If you are tempted by all those Drive-spec bonuses, what are your engine options? Well, you have three: a 109bhp 1.2 TSI petrol or two 2.0 TDI diesels, with either 109bhp or 148bhp. We’re driving the latter, fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive.
With no technical changes, as you’d expect, on the road it feels like any other Yeti with the same drivetrain. That’s a mixture of good and bad, but mainly good.
Judging by the clatter it makes, you wouldn’t think this is the same engine that motivates quietly other VW Group products; in the Yeti it’s coarse and rattly from cold, and even though it gets smoother with every degree increase in coolant temperature, even at the normal 90-deg Celsius it’s less than sweet. But the Yeti is a relative pensioner these days, having been around since 2009, so it’s hardly surprising there are areas where it comes up short.
The motor feels strong though, even if 0-62mph in a smidge over nine seconds might not allude to it. Thank the healthy 251lb ft-band of torque that the 2.0 TDI 150 musters all the way from 1750rpm to 3000rpm, giving enough pick-up in any gear to rarely leave you wanting. Not that changing gear is a pain. As is the tradition with Yetis, the action is light and the clutch positive, making milling around town as pleasurable as such environs allow.
Excellent visibility helps here, too; relatively thin windscreen pillars – by SUV standards - plus that boxy back end and the big windows help make parking as stress-free as possible. All-round parking sensors, of course, play their part in this as well.
And it’s wieldier than a tall SUV has the right to be. In fact, back in the day, the Yeti was one of the sportiest of all the SUVs. That's still the case, despite rivals such as the Seat Ateca muscling in on its act; the Yeti still steers accurately, grips hard and leans less than many of its rivals. The payback for the tight body control is a brittle ride over rough town roads, although it smoothes out as the speed increases.
For a car of such relatively diminutive proportions, the Yeti manages its family duties admirably. Front-seat space is good, even if the stunted steering wheel reach adjustment leaves you with a slightly uneasy driving position. Rear leg room is a little tight for anyone tall sat behind someone similarly lofty, but head room is great and that tall glass area keeps the atmosphere airy.
The boot, of course, offers lots of options, with good space in five-seat mode that improves if you slide the rear bench forward. It's even better still if you drop the 40:20:40 split-folding seats, becoming properly van-like expansive if you remove the rear seats altogether, which you can.
Negatives? Well, the almost retro switchgear from long-gone VWs and the outdated infotainment with its fuzzy screen, like the engine refinement, are a big hint that the Yeti's 2018 replacement won't be far off.