Any good off-road?

* Works on- or off-road * Superbly refined and practical * On sale in the autumn, from 14,000...

Any good off-road?

Any good off-road?
While most small pseudo-SUVs only play at being off-roaders, the four-wheel-drive Yeti is or at least can be turned into the real deal.

All have the latest Haldex clutch system also fitted to four-wheel-drive Octavias and Superbs. This almost anticipates any wheel slippage and directs the engine torque to those that still have drive. Normally, 95% of the torque goes to the front, but up to 85% can be sent to just one wheel if conditions demand it.

That in itself would give the Yeti only limited capability away from Tarmac, but there's the same 180mm of ground clearance you get in the Octavia Scout, and another trick in the form of the 'off-road function'.

At the touch of a button, throttle sensitivity is decreased, the workings of the anti-lock brakes, stability control and electronic differential are adjusted and a drive-off assistant reduces engine revs when pulling away all to prevent wheelspin. Downhill speeds are also restricted.

For setting off uphill, there's a two-second delay before the car starts to roll backwards after you release the brake, to give you time to transfer your right foot to the accelerator.
The result is that the Yeti can do far more than its tame looks suggest, and still with a high degree of ride comfort. It won't crawl over boulders, but it's certainly up for a bit of adventure. Unofficially, Skoda says it can cross streams up to 50cm deep.

The navigation system even stores details of off-road routes you've driven to help you find your way back.