£16,970 - £28,490 Price range
36 - 64 MPG
The Skoda Yeti Outdoor is a small SUV that is decent to drive, practical and capable of light off-roading. The Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and the Volkswagen Tiguan are its closest rivals, but none of them offers such off-road ability.
The Yeti’s interior looks a bit dated and bland when compared to the most modern rivals, but the quality is still excellent and the controls are easy to use. Passenger and luggage space is where the Yeti Outdoor shines because it offers unrivalled headroom and a very versatile boot.
On tarmac the Yeti Outdoor is the same to drive as the regular Yeti, meaning its agile and contains body roll well. Four-wheel-drive models get a special button on the dash that is supposed to aid the driver when off-roading, by altering the setup of systems such as the car’s ABS brakes and stability control.
When it comes to engine choice it is best to stay with the diesels as they offer good fuel economy and plenty of power. 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.
All models come with air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric front windows and 17-inch alloy wheels. In our opinion, it’s worth dipping further into your pocket (to the tune of about £1,500) for SE trim, which brings useful additional features such as cruise control, electric rear windows, and rear parking sensors.
Though the changes on the outside help distinguish a Skoda Yeti Outdoor from a regular Skoda Yeti, little if anything is done on the inside to differentiate the two.
Which, to be fair, isn’t exactly a bad thing. After all, the cabin itself appears to be built to the standard we’d expect from more recent Skodas (ie very well). The materials used are of a bulletproof quality and the control layouts on the dashboard and steering wheel are clear, intuitive and easy to use.
If there’s one area to criticise, it’s that the cabin isn’t exactly the most interesting thing to look at, or spend time in.
Skoda Yeti Outdoor passenger space
Overall space is very good for this size of car, with ample head and leg room all round, as well as a decent array of storage cubbies liberally sprinkled around the cabin. The Yeti’s rear seats sit on runners so you can slide them backwards for extra rear legroom at the expense of a little boot space.
Skoda Yeti Outdoor boot space
The boot is also incredibly versatile, with a 416-litre load area that extends to a vast 1,580 or 1,760 litre capacity, respectively, with the rear seats folded down or removed completely. A huge boot opening and near completely-flat floor are spoiled a little by a small boot lip but, on the whole, the Yeti’s cargo area is every bit as usable as the raw figures suggest.
Unlike quite a few other cars in this class, the Skoda Yeti Outdoor can actually deal with rougher terrain surprisingly well. Though there are limits to where it can go, and some of the more crucial off-roading items (such as protective covers for the engine and gearbox) are only available as optional extras.
Four-wheel-drive versions of the Yeti Outdoor come with an ‘off-road’ button that’s not available on the standard Yeti and is designed to make it easier to tackle a variety of terrains, particularly steep climbs and descents.
Despite being billed as the off-road-centric model, there aren’t any major mechanical differences between the Skoda Yeti Outdoor and the standard car in the way they drive on tarmac. That’s no bad thing, since many of the critics were satisfied (if not blown away) by the Yeti Outdoor’s well-weighted steering, decent body control and comfortable ride quality.
Overall refinement levels are also respectable, with largely well-suppressed road, wind and tyre noise making the Yeti Outdoor well-suited to longer journeys. However, depending on how hard you work the engines (especially the smaller units), a fair amount of engine roar can enter the cabin, and there is slight wind noise from the door mirrors when you creep above 70mph.
Skoda Yeti buyers get a choice of six engines to choose from. Most go for one of the three 2.0-litre diesel engines tuned to 110, 140 or 170hp, but there is also a super-efficient 105hp diesel. Petrol power comes in the form of a 1.2-litre with 105hp or a 168hp 1.8-litre.
Skoda Yeti Outdoor diesel engines
The 2.0-litre diesel is the engine Skoda reckons the majority of Yeti buyers will go for. The mid-tier 140hp version can get from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, returns up to 48mpg and is also the cheapest diesel available with the excellent DSG automatic gearbox.
For the outright best fuel economy, though, it’s best to opt for the Greenline model; Skoda claims it can achieve a family hatchback-rivalling fuel economy of 61mpg. There are a few concessions to be made, though: four-wheel-drive isn’t an option, and many critics feel the engine is noisy and underpowered.
Skoda Yeti Outdoor petrol engines
You might think the 1.2-litre petrol engine would be overawed by the bulk of the Yeti, but not according to testers. As is the way of things these days, it is boosted by a small turbocharger and reviewers say it feels more spritely than the 11.8 seconds it takes to sprint from 0-62mph suggests. It is also pretty decent on fuel for a petrol model, with 46.3mpg possible along with CO2 emissions of 142g/km.
The 1.8-litre petrol model seems largely irrelevant. With 0-62mph taking 8.4 seconds, it’s quick but also relatively pricy (fuel economy sits at just 36.2mpg) – the 170hp diesel offers similar performance and is much cheaper to run.
Tested here so far in 4x4 trim, the Yeti 2.0 TDI is a 9.9-seconds-to-62-mph car, with a 118 mph top speed. You're unlikely to need much more in this sort of car. Economy could be better though - its 50 mpg average is now a little behind the times.
Back when it was crash tested in 2009, the Skoda Yeti was deemed by Euro NCAP to be a very safe car, being awarded the full five stars and given plenty of praise for its levels of occupant protection. Having said that, the organisation deemed the Yeti’s body panels to be potentially quite harmful to pedestrians.
The Skoda Yeti Outdoor’s array of safety equipment (such as stability control, Isofix mounting points on the rear seats and front, side and curtain airbags) should have all the bases covered in the event of an accident.
Though the entry-level S trim available on the Skoda Yeti Outdoor does seem enticing at first glance, it’s not that well endowed in comparison with similarly-priced rivals – the only real highlights are air-conditioning and electric front windows.
SE models get cruise control, electric rear windows, and rear parking sensors and seem to be the pick of the range. It is possible to go for a more luxurious version: Elegance models add, amongst other things, a leather interior and heated front seats. However, they also carry a price that puts the Yeti on a collision course with more accomplished cars including high-end versions of the Nissan Qashqai.
As with the regular version, the Skoda Yeti Outdoor remains a very appealing ownership prospect. Though more recent rivals are beginning to show up the car’s age, the Skoda Yeti Outdoor is a well-rounded family SUV that, in this guise, can also be seen as a legitimate (and much more affordable) alternative to more dedicated off-roaders such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Factor in that the Skoda Yeti Outdoor is no more expensive to buy initially than the regular Skoda Yeti, and you have the makings of a highly practical car with plenty of other positive attributes going for it.