First DriveNew Skoda Yeti Drive trim adds appeal to what's undeniably now an old car. It's still decent to drive, but there are swisher rivals
First DriveSkoda's VisionS concept gives us an early indication as to what its upcoming Kodiaq SUV will be like. We take it for a short drive
What is it?
This is the Skoda Yeti 2.0 110 TDI. The entry-level diesel version of the new compact crossover foregoes the Haldex four-wheel drive for standard front-wheel drive and is expected to make up the majority of UK Yeti sales. This is also the only model where you will find a five-speed manual in place of the six-speed that is standard across the rest of the range.
Otherwise you still get the oddball looks, practical seating layout and solidly built dash that benefits from a liberal use of switchgear from the Superb.
What’s it like?
Totally composed in every situation. The lack of four-wheel drive doesn’t detract from the Skoda Yeti’s sure-footed road holding and supple ride. Even very rutted surfaces are absorbed well by the MacPherson strut and multi-link suspension setup (a modified version of that found in the Octavia), and the wide, short dimensions plus torsion stabiliser help to minimise body roll.
The high roof, large glass area and high-class switchgear also add to the grown-up-but-not-old impression that starts with the Yeti’s polarising looks.
In this form the Yeti does lean more toward practical than funky. There is no hiding the fact that the 109bhp turbodiesel will appeal to those shopping for economy above all else. It’s frugal and adequate for the job, but needs to be worked through the gears if you want any acceleration at motorway speeds. It's not a bad engine, but certainly one that lacks fizz and refinement next to the entry-level 1.2 TSI petrol engine.
All of which means that you’ll be buying one of the most comfortable cars on the mass market, which in this guise will be great value to buy and run. Even the kids will be happy as they get individual seats that have reclining back rests and can slide backwards and forwards.
Should I buy one?
Yes, but you probably won’t. Skoda predicts low sales in the UK for the Yeti, which is a shame given its ability to make modern motoring hassle-free.
The 109bhp turbodiesel will be usefully frugal but the lacklustre engine isn’t the one to go for if you want anything more than basic transport. The more powerful 140 TDI engine is worth paying the extra for if you do a lot of miles, but the flexible and willing 1.2 and 1.8 TSI engines are both entertaining and practical.
Whatever model you choose, once you’re past any initial consternation over the brand and model name, you’ll find yourself in one of the most well-adjusted motors on the market.