Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) Review

Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) At A Glance


+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+.

-Can have oil consumption problem. Unusual looks not for everyone.

Insurance Groups are between 9–24
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

The Skoda Yeti was one of the first true crossovers that became a big success, and is a great alternative to cars like the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V. It ticks all the right boxes for the segment, mixing a car-like driving experience with plenty of space and a tough-looking design, as well as traditional Skoda attributes such as good value and practical thinking. Should you want to be semi-serious about your off-roading then the Yeti can oblige, but the Yeti is at its best when used as an alternative to conventional hatchbacks and estates.

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.

It also gives people the option of driving something that looks like an off-roader but doesn’t necessarily come with the price tag and the unnecessary four-wheel-drive hardware that comes with it.

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.

The range was rationalised at the same time into two different models; 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, in particular the boxy design of the rear means the space is very useful, and is ideal for people who need to carry bulkier items. 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.

Rather than just a marketing exercise, the Yeti has off-road ability that is likely to be beyond the needs and the confidence of many buyers should you need it; one of the best things about the Yeti is that you can skip all of this if you just want the looks.

It's just as good on the road with neatly responsive steering, good body control in bends and a positive gear change. You might not choose one if you’re looking for a hot hatch - even if the 1.8-litre petrol version is actually pretty quick - but it’s as capable and well-mannered as Skoda’s more conventional cars.

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.

The Yeti is a car that proves the concept of the crossover; in many ways it’s more appealing than the Nissan Qashqai which was more successful in terms of sales. Although it’s no longer on sale, it makes for a smart used buy and there are plenty of examples to choose from.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a fun 'Jack of all trades' car?
"My 2007 Renault Clio diesel has been a trooper that can handle almost anything but I now need something bigger to handle our dog and other adventures. I usually dislike SUVs in favour of estates due to better handling but don't want to restrict options. The car would need to do 100-mile trips to work twice a week and short town driving, space to hold the two of us and triathlon/kayak/paddle board gear (plus dog in a crate!), be somewhat fun to drive and reliable, to fit a budget of approx £12,000. We'll load it up for holidays in the UK and EU too so any creature comforts are welcome. The Skoda Yeti seems to do the trick but I'm worried about the engine problems I've read on here."
The Skoda Yeti is the definition of a 'Jack of all trades'. It drives like a normal car and has similar runnings costs, but has the interior space of an SUV and some of an SUV's off-road ability. It's easy to drive in town and relaxing to drive on the motorway but, like you say, there are a few known issues you can read about in our review: Cars of a similar ilk include the Volvo XC70 and the Skoda Octavia Scout. I'd also advise having a look at the BMW 3 Series Touring xDrive. It's not got the jacked-up suspension of the Yeti, but it is a brilliant all rounder and will be the best to drive of the bunch:
Answered by Russell Campbell
What do you recommend as a Suzuki Swift replacement?
"I have had my Suzuki Swift for 5 years now and it's been a brilliant little car. Cheap to run and, most importantly, reliable after a rather sad and expensive two years wasted on a Peugeot 308. However the Swift has now got 126,000 miles on the clock and will need a bit of maintenance (it’s on its original clutch!) in the coming months. I have looked and looked and can’t find anything to replace it with. I want cheap tax, 50-plus MPG and a bigger boot than the Suzuki. Ideally petrol as the Peugeot put me off diesels with expensive Turbo and DPF failures. I have a budget of around £6,000 plus part exchange on my car. I could possibly compromise on the tax, but need the reliability and MPG, and something that doesn’t look like an old man's car! I like the Suzuki Vitara but these are out of budget at present, don’t like Ford Fiestas, want to stay away from anything French."
I'd consider the Nissan Juke or the Skoda Yeti. The Nissan has oddball looks that mean it stands out and it combines them with a practical interior for its size. Diesel models will return more than 50mpg but the 1.2-litre petrols get close to that and don't suffer from the issues you highlight. You can read more about the Juke, including issues we're aware of, here: The Skoda Yeti looks like a cross between an SUV and a normal car. Its boxy shape means it's very practical – it'll have a lot more room inside than your Suzuki – however it still handles like a car in corners. It's also available with a range of petrol and diesel engines that can return fuel economy around the 50mpg mark, although its best to avoid four-wheel drive models. Our Yeti review is here:
Answered by Russell Campbell
Should I buy an electric automatic SUV now?
"I have had three Skoda Yeti petrol 4wd (currently L&K 1.4 TSI) and have liked them very much. The time is nearing, however, when I will be looking for an automatic all electric SUV with similar qualities to the Yeti. I understand that Toyota is launching something which sounds promising but I cannot find any reviews. Should I wait for a year or so until there is more choice for a budget of about £35,000 and the charging infrastructure is more developed? I'm happy to wait if there is something good on the horizon."
I think you might be referring to the Toyota bZ4X: We've yet to drive it, so can't really offer an opinion. In meantime, we would recommend the Skoda Enyaq. It's comfortable, easy to drive, practical and keenly priced – you'll pick up a new model on your budget. Or wait a year and make a significant saving. The infrastructure depends a lot on where you live. In London, there a lots of chargers which makes running an EV a relatively pain-free experience. Other areas won't be so well catered for so it's worth doing your research. Having somewhere to charge the car at home makes a big difference – it's more convenient but will also save you money compared to using a public charger – you can't beat having a full charge every time you leave the house. If you do regular longer journeys – over 150 miles, say – I would research what chargers would be available on your route. The longer you leave your switch to a BEV in most cases, the better the infrastructure will be.
Answered by Russell Campbell
What's a good replacement for my Skoda Yeti?
"I currently have a 2014 Skoda Yeti. I bought it mainly because of my wife's arthritis as she couldn't get into my SAAB 9-3 easily. The Yeti is very easy to get in and out of for somebody with painful knees. I've been very happy with it apart from one major problem which is the size of the boot. Because of the large wheel arches it is not wide enough to take my guitar and it is not long enough to take two large suitcases without folding the seats forward, which means the contents of the boot are visible. I now want to replace the Skoda Yeti with a newer car (brand new or second-hand) that is similar to the Yeti but has a larger boot. I don't have the possibility to charge an EV at my home, while I'm also worried about range and charging time for electric cars. What can you recommend?"
Take a look at the Skoda Karoq. It replaced the Yeti and is one of the best family SUVs on sale today, with a big boot and lots of standard equipment. As an alternative, consider the new Nissan Qashqai or Hyundai Tucson. The Tucson's available as a hybrid, which might be a good stepping stone towards an electric vehicle.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) cost?