All the all-terrain vehicle 95 per cent of people need

What is it?

Skoda calls the Yeti a 'crossover with a fresh attitude...combining 4x4 strengths with hatch practicality.' It’s hard to nail down the Yeti from pictures, but in reality it is a finger’s width shorter than the Golf PQ35 platform on which it is based.

It is possibly best described as the missing link between the Fiat Panda 4x4 and larger soft-roaders such as the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga. The 4.2m-long Yeti is robustly compact, with a near-vertical tailgate and a pleasantly raised (though not high) driving position.

Our test car was a pre-production validation model, powered by a mid-range 138bhp diesel driving a smooth six-speed manual box and a part-time 4x4 system.

What's it like

Although the boot space is a little restricted, the car’s interior package is highly impressive. The upright seating position releases impressive rear seat legroom (which can be varied by sliding the rear seats) and huge headroom. There’s also impressive interior storage - large door bins, a big glovebox, useful centre armrest and various cubby holes.

The cockpit is not exceptionally wide, but the seats are very well shaped and multi-adjustable and you could readily countenance long hours behind the (multi-adjustable) wheel. The fit and finish on these 'validation' prototypes was first rate. All the dash plastics are of an impressive quality.

That sense is underlined by this car’s excellent refinement. VW’s new common-rail diesel is superbly smooth and quiet - I had to be told the car was actually diesel as I wouldn’t have guessed. It’s all the more impressive as other car maker’s Euro 5 compatible engines have got noisier. Skoda also says the switch to common-rail technology also means that the engine’s particulate filter will no longer clog if the car is mainly driven in urban conditions.

The days of slow-witted part-time 4x4 transmissions are over. On the road, the cabin is impressively refined, making it easy for rear passengers to hear what’s being said in the front. Skoda wanted the Yeti to be the ‘benchmark’ for on-road ride and they might well be right.

Norway’s roads are broken and noisy, but the Yeti demonstrated an impressive serenity and suppleness. The positivity of the steering and lack of body roll (it never felt ‘tippy’) is also impressive considering the raised (180mm) ride height. All the controls are satisfyingly light and evenly matched. It’s no driver’s car, but the Yeti is a very pleasant machine to bowl along in.

The engine is smooth and punchy and can easily cope with four full-size adults in a way that suggests this car would make a fine long-distance tourer.

But the most impressive aspect of Yeti is the way it can slide off the blacktop straight into serious off-roading. Its compact dimensions and short overhangs are a great help, but the Yeti’s enthusiasm and capability in extreme situations was a revelation. Even with two wheels off the ground, it could make precise, controllable progress. However, the impressive ‘off-road’ electronic pack - which includes a very capable hill descent control set-up - is a must if you spend a lot of time in proper off-road situations.

Should I buy one?

Is this Skoda’s best car yet? It could be. Well sized, well packaged and impressive on-road and off-road, only the odd styling quirk and strongish pricing stand in its way. In truth, this is all the all-terrain vehicle 95 per cent of people need.

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Mini1 6 May 2010

Re: Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI CR 140

Just go in with your tape measure and measure it... they shouldn't stop you. We've actually got a Yeti in our household as a courtesy car at the moment, and it's quite nice. Only an S model with the 1.2 engine, but it's more powerful than you'd think. Boot isn't as practical as the Octavia Estate, but it's tall so you can get big items in no problem, and the seats are comfy, visibility good and nice high driving position. Very little roll in corners too. But back to your question, I'd make a return to the dealer and measure the boot, or indeed take your dog cage with you to see if it'll fit - again, if it means a sale, they can't stop you. Keep in mind that you can buy a Yeti with or without a false boot floor - this will alter the boot space. Good luck, it's a nice characterful car :)

theonlydt 8 April 2010

Re: Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI CR 140

Rozway wrote:
I asked in the dealer if they would let me measure it all but they were really busy...
I'd suggest you go back to the dealer with a tape measure and measure the boot. You don't really need their help do you and they're not exactly going to stop you. A certain online car magazine (WHAT CAR one would that be?) has some of the boot measurements as well, but not the width between the wheel arches.

Rozway 8 April 2010

Re: Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI CR 140

Hi there,

Does anyone own one of these? If so, would it be possible to share the actual boot measurements?! I would like to get one but have two dogs that need to go in a cage and therefore need the actual measurements (height, width, depth - inc where seat heads go) so that I can either get a cage made or dismiss this as an option for a car :(

I would need to have the seats up rather than taken out as this will also be my work/company car so need to not have the dogs encroaching on passenger space.

I asked in the dealer if they would let me measure it all but they were really busy...

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!