No Yeti is particularly sharp off the mark but it's the range-topping 2.0 TDI 150 that'll get you to 62mph the quickest and hit the highest top speed - with a manual transmission it'll do the former in 9.1 seconds (DSG models are a tenth behind) and top speed is 121mph (119mph for the DSG). It's neither the quietest nor most sophisticated of diesel engines but there's a decent whump of mid-range torque and a slick gearchange that makes for easy progress.
The 2-litre diesel engine is also available in a lower state of tune, and turns in slightly less enthusiastic performance figures as a result. 11.7sec to 62mph is hardly tragic for a family SUV though, and while the engine also develops less torque in this lower state of tune, its peak is still at a relatively low 1750rpm so the engine is still happy to trickle around at relatively low revs.
Subscribe to evo magazine
Splitting the two for performance is the only petrol engine available, the 1.2 TSI. It'll rev enthusiastically as you dash to 62mph in 10.7 seconds (or 11.3sec with the DSG 'box) and run on to 113mph (112mph with DSG). Due to the Yeti's weight - 1265kg with the TSI - it's not quite as sprightly as smaller cars in the Volkswagen Group also utilising this engine, and if you're planning to load up your Yeti with the family and their luggage then it may be wise sticking to one of the diesels.
The Yeti is also available in 'Outdoor' trim which is aimed slightly more towards the outward-bound set (at least in terms of styling), and these models are just a tad slower to their respective 62mph figures than the regular Yetis. This configuration does bring one more engine option however, a 1.4 TSI. By a small margin, the 4x4-only model is the quickest of the bunch, hitting 62mph in 8.7sec from rest.