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Skoda Yeti: Test Drive Review

Date: 23 June 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Small 4x4
P11D price: £19,750 (est.)
Key rival: Toyota RAV4

Skoda is entering the small off-roader market this September with the Yeti, a car based on the Octavia Scout underpinnings.

Available in either four-wheel or front-wheel drive form, it's shorter and higher than the Octavia Scout and better off-road, at least in the 4x4 format.

Skoda will bring the Yeti to the UK with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines.

The petrol line-up includes a 105PS 1.2 TSI only available in front drive and the 1.8 TSI, which is only coming as a 4x4. The diesel start point, a 110PS 2.0 TDI, is available in both front- and all-wheel drive, while the 140 and 170PS TDIs are both 4x4s.

Going up against the likes of the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Rav4, the Yeti immediately has an advantage because the 140PS 4x4 model dips below the 160g/km capital allowance threshold. It's rivals all come in above this point, and with many fleets removing cars above 160g/km from their choice lists, Skoda could steal a march with user-choosers wanting or needing a 4x4.

However, even though Skoda has yet to release CO2 or mpg figures for its front-drive versions the firm expects the 2WD 110PS diesel to be the biggest seller.

This engine is the smoothest of the diesels and is quiet and refined at all speeds. It's also not lacking in pulling power for overtaking moves.

Inside, the Yeti uses the VW parts bin to great effect and many of the controls will be familiar to Passat CC and new Golf owners. The result is first-rate interior quality.

For a small off-roader, the Yeti is spacious with plenty of leg and head room in the rear seats, which can be folded, slid and removed MPV-style depending on how much luggage you need to carry. The only disappointment on the interior's flexibility is that the front passenger seat doesn't fold flat forward to allow longer loads. However, the boot comes with a neat rail and hook system as standard to stop bags rolling around.

While the majority (65-70%) of Yetis will be sold as front-drive cars, the 4x4 system, which adds £1600 to the price, is designed to tackle more than just gravel tracks. The hill descent control works both in-gear and in neutral, allowing a controlled downhill speed of less than 2mph despite the absence of a low-ratio gearbox.

Skoda expects residuals to match the 34-36% at three years and 60,000 miles that the Qashqai achieves, and while final whole-life costs have yet to be issued, the Yeti would be our choice in this market.

Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI 140PS
Elegance 4x4 manual
P11D price£19,750*
Model price range£14,250-£22,000*
Fuel consumption46.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 159g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40%
per month
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 13*
Boot space (min/max)405/1760 litres
Engine size/power1997cc/140PS
Top speed/0-62mph119mph/9.9secs
On sale 17 September 2009
VerdictEasily the most
fleet-friendly and
practical soft-roader


Easily the most fleet-friendly and practical soft-roader