Skoda Yeti Crossover full 9 point review
Front-wheel-drive Yetis are offered with a choice of three turbocharged engines. The 1.2-litre petrol revs smoothly and is all that most buyers will need. Many diesel buyers will choose the 103bhp 1.6 TDI but there's also a 108bhp 2.0 TDI. Four-wheel-drive Yetis get 108bhp, 138bhp and 168bhp versions of the 2.0 TDI engine, or a 158bhp 1.8 petrol. A dual-clutch automatic gearbox is optional on the 1.2 petrol and high-powered 2.0 diesels.
Ride & Handling
The range-topping four-wheel drive Yeti is surprisingly good off-road, because it has all sorts of clever gizmos to help you along in the slippery stuff. Like every model, it offers grippy handling and sharp steering, too, so it’s a hoot to drive on winding roads. Unfortunately, the ride is unsettled at all speeds – unless the road is smoother than a cue ball.
The Yeti lets in quite a bit of wind- and road noise at motorway speeds, while the 2.0-litre diesel engines also disappoint because they’re boomy and cause vibrations in the cabin. The petrol engines are smoother, and the Yeti also has a slick gearshift and well-weighted pedals.
Buying & Owning
Two-wheel drive Yetis are attractively priced and hold their value well, but the four-wheel drive models are fairly pricey. Fuel economy is good for most models; our pick of the range, the 1.2 TSI, averages 44.1mpg, while the 1.6 TDI Greenline II diesel manages a whopping 61.4mpg. Carbon dioxide emissions – and therefore tax bandings – are also impressive on two-wheel drive models, with the Greenline model pumping out just 119g/km.
Quality & Reliability
Skoda consistently features among the front-runners in the annual JD Power customer satisfaction survey, and whatcar.com readers voted the company their favourite manufacturer in our 2010 Reader Awards. So, owning a Yeti should be a pretty painless experience. Interior quality is also impressive: everything feels solidly constructed, while the upper dashboard plastics are dense and squishy.
Safety & Security
All Yetis come with stability control, active anti-whiplash head restraints and front, side and curtain airbags. Models from S trim upwards get a driver’s knee ’bag, too. An alarm is standard across the range, but you need to go for S trim or above to get locking wheel nuts.
Behind The Wheel
The Yeti has big windows on every side, so you get a good view in all directions – although the driving position isn’t as high as it is in some crossovers. There’s lots of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel to help you get comfortable, while all the dashboard controls are sensibly laid out and clearly marked.
Space & Practicality
The Yeti's tall, wide body means there's acres of head- and shoulder-room in the cabin. Rear legroom is good, too, and can be increased by sliding the outer rear seats backwards. You also get a big boot, and the rear seats can be folded down, tumbled forward or removed altogether for carrying bigger loads. This requires big biceps, though.
Even base S trim gets air-con, Bluetooth, four electric windows, alloy wheels and a multifunction steering wheel. SE adds 17-inch alloys, climate control, a six-disc CD changer and rear parking sensors. It's a shame that iPod integration costs an extra £175 on both, though. Elegance does include iPod connection and also gets leather upholstery, heated front seats and auto lights and wipers, while Laurin and Klement trim adds sat-nav and a panoramic glass roof.