Yeti 1.8 TSI SE Plus 4x4
is not the only fuel colour
Skoda has fitted
a smooth petrol powerplant that
slurp the unleaded
and not only wont
it break the bank
to buy (£15,135 up to £22,835), but
if you dont
drive that many miles
a year, unleaded could well turn
to be your flexible friends
LOOKS-WISE THE YETI is a boldly blended mix of high-riding estate car and rugged
SUV with any hint of brutish 4x4 neatly airbrushed out: if it was an 007 it
would be a Sean Connery because of its affable competence as opposed to Daniel
While it enjoys the capable ground clearance of an off-roader, the main impression
inside the Yeti's cabin is not that you're sitting that much higher (which you
are; and rear passengers enjoy platform seating) than many other folk, but of
the generously roomy interior.
really is masses of personal space
underpinned by versatility and defined by Skoda's Varioflex seating system.
In the back you'll find three individual sliding seats that easily lift out
anytime you need to max out your Yeti's loadbay.
The middle seat also
has a trick up its sleeve:
it folds to become a
table, either for business
or picnicking pleasure...
The middle seat also has a trick up its sleeve: it folds to become a table,
either for business or picnicking pleasure. Folding 'pop-up' trays on the backs
of both front seat will also prove handy for eating 'in' when exploring the
From a driver's point of view the Yeti's cabin is great; the high driving position
provides A1 visibility all round and the front seats are both comfy and supportive
with lumbar and height adjustment
and the fabric upholstery is warm in winter and doesn't burn your back when
you return after parking in the summer. Height adjustable front seat belts are
another good point for both safety and comfort.
Fit and finish are fine, as too is the four-spoke leather-rimmed wheel with
remote controls on the spokes for the audio, phone and driver's info. Dials
are classic white-on-black
and classically clear. Between them you can read various driver information
such as range, external temperature, navigation advice or, off-road, view a
compass. The touchscreen display shows you where you are in 3D (and, usefully,
where the Yeti's hard edges are when reversing).
Many cars now have a cooled glovebox or a central storage bin under the centre
Skoda gives you both! Perfect for preventing summertime family trips become
'simmertimes'. Oh, yes, the armrest is also height adjustable and the dual-zone
A/C delivers really cold air when you need it
With the three individual folding and sliding rear seats in position (all, incidentally,
with adjustable backrests and more that capable of keeping an adult comfortable
for even long journeys), the boot is 416-litres big; with the 40;20:40 rear
seats folded and tumbled forward, this increases to 1,580 litres.
The Varioflex seating provides numerous combinations: for instance, with the
rear middle seat removed the two rear seats can be moved inwards towards the
centre for a more indulgent 'two-seater' arrangement.
tailgate is generously sized and opens high and with the rear seats folded away
there's ample room for buggies and just about everything else a family on the
Should you need to
maximise the loadbays
length you can remove
the three individual rear
seats (theyre easily
this also expands the
loadbay to an
amazing 1,760 litres...
And, should you need to maximise the loadbay's length, you can remove the three
rear seats (they're easily manageable),
also expands the loadbay to a cargo-swallowing 1,760 litres. For the record,
the cabin has numerous storage spaces
more than enough, in fact, to keep the average family shipshape.
Walk around to the tail and more versatility awaits you: under the boot floor
is a large easy-clean tray; and slung beneath the rigid rear parcel shelf-cum-luggage
cover is a multi-use elasticated net pouch
you'll be surprised at what you can carry in this.
And where other brands might give you bag carriers, Skoda goes one better
it mounts repositionable heavy-duty bag hooks on rails (two per side) so they
can be slid and set in the most useful positions. Handy, too, is the removable
'corral' for bottles, ostrich eggs and other fragile items that quickly unclips
and folds flat for easy storage; a stretchy luggage net is equally useful. There's
no spare wheel although there is, of course, a puncture repair and inflation
The real bonus is that all this versatility comes in a five-door 'box' that's
an inch shorter than a three-door Golf hatchback. A compactness that makes the
Yeti very easy to place and to park.
Light is a major pull for most family buyers and with its deep windows, generous
glass areas and airy spaces around the seats, the Yeti is a very nice place
specify the panoramic glass roof (£1,065) and you really do get the full 'light
fantastic' treatment (the large front section opens and there's a full-length
powered sunblind all with one-shot operation). And there could be health benefits
too: a friend who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder spends a lot of time
in her glass-roofed car
and swears she feels better for it!
