Skoda Yeti

Practical SUV that is built to last

8.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 27 reviews
  • Good value
  • Large and airy interior
  • Well-built
  • Odd styling
  • Ride quality complaints
  • Cabin could be more exciting
 

£20,990 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

51 MPG

Review

The Skoda Yeti is one of the cars that made the family crossover class so popular and now, even though it has many rivals like the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and VW Tiguan, it still has all the ingredients to remain relevant – practicality, value for money and build quality.

Inside the Yeti is airy and roomy. The dashboard, although looking a couple of years behind the closest rivals, is immaculately laid out and everything is positioned with ease of use in mind. Build quality is superb and everything feels solid, as if it will endure years of family use.

Room for passengers is ample and three adults can fit on the back seats. A seven-seater Skoda SUV is to be announced soon. Boot space is plenty and a little more than the closest competitor – the Nissan Qashqai.

Driving the Yeti is surprisingly engaging for a family crossover and reviewers note that the steering is well weighted. The ride is on the firm side but that helps with containing body roll and according to reviewers the Yeti is comfortable on the motorway, too.

When it comes to engine choice it is best to stay with the diesels as they offer good fuel economy and enough power to move the Yeti around. The 2.0-litre diesel is our pick, as it offers a perfect blend of pulling power and fuel efficiency. The only available petrol, a 1.2-litre, is quick, but also thirsty and noisy.

Depending on trim levels, the Yeti can be an affordable car with standard kit including climate control and a clever box in the boot. Top-of-the-range models come with extras such as heated seats, full leather and a touchscreen infotainment system.

Check out our Skoda Yeti dimensions and colour guides to see how the small Czech SUV will suit you. If you’re looking for a larger Skoda SUV, read our 2016 Skoda Kodiaq price, specs and release date article.

The overall design of the Skoda Yeti’s cabin hasn’t changed much since the car was introduced in 2009, so the interior does look a bit dated in comparison with more recent rivals – a Nissan Qashqai or Renault Kadjar will be more up your street if you’re after an exciting dash design.

That said, the interior is well built, with good quality materials being used throughout and an overall sense of everything being screwed together to a really high standard. All the major controls are also intuitively laid out for ease of use, and there are plenty of storage cubbies dotted about as well.

Skoda Yeti passenger space

Unsurprisingly, given its boxy shape, the Skoda Yeti has plenty of head and legroom all round, with lots of space in the back for three adults to sit comfortably in.

The only big downside that comes with the Skoda Yeti’s rear seats is that there’s a big transmission tunnel eating into the floor space, so there isn’t much room for the middle passenger’s feet.

Skoda Yeti boot space

That aforementioned boxy body also helps give the Skoda Yeti generous boot space – you have 416 litres to play with ( a little less than what you get in a Nissan Qashqai) when the rear seat row is positioned as far back as it will go, and about 100 litres more when the row’s moved forwards.

In total, up to 1,760 litres worth of boot space can be found in the back of the Skoda Yeti, if you remove all three of the rear seats.

Have a look at our in-depth guide for a closer look at the Yeti’s dimensions.

Though fairly tall family crossovers aren’t bought for their handling ability, the Skoda Yeti does seem to be quite a nice car to drive. Many of the road testers reckon the steering, for instance, is well-weighted, whilst the ride, though firm, is fairly comfortable and does a good job of ironing out body roll in corners. However, buyers looking for the most engaging car in this class will be more interested in the Ford Kuga or MINI Countryman.

The Skoda Yeti excels at keeping its interior quiet: bar the wind noise that’s generated by the large wing mirrors , the Skoda Yeti is quite quiet. Couple that with the decent ride quality that seems to get better at speed, and the Skoda Yeti appears to be far more at home on the open road than it does in more built-up areas.

Skoda’s Yeti Outdoor offers a little more off-road ability than the standard car, though buyers will be pleased to know the plain old Yeti fitted with four-wheel drive can deal with rough and slippery tracks without too many issues.

Not all the Yeti’s engines are easy to recommend, but they do at least offer good fuel economy, and all can be fitted with a manual or an automatic transmission.

Only one complaint kept popping up in road tests: that the smaller engines can get quite noisy at high speeds.

Skoda Yeti diesel engines

Most Skoda Yeti buyers are expected to go with the 2.0-litre diesel engine, since it offers perhaps the best blend of power and fuel economy in the range. Though the 108hp power output doesn’t sound like much, there’s plenty of torque on offer to pull the Skoda Yeti along, the claimed 55mpg fuel consumption is pretty good for a car of this type and it seems to settle down fairly well at a cruise.

A more powerful 168hp version of this engine is available with all-wheel drive, though isn’t easy to recommend as it only comes with the flagship Monte Carlo trim.

A smaller and marginally less powerful 1.6-litre diesel is also offered on the most efficient Greenline models, and – with its claimed 61mpg and cheap £30-a-year road tax  – is comfortably the most efficient engine offered in the Skoda Yeti range. However, like the 1.2-litre petrol engine, it’s not particularly powerful, and also quite noisy.

Skoda Yeti petrol engines

Unlike the Skoda Yeti Outdoor range, only one petrol engine is available for the regular Skoda Yeti: a small 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 104hp.

Though it’s not the pokiest engine in the Skoda Yeti range, it is a decent enough, and returns reasonable fuel economy (up to 46mpg is possible, or 44mpg once the optional DSG automatic gearbox is fitted). Many of the critics also said it felt quite quick, despite the small power output, though it too is noisy when worked hard.

Whilst the 1.2-litre engine may be a good representative for petrol power, though, we’re more inclined to recommend the diesels, since they’re punchier and more efficient.

All the Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI reviews are really positive. The view from the experts is that this is a really nice engine that suits the Yeti well.

