Review: Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017)
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Unique styling. Solid build. Excellent petrol engines including frugal yet peppy 1.2 TSI. Good space in the back. Frugal 1.6 TDI Greenline can return 60mpg+. Much loved model.
Original 1.8 TSI 4WD is thirsty. Unusual looks not for everyone. Numerous faults reported.
Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017): At A Glance
Combining the best parts of a compact hatchback and an off-roader, the Skoda Yeti is labelled as a 'crossover' in a similar vein as the Nissan Qashqai. It may not seem like an obvious mix but it works very well with the affordability and running costs of a normal hatch blended with the extra practicality and chunky styling of a 4x4.
The result has been a huge success and the Skoda Yeti is a great family car that's versatile and roomy. It was facelifted in 2014 with new styling, bringing it in line with other Skoda models. There are now two versions - the standard Yeti and the more ruggedly styled Yeti Outdoor. Regardless of which one you go for, the formula that has made the car so popular with buyers remains the same.
Inside there's plenty of space for four adults, with impressive legroom for those in the back, plus a large boot. The tall shape helps in terms of headroom and makes the cabin feel light and spacious. Thanks to a forgiving ride, it's incredibly comfortable too and means long journeys needn't be a chore.
Like many cars of this ilk, it's available with four-wheel drive, which is useful in slippery conditions or if you regularly tow a trailer. But what does surprise is how genuinely capable the Yeti is when tackling off-road terrain, even in situations where you might expect a traditional 4x4 to struggle.
It's just as good on the road with neatly responsive steering, good body control in bends and a positive gear change. As a result it's easy to drive and park in town, but also composed at motorway speeds and will happily cruise along with minimal fuss.
This is helped by a good choice of engines including the 2.0 TDI (available with three different power outputs) that's found across the Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi ranges. The entry-level choice is the 1.2 TSI, but don't be put off by its small size, thanks to a turbocharger it offers surprisingly nippy performance and good fuel economy.
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Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?
From 2014 Skoda is offering the Yeti in two forms - Yeti and Yeti Outdoor. The main differences between the two are cosmetic - regular Yeti models wear body coloured bumper mouldings and side protection while Yeti Outdoor models feature black body protection and roof rails. Now only Outdoor variants are offered with all-wheel drive.
Aside from that it's a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Changes to the facelifted model are largely superficial, with new upholstery colours and a redesigned steering wheel. There are some new additions to the options list including an automated parking assistance system and a rough road package with underbody protection.
The Yeti is designed to be a versatile and practical family car and it certainly succeeds. Despite the fact it's not an especially long car, it makes the most of the space available and nowhere is this more evident than in the back. The rear seats feature the clever Varioflex system which allows the seats to slide backwards or forwards so you can increase passenger or boot space when needed.
The seats also recline individually, fold down or can even be removed completely to create a caverous van-like load area (of course they do need to stored somewhere which is a pain). Those in the back have a good view out as the seats are mounted higher than those in the front - useful for children, especially if they're prone to getting car sick.
Thanks to the tall shape of the Yeti, there is plenty of head room and legroom is generous too, while getting into the back seats is simple as there's a very low door sill. In the front, the driving position is spot on - it's raised enough to give you a good view out but not so high that you feel you're sitting on, rather than in the seat. The steering wheel has both height and reach adjustment. The boot is impressive too and offers as much carrying space as the Nissan Qashqai with 416 litres of luggage room.
Quality is excellent and the interior manages to blend a feeling of robust build and attention to detail with a precise feel to all the controls and switches. The air conditioning controls are simple to use, although the more advanced climate control can be a little confusing at first. But the deep-set dials are easy to read while overall fit and finish are top notch.
Equipment from launch (September 2009):
E is the entry-level model and gets steel wheels, an alarm, black door mirrors and door handles, black roof rails, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, front electric windows, height and reach adjustable four-spoke steering wheel, multi-adjustable driver and passenger seat, manual air conditioning, CD stereo, remote central locking, trip computer, tyre repair set and the Varioflex seating.
