Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) Review
Skoda Yeti (2009 – 2017) At A Glance
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.