Skoda Yeti SUV
Price £16,605 - £27,730
- Great to drive
- Very practical
- 4x4 models are great off-road
- Slightly uncomfortable ride
- High CO2 emissions
- Not as good value as it once was
At a glance
"The Skoda Yeti is a small SUV that's great fun to drive, has lots of personality and is a big hit with owners, but it's starting to feel a little dated."
The Skoda Yeti competes with cars including the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Kia Sportage. It offers a combination of hatchback-like styling, the option to spec four-wheel drive, and a versatile cabin that means the Yeti is excellent for family life.
The Yeti is fun to drive on road, and can also compete with normal cars in terms of frugality. Go for a four-wheel drive version and the Skoda is also surprisingly capable off-road. Inside, it has a flexible seating system that means all seats apart from the driver's seat can be removed to carry large items. Take into account Skoda's excellent record for reliability and customer care, and it's no wonder the Yeti has proved so popular here in the UK.
The model recently had an update to give it a fresher look and revised levels of equipment. However, the Yeti – which was launched in 2009 – is still starting to look old against rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Lags behind rivals when it comes to fuel economy and emissions
In terms of economy, the Skoda Yeti is starting to fall behind more modern rivals. The most economical version is the 1.6-litre diesel Skoda Yeti GreenLine, which can return 61.4mpg. Go for the most economical four-wheel-drive version and that drops to 49.6mpg, while the most economical petrol Yeti can only manage 47.9mpg. In comparison, the least economical Nissan Qashqai is capable of 50.4mpg, while the diesel can get more than 74mpg.
The diesel Yetis produce less CO2 emissions meaning road tax can be as low as £30 annually, while the most expensive model to run is the 1.8-litre petrol, which costs £225 every year.
Interior & comfort
Seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of space but the ride is firm
The Skoda Yeti's boxy design may not have the sleek style of some rivals – and it does lead to some wind noise at speed – but it does translate into excellent levels of interior space, and three people should be able to sit comfortably in the back.
Nonetheless, the Skoda's suspension, which can get caught out by the odd bump, isn’t as comfortable as it should be and we also found the diesel engines get noisy under acceleration.
Practicality & boot space
The Yeti has a large boot, spacious interior and brilliantly practical seating system
The Skoda Yeti has a roomy, family-friendly cabin. All five seats should offer plenty of space and the car's high roof means passengers get lots of headroom. The back seats can also be slid forwards or backwards for more or less rear legroom, or to increase the boot capacity to 416 litres. The rear seats can also be completely removed for carrying bulky items, although we found them a bit heavy and awkward to move.
Spend time in the Skoda Yeti and you’ll find plenty of storage areas including a decent-sized glovebox, a cubbyhole under the centre armrest, doorbins and cupholders.
Reliability & safety
Customers rate it as the most satisfying car to own in the UK
As an ownership proposition it is hard to fault the Skoda Yeti and the car has finished first in our 2013 and 2012 Driver Power owner satisfaction surveys. Skoda also did very well in the manufacturers’ rankings to come second behind premium car manufacturer Lexus. It is worth noting that the Skoda's three-year standard warranty isn’t as generous as the five-year protection offered by Hyundai or the seven-year plan that comes with a new Kia.
When it was crash tested by Euro NCAP, the Yeti got a five-star rating for safety and the model comes complete with passenger, side and curtain airbags.
Engines, drive & performance
Surprisingly car-like to drive and 4x4 Outdoor models are capable off-roaders
The Skoda Yeti's raised driving position give its driver a better view of the road but the Yeti feels like a normal car to drive. The slowest model is the GreenLine, which gets from 0-60 in 12.1 seconds but returns excellent economy and is quick enough for normal driving. The 2.0-litre TDI 140 feels quicker, while the 170 TDI has plenty of power in reserve for overtaking. The petrols also offer decent performance but are significantly more expensive to run.
When fitted with four-wheel drive, the Yeti can handle muddy tracks and snow, as well as also coming with useful kit including hill decent control, which makes it easy to drive the Yeti down steep inclines.
Price, value for money & options
Good value compared to rivals and decent equipment levels
Even the basic Skoda Yeti gets a decent level of standard equipment, including air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, and a Bluetooth phone connection. Moving up the range to SE spec gets extra kit including climate control, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Elegance models bring some luxury to the Yeti's interior in the form of full leather upholstery, and also get heated front seats, lumbar support for the driver and front passenger seats, as well as rain-sensing wipers.
What the others say
"This is the entry-level 1.2-litre TSI model, which has done away with the firm's clever 4x4 system. Skoda predicts that 70 per cent of Yetis sold will be front-wheel-drive versions, such as this. And from behind the wheel it's easy to see why. The 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine is smooth and lively, and the six-speed manual transmission is slick and refined."
"Two-wheel drive Yetis are attractively priced and hold their value well, but the four-wheel drive models look quite pricey. Fuel economy is good for most models; our pick of the range, the 1.2 TSI, averages 44.1mpg, while the four-wheel drive diesel versions all manage over 45mpg."
"Well built, decent to drive, economical and practical – there's a lot to like about the Yeti. Look out Qashqai, Skoda has you in its sights."