Along with four-wheel drive the 1.8 TSI SE Plus comes much of the kit you'd
expect to find in an executive car: touchscreen SatNav, parking sensors, cruise
control, dual-zone AirCon, power windows (all four one-shot auto up/down) and
electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors, automatic drive-away central
locking, decent sound system with 6xCD autochanger, trip computer, leather-wrapped
multifunction wheel, privacy glass, roof rails, and a set of smart 17-inch alloys
wearing 225/50 boots.
is also well-specced with an electronic control programme (ESP), a full complement
of front, side and curtain airbags plus a driver's knee bag, halogen headlights,
and integrated headlight washers.
The real bonus is that
all this versatility comes
in a five-door box
thats roughly one inch
shorter than a three-door
Winter is the time of the year that most motorists' thoughts turn to snow and
and how best to beat them. Four-wheel drive is the only practical answer. The
Yeti offers the choice of both two- and four-wheel drive but, given the increasingly
wild and unpredictable weather we're getting more and more often, it seems short-sighted
not to cover your bets and go with the all-wheel drive.
Besides, it's actually a year-round blessing because wet 'n' windy can be just
as tricky as the seasonal white 'n' ice. During our week with the 4x4 Yeti it
more than proved its worth, wading through flooded back roads with ease, even
where the water reached almost to the tops of the wheels and other drivers were
forced to turn back.
Go for the 4x4 version and Skoda gives you an extra button to play with
hit the 'off-road' button on the dash and you'll get some extra hi-tech help
whenever you decide to venture away from the tarmac and put some adventure into
With 'off-road' mode engaged the ABS braking and Electronic Stability Programme
control systems are switched to a special off-road setting that makes use of
features such as Uphill Start Assist (for pulling away on wet, slippery or snowy
road surfaces) and Downhill Assist, which maintains a steady speed during descents
down slippery, wet or snowy road surfaces.
There's a school of thought that says that when you buy a 'sensible' family
car then you've already given up on getting any enjoyment from your driving.
Clearly the people who propagate this humbug have never sat behind the wheel
of a Yeti
it's reassuringly predictable, well balanced and has decent levels of grip.
And if you want to plant that right foot, it's more than up for some entertaining
driving, holding its line though bends and corners and backed up by a set of
powerful brakes to keep it all in check. All reminding you that there's a lot
of VW Golf DNA under the Skoda skin!
it will never make you regret being a 'family guy' every time you turn the key
in the ignition. Equally good, when you're wearing your 'responsible' hat, it
makes a fine school-runner.
A Yeti will never make
you regret being a family
guy every time you turn
the key in the ignition.
And when youre wearing
your responsible hat,
it makes a fine
back to where we came in: fuel consumption. Officially this 149bhp
four-cylinder 1.8-litre should do 35.3 miles on a gallon of unleaded.
A week's hard driving on all roads
from single track country lanes (the kind with grass growing down the centre),
through choked-up town traffic and fast-moving motorways
saw our four-wheel drive Yeti come very close to that with a not-bad-at-all
34.2mpg. We'd expect most drivers to beat us on that!
The turboed, direct injection engine is refined; at tickover you might want
to double-check the rev-counter just to confirm it's running. It will be. And
gutsy, too: supporting the 149bhp
is 184lb ft of torque on tap just where you need it
all the way from 1,500 to 4,500rpm. The top speed is 125mph and zero to 62mph
acceleration takes a brisk 8.4 seconds. An ample sufficiency, as they say
and more than enough for 'no worries' overtaking.
Making best use of the six gears is hassle-free thanks to the slickly positive
shift action even though it's flexible enough to cope left in a higher gear
even top gear will provide effective overtaking pick-up on the motorway.
Adding further to the Yeti's family-friendly appeal is the settled, easygoing
ride; it stays smooth over all man-made road surfaces. It also delivers a well-judged
balance between handling and ride comfort that not just you but all your passengers
Is this Yeti for you? Well, if you hanker for the smoothness of petrol power
and have a family in tow, a versatile and spacious Yeti will indeed streamline
your life; if you're not encumbered with your own personal tribe but enjoy an
active lifestyle, a Yeti could quickly become your best buddy. And with winter
on the way, now would be a very good time to try one on for size.
Skoda Yeti 1.8 TSI SE Plus 4x4 | £20,855
Maximum speed: 125mph | 0-62mph: 8.4 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 34.2mpg
Power: 149bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2 189g/km