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.
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.
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).
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.