ROADTEST REPORT AND REVIEW: SKODA YETI
With a name like Yeti, crossing a small ford was taken in its stride.
With a name like Yeti, DAVID HOOPER, says Skoda’s practical and compact off-roader is better prepared than most to cope with the snow this winter.
THE clocks have gone back, the temperature is dropping and winter is just around the corner – and if the weathermen are to be believed, it’s going to be a bad one.
Perhaps then, it is time to prepare ourselves for slippery roads, icy conditions and generous dollops of snow which will no doubt bring the country grinding to a halt once again this winter.
This week’s test car is better equipped than most to cope with the predicted wintery conditions, and with a name like Yeti, few should be more at home.
While we didn’t encounter any snow during my week with the car, we did get the Yeti’s feet wet in a ford we had to cross in the Lake District during a weekend away walking on the hills around Grasmere.
Thanks to its raised ride height and four-wheel-drive capability, the river crossing which would have defeated lesser cars, proved little obstacle to the Yeti, which romped over the slippery rocks of the water splash with help from its 4×4 system which made sure we didn’t get stuck – which would have been very embarrassing.
My test car was powered by a 1.8-litre engine developing 160bhp, more than enough to cope with some of the steeper challenges the Lake District’s roads can throw at you. The economy was reasonable too, with a combined figure of 35.3mpg, it actually achieved 33.6mpg on our trip, which involved every type of road and traffic condition, so it was a fair test of the car in everyday use.
When you need to get a move on, it will hit the benchmark 62mph time in just 8.4 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 124 mph, which will be more than enough for most people.
Inside, the car is well equipped. I liked the Bi-xenon headlights and the front fog lights which have a cornering function, which works in conjunction with the steering wheel to illuminate the insides of corners. It can be very handy when there are few street lights to help, now the nights have drawn in somewhat.
At the front, the heated front seats were nice on a chilly morning, while at the back, the Varioflex seating system provided plenty of options for passengers and luggage. Each of the three rear perches can be folded flat or individually tumbled forward to expand the already generous boot space, which also comes with hand hooks mounted on rails that you can hook your shopping bags onto to stop them spilling their contents all over the boot floor.
Combining the on road security and practicality of a 4×4 in a compact five-door hatchback’s body, the Yeti has a lot to offer in the increasingly popular Crossover market sector.
It is available with some of the VW Group’s latest petrol and diesel engines, and the four-wheel-drive system features the most advanced Haldex clutch system ever fitted to a Skoda, The Yeti runs with most of the power driving the front wheels most of the time, but should it detect wheel slip, drive is seamlessly transferred to the rear wheels, to make sure the car keeps going. It is very capable off road, and if the conditions are really treacherous, an electronic differential lock can be employed to lock the axle. Two-wheel-drive versions of the car are also available for customers who don’t feel the need for a 4×4.
There is even an off-road button which adjusts the car’s electronic systems to suit slippy surfaces.
The Yeti is well equipped and easy to live with – and with prices starting from £15k, it makes a tempting proposition for anyone thinking of changing their car before the winter well and truly arrives.
The Yeti is quite capable off road, and don’t miss the running boards.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: SKODA YETI 4×4 1.8 TSI.
SKODA YETI RANGE: From E 1.2 TSI 5dr (£14,830) to Elegance 2.0 TDI CR (140bhp) 4×4 DSG 5dr (£24,090).
ENGINE: 1798cc, 160bhp four-cylinder engine, driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 124mph. 0-62mph in 8.4 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 28mpg.
Fuel tank: 60 litres.
CO2 EMISSIONS: 189g/km.
INSURANCE: Group 17.
WARRANTY: 3 years/60,000 miles.
• All data correct at time of publication.