Skoda has updated its ubiquitous Yeti for 2014, it’s fair to say it’s been a great seller for Skoda, with in excess of 281,000 models sold worldwide since it first appeared four years ago. There are a few subtle styling changes on the car’s exterior with a new, now familiar Skoda family face featuring a new front grille, new headlights and rectangular fog lights, the rear features a new bumper, LED taillights and a newly-shaped rear door. The interior has been updated too, with a choice of seat covers and no less than seven versions of three-spoke steering wheels.
In addition to the 1.2-litre petrol, 1.6-litre diesel and 2.0-litre diesel models is a new 2.0-litre TDI diesel variant that is equipped with a 4×4 all-wheel drive system. It’s this new model that we recently tested. Motorists have an extensive choice of engines and equipment when it comes to choosing a new Yeti. The 1.2-litre TSI petrol model offers 105hp and is available with a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. The entry-level diesel Yeti is equipped with a 1.6-litre TDI that produces 105hp and will return a combined fuel consumption of an impressive 4.6L/100km (61.4mpg). There are three power outputs available for the 2.0-litre TDI, the 110hp and 140hp models are available in both two-wheel and all-wheel drive, the 170hp model is solely available in all-wheel drive. Skoda has introduced a new Outdoor grade to complement the existing Active, Ambition and Elegance grades. The Yeti Outdoor benefits from new side and rear black mouldings, different bumpers and a full length retractable panoramic sunroof. The entry-level Active models are generously equipped as standard with items such as front fog lamps, roof rails, 16” alloy wheels, multiple airbags, air conditioning, MP3 connectivity and tinted windows all included.
Our test car was the new Outdoor model, in addition to the standard specification it benefits from 17” alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, colour touch screen radio, six-CD changer, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors. The most notable feature when you sit inside the Yeti is the abundance of space that surrounds you, in particular the generous amount of headroom for both front and rear seat occupants. The rear seats can be independently folded or removed to increase the luggage space to 1,760 litres. The fit and finish is top-notch as we’ve come to expect from Skoda lately. 110hp doesn’t look like much power on paper especially when you consider the engine has to send power to all four wheels at times. However, in reality the Yeti’s efficient 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine performs impeccably with sufficient power for city and motorway driving. If you didn’t look at the specification sheet prior to driving the 110hp Yeti you could easily be forgiven for believing you’re driving a higher-powered model. Our test car had a six-speed manual transmission that is light to touch. The Yeti also impressed us with its on-road dynamics as well as its power delivery. For a practical car such as this it can handle every bit as a competent as some family saloons, despite its increased ride height. The car remains stable and is reassuring through twisty sections of road. Should you need to venture off-road then this 4×4 Yeti will easily cope with tricky terrain without difficulty. The all-wheel drive system is based on the fifth-generation Haldex clutch, which is electronically operated. For the majority of drives most of the car’s power is sent to the front wheels, if a loss of grip is detected then some of this power can be transferred to the rear wheels to aid grip. It’s a clever system that offers reassurance off-road and for driving in snowy wintery conditions.
The Skoda Yeti may not be to everyone’s taste, although with its new improved looks the Yeti is more appealing. It’s a practical car that’s far more capable then you might think, and offers a refined driving experience for all who travel in it. In 4×4 guise the Yeti can achieve many feats.[table “173” not found /]