S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, driver's knee airbag, front fog lights, rear electric windows and ESP stability control.
SE comes with 17-inch alloys, a multi-function steering wheel (for the radio), rear parking sensors, body coloured door mirrors and door handles, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, integrated headlight washers, leather steering wheel and a six-CD changer that can play MP3 recordings.
Elegance is the top of the range model and gets xenon headlights, cornering front fog lights, double lumbar supports, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, hill hold control, off-road button (4x4 models only), rain sensitive wipers and Bluetooth.
SE Plus (from May 2011) sits between SE and Elegance and adds unique Kristal upholstery, Amundsen touch-screen satellite navigation system, a CD autochanger, Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel, electric driver and passenger seats plus rear passenger folding tables on back of front seats.
Equipment from facelift (January 2014):
S models come with:
- 16” ‘Dolomite’ alloy wheels
- Black roof rails
- Body coloured mirrors and door handles
- Body coloured sills, front and rear bumper
- Electrically adjustable heated mirrors
- Multi-function steering wheel
- Front and rear electric windows
- Leather handbrake and gear lever
- Manual air conditioning
- Varioflex seating
- Daytime running lights
- Front fog lights
- Height adjustable driver and front passenger seat
- ISOFIX fittings on outer rear seats
SE Models come with the following in addition to S trim:
- 17” ‘Erebus’ alloy wheels
- Integrated headlight washers
- Sunset glass (from B-pillar back)
- Dual-zone air conditioning
- Front centre armrest
- Horizontal rails with sliding hooks in boot
- Cargo net
- Removable box in luggage compartment
- Removable LED lamp in boot
- Storage box on dash
- 3.5mm aux-in socket for MP3 players
- Additional 4 loudspeakers in the rear
- Cruise control
- Rear parking sensors
Elegance models gain the following over SE trim:
- Bi-xenon headlights with cornering
- function and dynamic angle controlElectrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Front seats with lumbar support
- Full leather upholstery
- Glasses storage case
- Heated front seats
- Automatic headlights
- Rain sensor
- Storage box under front passenger seat
- Cornering front fog lights
- Hill hold control
- LED-daytime running lights
Laurin & Klement trim is only available on Outdoor models and comes with:
- Autodimming door mirror on driver’s side
- L&K inscription on front mudguards
- LED rear lights
- Panoramic sunroof
- Part-silver roof rails
- Black side protective moulding with chrome ledge
- Brown leather front armrest with stitching
- Carpets with brown stitching
- Decorative inserts in piano black with L&K logo
- Full brown leather upholstery with L&K logos and stitching
- Heated windscreen
- L&K scuff plates
- Columbus satellite navigation system with DAB digital radio
- Park assist
Child seats that fit a Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.2 TSI 105 to 2.0 TDI 170 DSG 4x4
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 25–63 mpg
The Yeti strikes a great balance between keen handling and comfort, so it's as happy tackling twisting country lanes as it is cruising serenely on the motorway. Even the smallest 1.2 TSI engine has enough poke for good progress - this is down to the fact it uses a turbocharger to boost power to 105PS. This is the cheapest model but it's no poor relation in the line-up and feels peppy, especially when the turbo kicks in. It's also quiet, so long journeys aren't tiring or noisy.
Whichever model you go for, you'll find the Yeti corners well with decent steering. It's set up for comfort and ease, rather than sportiness - as you'd expect on a family car like this. The ride is very good too and able to deal with bumpy or potholed roads very well. There is also very good all round visibility and the near vertical rear end means parking is easy - it's actually about the same length as a Volkswagen Golf, but the higher seating position means a better view out. It also has a usefully tight turning circle.
