Review

Skoda Yeti SUV

Price  £17,210 - £27,545

Skoda Yeti SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Decent to drive
  • Impressively practical
  • Surprisingly reasonable to run
Cons
  • Seats are heavy and difficult to move
  • Not the most exciting to look at
  • Ride is a little firm

At a glance

The greenest
S 2.0 TDI 110PS SCR 5dr £18,555
The cheapest
S 1.2 TSI 110PS 5dr £17,210
The fastest
Laurin & Klement 1.4 TSI 150PS 4x4 5dr £25,170
Top of the range
Laurin & Klem 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 DSG SCR 5dr £27,545

“The Skoda Yeti makes for an impressive family car thanks to low running costs, impressive practicality and excellent value for money. It’s pretty good to drive, too.”

There's no doubting that if you want a genuine all-rounder – i.e. a car that can do the school run, manage the weekly shop, not cost the earth to buy or run, do a little bit off off-roading and be decent to drive at the same time – then the Skoda Yeti is one of the best choices there is.

Up against rivals like the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, it does make sense, but it's starting to feel its age compared to newer competition. You can have your Yeti in two different versions: standard or Outdoor. They’re both available in two or four-wheel drive, but the Outdoor gets some chunky body cladding, as well as front and rear skid plates, highlighting its more ‘adventurous’ emphasis.

Under the bonnet, there's a choice of two petrols and two diesels. In the petrol corner, there's a 108bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and a 148bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre (only available in the Yeti Outdoor and with four-wheel drive). These manage the 0-62mph sprint in 10.7 and 8.7 seconds while returning 52 and 45mpg fuel economy respectively. CO2 emissions stand at 128 and 147g/km, meaning annual road-tax bills of £110 and £145.

The diesels are likely to be more popular, however. They both displace 2.0 litres and come with either 108 or 148bhp. The latter is only available with four-wheel drive, although it can be specified in both the standard and Yeti Outdoor models, unlike the more powerful petrol.

We’d say the less powerful diesel is more suited to the two-wheel-drive Yeti. This is because the extra weight of four-wheel drive blunts performance – the 0-62mph time jumps from 11.6 to 12.2 seconds – and fuel economy suffers, too. The two-wheel-drive version will return between 62 and 64mpg (depending on wheel size) and emits 115g/km of CO2, while the 4x4 version returns around 53mpg and emits 137g/km of CO2. That means your annual tax bill increases from £30 to £130, and, for company-car drivers, the Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rating jumps from 20 to 24%.

The more powerful 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel works well with the 4x4 system and is actually more economical than a similarly equipped 108bhp engine, returning around 55mpg. CO2 emissions of 134g/km equate to an annual road-tax bill of £130 and a BiK rating of 23%.

Despite its off-roader-esque looks, the Yeti is actually quite good fun to drive, with direct steering and well controlled body lean in corners. Granted, the ride is slightly firmer than that of some rivals, but the Skoda is never actively uncomfortable. With four-wheel drive, it's actually pretty capable off-road, being able to handle some fairly tough terrain.

That boxy shape also means the Yeti is a practical car, with plenty of space inside for four adults and a good-sized, well-shaped boot. The high ride height and large windows all round mean plenty of light gets in and the view out is impressive as well.

Five trim levels are available – S, SE, Monte Carlo, SE L and L&K – and they all come with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, an infotainment system controlled from a five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone connectivity and alloy wheels. Our favourite of the five, however, is SE, which adds dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and cruise control. However, it's slightly disappointing that you don’t get satellite navigation as standard on any model except top-spec L&K version.

We wouldn’t worry too much about the Yeti as an ownership proposition, either. It consistently scores well in our Driver Power customer satisfaction surveys and in the 2015 edition came second overall out of 200 cars, although in terms of pure reliability it was ranked 31st.

Safety shouldn’t be a concern, either, thanks to the Yeti's maximum five-star Euro NCAP score. As standard, you get loads of airbags, a tyre-pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child-seat mounts on the outer two rear seats. Naturally, you also get the mandatory electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.5 / 5

Reasonably good in this area, but the Skoda Yeti is starting to lag behind rivals when it comes to fuel economy and emissions.

Engines, drive & performance

4.4 / 5

The Skoda Yeti is surprisingly car-like – even entertaining – to drive, yet the 4x4 models also make decent off-roaders.

Interior & comfort

4 / 5

Seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of space inside the Skoda Yeti, but the ride is firm

Practicality & boot space

4.2 / 5

A huge boot, loads of passenger space and clever seating system make the Skoda Yeti one of the most practical cars you can buy.

Reliability & safety

4.3 / 5

Rated by its owners as the most satisfying car to own in the UK for three years running, the Skoda Yeti is also a top safety performer.

What the others say

3.9 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"Rugged off-roader looks, a great price, impressive handling and a spacious interior: the Yeti has it all."
7 / 10
"Practical, stylish and not at all hairy, the Yeti is a great alternative to a regular hatchback or SUV."
8 / 10
"It's a much more practical choice than a conventional family hatchback, but a Nissan Qashqai is quieter and more efficient."
4 / 5
"A Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai ix35, Audi Q3 or Mini Countryman won’t offer the mix of value, fun and practicality the Yeti pulls off."
What owners say 
4.4411290322581
4.4 /5 based on 248 reviews
82%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
23 Mar 2016
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