Skoda Yeti review - more fun than you might expect
An unlikely evo car, this Skoda crossover is both capable and surprisingly fun
The Octavia vRS might be the most obvious evo car in Skoda’s range, but you really shouldn’t dismiss the Yeti. The keys for our original launch long-termer were never left behind over the weekend and it wasn’t just taken because it was needed for a tip or Ikea run. A combination of its four-square stance, nicely judged suspension, accurate steering and just enough power make the Yeti a genuinely entertaining drive.
Not all are four-wheel drive, but you’ll probably not miss it unless you’re intent on chasing Defenders in the muck, though if you’re after the higher power diesel variants you’ll have no choice - they’re all 4x4s. It’s a clever, practical family car, that’s a good drive, making it alright by us, even if the name is borderline ridiculous.
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The Yeti is among the oldest models in Skoda’s range, and that’s reflected by the high-ish emissions figures associated with it. You can buy a Nissan Qashqai with sub-100g/km now, but the most efficient Yeti 2.0 TDI 110 emits 115g/km and trails newer rivals on outright economy, too.
But so what if it costs you a bit more to run on paper; the Yeti’s a far more engaging car than most of its family-friendly rivals, while there’s some real charm to its chunky looks too. The majority of sales will be of the smaller output models, but we'd tend to opt for the 2.0 TDI 150 with 4x4 for the best mix of performance, utility and economy.
Given our predilection for high performance cars our warmth towards the Yeti might come as a surprise. The plucky Skoda crossover underlines that practical and family-friendly doesn’t have to mean boring and unexciting. It’s a genuinely appealing drive, which might not offer fireball pace, but amuses with its assured handling and plucky character. It may not be the newest crossover out there - and that’s reflected by running costs that will be greater than more recent competitors - but we reckon they’re worth paying.
> Performance and 0-60mph time - No Yeti is particularly fast but all offer just enough performance for family life, with 1.4 TSI and 2.0 TDI units delivering the greatest go.
> Engine and gearbox - 2.0 TDI in two power outputs, and 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrols mix with manual and DSG transmissions and 4x4 on some models. Plenty of variety, and all are fit for purpose.
> Ride and handling - Something of a revelation, even several years after launch. The Yeti is simply more entertaining than most other crossovers, with good steering and impressive body control.
> MPG and running costs - Not quite on-par with class leaders, but no Yeti should prove particularly expensive to run either. You may even see 60mpg from the most frugal.
> Prices, specs and rivals - You can spend quite a sum on a Yeti, but no more so than most rivals. It's well-equipped in higher trim levels.
> Interior and tech - Nothing groundbreaking in here, but the Yeti's cabin is more than up to the rigours of family life, with adaptability, comfort and space to spare.
> Design - Not quite as characterful as it used to be since the facelift, but the Yeti is still a handsome vehicle and one of the more interesting shapes in the Skoda range.