said to de­liver 51mpg.)

RIDE AND HAN­DLING

When it comes to trans­mis­sion, there is a good se­lec­tion of man­ual and au­to­matic dual clutch trans­mis­sions.

Ride qual­ity is very good, steer­ing more than ad­e­quate and you get hill de­scent as­sist and dif­fer­en­tial lock on cer­tain mod­els to help with tricky con­di­tions. The 180mm ground clear­ance adds to the ter­rain abil­i­ties of this car.

It’s not ex­actly a to­tal all-rounder, but if you buy the right vari­ant you should find you can cope with most con­di­tions that North­ern Ire­land’s b-roads, laneways and weather can throw at you.

LOOKS AND CABIN

The up­grade im­proved the styling with the ad­di­tion of bet­ter bumpers and var­i­ous other rather cos­metic ad­di­tions. The off-road­ing model, the Yeti Out­door, has a more mus­cu­lar ap­pear­ance.

In­side the cabin, things have been spruced up, vis­i­bil­ity is very good, head­room su­perb and the build qual­ity is ex­cel­lent.

The boot is a de­cent if not out­stand­ing 405-litres but of course the seats are re­mov­able, open­ing up 1,760-litres of load space.

There’s a bunch of im­pres­sive equip­ment avail­able in­clud­ing a rear-view cam­era, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, ABS, Isofix child seats and up to nine airbags.

TRIM LEV­ELS

Model choice is rea­son­ably straight­for­ward: the nor­mal Yeti and the Out­door mod­els. Both model lines come in fa­mil­iar Skoda trims of S, SE, SE L and Lau­rin & Kle­ment (don’t ask – it was some sort of old and ob­scure Czech car­maker).

SUM­MARY

Time moves on and while the Yeti may no longer be at the pin­na­cle of Skoda’s range, it’s still a strong con­tender as a pur­chase op­tion.

Re­li­a­bil­ity, prac­ti­cal­ity, drive­abil­ity and some ex­cel­lent pric­ing of­fers mean it still makes sense, par­tic­u­larly for fam­ily driv­ers. Used val­ues re­main high as well, which is an­other bonus.

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