The reviews say it's a surprisingly nippy engine that's refined, smooth and quiet. They report it's fine for motorway use and that the optional DSG (automatic) gearbox works smoothly with this engine.

The only downsides to the 1.2 TSI is that you can only get it with 2WD (not 4WD) and that it may struggle a bit if you've got a heavy load.

Fuel efficiency is excellent, with 44mpg with the manual, or 39 with the automatic.

All in all it's very easy to recommend!

The 1.6 TDI Greenline II is the newest engine in the Skoda Yeti and the reviews are all extremely impressive. The experts say that despite being so economical that it's still a powerful engine.

The very low running costs are the key selling point, with fuel consumption of 61mpg and vehicle tax of just £30 a year. It's well priced too, and depreciation shouldn't be too bad.

Unlike many 'eco-engines', the critics say that this doesn't feel like you're sacrificing comfort or speed for economy. The only downside though is that it isn't available with an automatic gearbox.

This is the pick of the bunch for us. The 1.6 TDI Greenline II engine suits the fun, utilitarian nature of the car perfectly and is very refined too, making for relaxed cruising.

The Skoda Yeti 1.8 TSI reviews all agree that this is a really energetic engine that's a lot of fun to drive. The critics say it gives 'punchy performance', is smooth and sounds great.

The only issue with this engine is that it's not as economical as the diesel engines, so running costs will be a fair bit higher if you cover a lot of miles per year. This 1.8 TSI has an average fuel consumption of around 35mpg and emissions of 189g/km.

However if you want a bit of fun and prefer petrol engines then you're unlikely to regret going for the 1.8 TSI. The 1.8 TSI is the one that provides the most fun, being a rev-happy and sweet engine that encourages spirited driving. Sixty mph comes up in 8.4 seconds and the little Skoda only runs out of puff at 124 mph.

p>Owners who enjoy driving should consider this engine, with one reviewer saying ‘it’s way better than you expect.

There aren't many reviews of the Yeti with the 2.0 TDI 110 engine, but those critics who have driven it say it's decently economical but does lack in power a bit. Other than that there aren't any major complaints.

The issue is that the new 1.6 TDI Greenline II is more efficient, and the 1.2 TSI is more fun.

Owners can expect to return about 43mpg in normal use, based on these reviews, which is some way short of Skoda’s claim that 52.3mpg is possible.

We think that you need to consider what you want from your Yeti before deciding on which engine to choose. The 2.0 TDI 110 engine gives an unhappy mish-mash of power and efficiency and may disappoint economy motorists and enthusiastic drivers alike.

This engine is predicted to be the best selling, but we would strongly recommend you consider the other Yeti engines first.

The Yeti 2.0 TDI 140 reviews are generally positive, buy many experts make the point that it's also worth looking at the less powerful and cheaper engines.

The reviews agree that this is a nice all-rounder that gives strong performance with decent running costs. The critics say it's smooth and quiet. It's a good engine to go for too if you think you'll regularly take it off-road too.

The 2.0 TDI 140 has a massive torque figure of 236 ft, which gives stunning in-gear acceleration, something that most drivers will appreciate more than a low 0-60mph time. As an example, going from 40-60 mph in 4th gear takes just 6.2 seconds. Top speed is 119mph.

Most owners will return about 40mpg, so it’s not the cheapest model to buy or run but the flexible performance can be addictive!

Just note that the petrol 1.8 TSI is more fun to drive and cheaper, but running costs will be higher.

In summary though, the 2.0 TDI 140 is an impressive engine that the experts rate highly.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

Though the bluff body panels did result in pedestrian impact ratings taking a hit, the Skoda Yeti was deemed to be a very safe car in the eyes of Euro NCAP, having been awarded the full five stars and given plenty of praise for its passenger protection and safety systems.

All Skoda Yetis come with stability control a full range of front, side and curtain airbags, along with a hill-hold control that uses the car’s brakes to hold it in place as the driver prepares to head off from a hill start.

Skoda also offers a fatigue sensor on the Yeti, which – by analysing the inputs to the major controls – can detect if the driver is too tired to safely drive the car, and emits an audio-visual warning to suggest they pull over and rest for a moment.

It’s worth pointing out that, whilst the Skoda Yeti is overall a very safe car, the amount of time that’s passed since it was crash tested by Euro NCAP means it isn’t the safest car in this class – the five-star ratings awarded to more recent rivals (tested under tougher conditions) like the Ford Kuga and Jeep Renegade, for instance, suggest they are even safer. 

Bar the barren entry-level S specification, all Skoda Yetis come with good amounts of standard equipment, for the price. And even basic models have air-conditioning.

Skoda Yeti specifications

All models from SE upwards, for instance, come with dual-zone climate control and a removable boot box.

Further up the pecking order are the Elegance models, which add further goodies like heated front seats and full leather upholstery to the mix. However, things do get quite expensive at these higher trim levels.

For that reason we would avoid top-of-the-line Monte Carlo models  although they get smarter looks thanks to their contrasting black roofs, unique alloy wheels and ‘Monte Carlo’ badging. These cars are, however, available with a selection of two 2.0-litre diesel engines producing 108hp and 148hp, and a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol with 108hp. The petrol unit is available with a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed double-clutch automatic.

Take a look at our in-depth Skoda Yeti colours guide for the full range of available shades.

Conclusion

The Yeti is no longer quite as special as it was at launch, but its talents haven’t diminished with time. It’s still a very easy car to recommend and the high-scoring reviews give it a wowscore no lower than the original model achieved, despite being on sale since 2009. It’s worth checking out the Nissan Qashqai though, which has recently raised the game in the Yeti’s family crossover class.

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