Formidable Performer Made-Over.
Still Looks Great, Goes Anywhere, Does Anything.
Not The Cheap Option Any More.
For – cute, flexible, rugged, useful.
Against – prices push it up against formidable opposition.
Let’s get this confession over with right from the start. I love the Skoda Yeti, its striking but modest squared-off lines, and its size.
It seems like the perfect, practical, little, go-anywhere SUV, without the pretensions of most of its competitors. I’m so enamored of this car, that I’ve been trying to persuade my wife Kathy to replace her Honda Jazz with one. She’s declining for reasons which have bedeviled Skoda ever since it first emerged as communist Czechoslovakia’s car manufacturer, which used political prisoners to make its cars not very well. To some, the brand still reeks of the cheap and not so cheerful kind of car that doesn’t cost much and will breakdown at any time and provide miniscule residual values. Skoda has triumphantly beaten this image into oblivion for enough buyers to allow it be become very successful. But there are still many yet to be convinced.
Now of course Skoda is based in Czechistan after dumping the Slovaks, and is owned by Volkswagen of Germany, making vehicles which are VW’s in a cheaper disguise. (Looking at the price of the model I’ve selected – £24,729 – maybe that’s another myth). Skoda has face-lifted the Yeti and added an option – Outdoor, which includes all the four-wheel drive versions.
The Yeti Outdoor delivers a more rugged look. The range has four trim choices – S, SE, Elegance and Laurin & Klement. The face-lifted Yeti’s boot remains one of the biggest and most flexible in the sector, with 510 litres of space with the rear seats in position and 1,760 litres with the seats removed. Appearing for the first time on a ŠKODA is a rear view parking camera that gives drivers a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the car. You can opt for “park assist” which automatically parks in parallel and bay spaces, and can also pull out of the space. There are some thoughtful ideas to make life a bit easier, including a double-sided boot floor, detachable LED torch in the boot and a high-viz vest holder under the front seat.
The face-lifted Yeti is available with six engines, and the option of all-wheel-drive for the Yeti Outdoor. Power outputs for petrol and diesel engines range from 104 hp to 168 hp. Claims for fuel consumption range from the outrageous to just about believable.
Inside, there are lots of practical ideas too. Rear seats can be moved forwards, backwards, reclined individually, rolled up or completely removed. This means rear seat passengers can find the most comfortable seating position while maximising the load space in the boot of the car. You can have a five or six-speed manual gearbox, or a seven-speed automatic.
Prices start at £16,600. All models are fitted with manual air conditioning, curtain airbags, ESC stability control, alloy wheels and Bluetooth. Mid-specification SE models add, among other features, dual-zone air conditioning with humidity sensor and control, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and a removable LED lamp in the luggage compartment. Elegance models add even more premium features, including bi-xenon headlamps, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, cornering front fog lights, Hill hold control and Off-road button if you’ve gone for the Outdoor model. Yeti Outdoor 4×4 models only).
The range-topping Laurin & Klement model is available in Outdoor form only and adds features including LED rear lights, brown leather upholstery, satellite navigation, DAB radio, panoramic sunroof and park assist.
So my struggle to convert Kathy to Skoda-appreciation is failing. Not surprising perhaps when you consider that the price of this version puts it up against terrific motors like the Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5. But if Kia can transcend its humble origins by using fantastic value, then adding fabulous styling, maybe there’s hope for Skoda still?
(Skoda provided hotel)
|Skoda Yeti Outdoor Elegance 2.0 TDI|
|Engine:||2.0 litre, 4-cylinder diesel|
|Power:||138 hp @ 4,200|
|Torque:||320 Nm @ 1,750-2,500|
|Acceleration:||0-62 mph-100 km/h – 10.2|
|Top Speed:||116 mph-187 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined – 44.8 mpg-6.3 l/km|
|Emissions class:||Euro V|
|Boot capacity:||510 litres/1,760|
|Competition:||Mini Countryman, Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008, Kia Sportage, Hyundai ix35, Subaru XV, Mazda CX-5, Suzuki Grand Vitara, VW Tiguan.|
|For:||cute, flexible, rugged, useful|
|Against:||prices push it up against formidable opposition|