Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Yeti - 1st Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Yeti - 1st Report

Date: 07 June 2010   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Yeti lead shot
Category: lower medium crossover
P11D price: £15,820
Key rival: Nissan Qashqai

Skoda's Yeti is the most radical element of the Czech brand's steadily expanding product portfolio.

It features a chunky, funky exterior, intelligently flexible format interior and dual role as a 4x4 safari wagon or front-wheel drive crossover. But don't brand the Yeti a mere clone of the Nissan Qashqai - a long termer we loved -­ because the Skoda's initial conceptual development arguably predated the Nissan, and has translated reasonably faithfully into production reality.

We opted for the two-wheel drive variant powered by the 1.2-litre, 105hp FSI VW family petrol engine, linked to a six-speed manual transmission [1]. Our bright red (£15,820 P11D) example, complete with imitation front and rear skid plates, is specified to SE level, which provides a comprehensive amount of equipment for the money.

All round electric windows, 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, cruise control, electronic climate system, headlight washers, six-CD sound system and, for passengers seeking to be conspicuously inconspicuous, rear privacy glasses. Electrically folding mirrors would have been useful, however, for a car that's wider than the Octavia stablemate.

With 18cm ground clearance, the Yeti's high-waisted, high-nosed slab-sided styling polarises opinions, which were accentuated by our fire engine-coloured example; dark metallics maybe work better. Front fog lights double as day running lights [2], which cannot seemingly be switched off and inevitably provoke flashing from people with too much time on their hands.

Climb aboard and the cabin is standard high-quality VW Group issue with intuitive operation of buttons and switches. One ergonomic shortcoming is the cowled speedo [3], which requires squinting over to the right to register the important 30mph reading. Also, changing the configuration of the rear seats needs concentration and lacks the ease of operation of Vauxhall's new Meriva or Ford's S-max. A family member detaching the flimsy strap when attempting to fold a back seat illustrated this.

That name? Apparently proposed by an external project consultant after earnest and predictable internal titles were consigned to the bin. The next six months will show whether we think the car itself should go the same way, or if it can surpass the Qashqai.

Skoda Yeti 1.2 FSI petrol SE five-door, 6-speed manual
Mileage806 miles
Claimed combined
Our average consumption39mpg
P11D price£15,820
Model price range£13,990-£22,640
CO2 (tax) 149g/km/18%
BIK 20/40% per month£47/£95
Service intervalvariable 10,000-20,000mls
or 1-2 years
Insurancegroup 10E
Boot space (min/max)416/1580 litres
(1760 litres rear
seats removed)
Engine size/power1197cc/106PS (105hp)
Top speed/0-62mph109mph/11.8secs
Why we’re running itCan Yeti extend
Skoda’s footprint and
challenge Nissan’s Qashqai?
Positive:Original, assertive and flexible
two-wheel-drive crossover.
Negative:‘Marmite’ looks, choppy ride