The other petrol is a very sporty 1.8 TSI with 160PS - an engine that's also used in the Skoda Superb and Skoda Octavia. It's a really enjoyable engine to drive as, like the 1.2 TSI, it's fitted with a turbo to improve performance, giving it an almost sports car feel from behind the wheel. It will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 8.4 seconds and is happy to be revved. However, the downside is that economy is only 35.3mpg, which is low compared to the diesels.
And it's the TDI diesel engines that are very popular among Yeti drivers. There's a 2.0 TDI common rail diesel (which means it's smoother and quieter than the older Skoda and Volkswagen TDI PD engines) which comes in three different power outputs of either 110PS, 140PS or 170PS.
Alongside this is a 1.6-litre TDI with 105PS which is the most economical in the range. That's not to say it's sluggish though - the GreenLine II feels just as strong as the larger diesel engines, so you don't lose much in terms of performance but you gain cheaper running costs. Emissions are 119g/km and official economy is 61.4mpg. As well as the more frugal engine, economy is achieved by revised gearing, a lower ride height and low rolling resistance tyres.
The 2.0 TDI 140PS and 170PS are used across the Skoda range as well as by Volkswagen, SEAT and Audi. They're both refined and punchy and the 140PS should be more than enough for everyday driving with plenty of torque and strong in-gear acceleration. The 170PS is actually as quick as the 1.8 TSI from 0-62mph and is great for effortless pace. They only come as a 4x4 but that doesn't have an adverse affect on economy and both will average 46.3mpg according to official figures.
A positive six-speed manual gearbox is standard on all cars apart from the 2.0 TDI 110PS and 1.6 TDI 105PS, which get a five-speed. A DSG automatic is available as an option with the 1.2 TSI and 2.0 TDI engines. It has seven-speeds (which may seem a little excessive) and works very well out on the road, using two clutches to deliver fast yet smooth changes. Unfortunately there are some reliability issues with the DSG transmission so it might be best avoided unless it's essential.
From 2014 the Yeti range has been revised, meaning all-wheel drive is only offered with the Yeti Outdoor version. It works well off road, in part thanks to a newer version of the Haldex all-wheel drive system. It might not get you over a treacherous mountain but for crossing a muddy field it's more than capable and comes with some useful technology like hill descent control to make life easier.
|1.2 TSI 105||44–46 mpg||11.4–11.8 s||142–149 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 105 DSG||45 mpg||11.7–12.0 s||147 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110||51–52 mpg||10.4–11.4 s||128 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110 DSG||51–53 mpg||10.9–11.4 s||128 g/km|
|1.4 TSI||42 mpg||10.5 s||159 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 4x4||45 mpg||8.7 s||147 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 105 Greenline||61 mpg||12.1 s||119 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 105 Greenline II||61 mpg||12.1 s||119 g/km|
|1.8 TSI||35–36 mpg||8.4 s||184–189 g/km|
|1.8 TSI 4x4||35 mpg||8.4 s||189 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 110||55–64 mpg||11.2–11.7 s||118–134 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 110 4x4||46–53 mpg||12.2 s||137–159 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140||49–52 mpg||9.9–11.6 s||140–152 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140 4x4||45–49 mpg||9.9–10.2 s||152–164 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140 4x4 DSG||44 mpg||10.2 s||169 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140 DSG 4x4||44–45 mpg||10.2 s||164–169 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 4x4||55 mpg||8.8–9.1 s||134 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG 4x4||51 mpg||8.9–9.2 s||144 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 170 4x4||46–50 mpg||8.4–12.2 s||149–159 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 170 DSG 4x4||45 mpg||8.6 s||164 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017)?
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What Cars Are Similar To The Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Petrol engine, Cheap Tax, Comfortable seats, Diesel engine, Economical, Family friendly, Generous head room, Large boot, Raised driving position, Room for a buggy, Well equipped, Crossover and SUV.
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What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 33%
- 4 star 17%
- 3 star
- 2 star 17%
- 1 star 33%