What is it?
It’s the new Greenline edition of the Skoda Yeti, which has already established itself as a firm favourite of ours since its launch in 2009. This model gets the familiar 104bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine and five-speed manual, as well as standard stop-start, improved aerodynamics, lowered suspension and a system that can store excess energy produced by the alternator and use it to power the ancillaries at appropriate moments. All of which results in headline figures of 61.4mpg and 119g/km.
Another change is that Skoda no longer classes Greenline as a trim on some of its models, so you get to choose from the usual S, SE and Elegance spec as well as whether you want the Greenline badge and all the related tweaks mentioned above.
What’s it like?
We like the Yeti because it manages such a convenient blend of compact, practical, enjoyable and good value, and this more frugal motor detracts nothing from that. Lowering the ride height by 20mm has resulted in some subtle but noticeable fidgeting that isn’t there in the standard car, and the tall gearing takes some getting used to, but in general the Greenline is as likeable as any of the Yeti models.
The 1.6-litre turbodiesel is punchy enough that you don’t feel as if you’re compromising performance too much, and cabin refinement is good. If anything handling has been very marginally improved by the changes, so you still get the smooth, progressive steering and generally relaxing drive. At no point do you feel as though you’ve sacrificed anything of comfort and usability for the sake of economy, which is the kind of economy car that we all want.
Should I buy one?
The more powerful 2.0-litre TDI engines on offer do provide a more effortless, flexible drive, so these could be the better option if performance really matters to you, or if you plan on using the Yeti for towing or for the van-like carrying capability that its removable seats can provide.
But if you’re drawn to the Yeti’s plentiful charms in the first place and have a less taxing life on the road then don’t be put off by the slightly pious Greenline badge. It’s just as talented as the rest of the range – it just uses a bit less fuel. Never a bad thing.