First DriveUrban-derived Yeti is competent and practical, with all the driver engagement which made its forebear such a success
First DriveMid-life revisions don't harm the appeal of the entertaining Skoda Yeti, but they equally do little to improve it
What is it?
This is the Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI DSG, which uses the entry-level 103bhp turbocharged petrol engine mated to the VW Group seven-speed double-clutch DSG 'box.
Only the 1.8 TSI and higher-powered 2.0 TDI engines get four-wheel drive, so the 1.2 TSI settles for standard front-wheel drive. Despite this it’s likely to be one of the best selling models in the line-up alongside the two-wheel drive 110 TDI.
What’s it like?
Forget any preconceptions you might have about the Skoda brand and the questionable Yeti name. This is one of the best real-world vehicles around, and fitted with the entry-level 1.2 TSI it also benefits from an energetic and refined motor.
As ever the DSG gearbox is an admirably smooth and unobtrusive transmission that manages to be in the right gear the majority of the time. Those people who must have an auto won’t ever be disappointed. Even so, it can feel as though there are too many ratios for the engine’s limited power resource and you’ll find the ‘box switching cogs when there seems no need, but on the motorway it works well toward making the engine quiet and economical.
The hassle-free progress is more down to the excellent ride and handling combination and energetic motor than the ever-competent VW Group DSG.
Don’t be deceived by the engine’s underwhelming on-paper figures. In practice the free-revving TSI motor is a rewarding engine to work around urban roads and even on motorways.
Okay, so you’ll find yourself without much instant acceleration for overtaking at high speed but the rest of the time the 1.2 does nothing but compliment the Yeti’s well-judged package of spacious, high-quality interior and composed road holding.
Should I buy one?
Absolutely, and don’t be put off be the car’s niche placement. It may be a crossover but the compact and comfortable Yeti does the job of a standard hatch better than many big sellers in its price range.
Opt for the Auto option if you must, but given the decent equipment list, the 1.2 TSI manual Yeti may well be the best in the range as well as the cheapest.