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

Date: 20 December 2010   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

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

The Yeti, Skoda's faux suburban safari wagon, speaks volumes about how the Czech brand has blossomed in recent years, and is far more than an SUV pastiche or a wannabe Nissan Qashqai.

4x4 purists may sneer at the new generation of front-wheel drive crossover variants but, having avoided snow and ice, our 102hp 1.2-litre petrol turbo iteration combined personality, practicality and fairly good business sense.

Whereas the small Skoda Roomster mini-MPV looks like there has been a collision between several cars in the styling studio, there is something cohesive and assertive, but unthreatening about the Yeti, with its exterior styling that is chunky and non-aggressive.

There was nothing radical about the Yeti's interior, with ample room for five adults and their worldly goods. That is due to the car's width, second only to the Superb in the Skoda range, and generous cabin height [1]. Controls, material quality and instrumentation were on a par with VW cousins [2].

Perhaps a tad grey and sombre inside the main flaw emerged when the rear seats were flipped, folded and on one rash hernia-risking occasion, removed. In mitigation, the loading bay swallowed vast amounts of stuff [3]. If Skoda could learn from the one-handed manipulation of other?VW?Group products such as the new ?Sharan's back seats, the Yeti would offer an ideal combination of weekday commercial load lugging and weekend recreational use.

Those rear seats were sturdy enough with useful rake plus fiddly fore and aft adjustment and outboard grab handles.

Our Yeti returned a decent 39.5mpg average, which isn't close to what we'd have expected from a diesel, but provides an interesting comparison, given that the equivalent power in diesel form would have cost an extra £1500 and come in a BIK?band higher.

However, the free-revving FSI engine and six-speed manual transmission made for rewarding driving, while the ride quality, choppy when unladen, settled down with more people and luggage on board.

Our SE's equipment levels reflected Skoda's company car nous with a well-chosen spread of P11D standard kit. This embraced six airbags, cruise control, all-round electric windows, dual-zone aircon, parking sensors and an excellent sound system. But I would have happily traded vain rear privacy glass and headlight washers for power-folding mirrors, given the Yeti's width.

Our time with the Yeti proved fault-free with no glaring shortcomings. Its Korean counterpart, Hyundai's ix35, has now taken its place on the drive, but it faces a hard job to match the Skoda's character and all-round capability.

Skoda Yeti 1.2 FSI petrol SE five-door, 6-speed manual
Claimed combined
Our average
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:Character, refinement
and build integrity
Negative:Flawed seat manipulation