Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI SE

Skoda Yeti.

The production-ready Yeti was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, just under seven and a half years ago at the time of writing, and immediately found favour with people who suddenly realised that a Skoda SUV was just what they needed even though such a thing had never existed before. It’s still popular now, but isn’t much longer for this world. A replacement date has yet to be confirmed, but you can expect a new Yeti to be on the market within the next couple of years.

The retirement won’t be overdue. The motor industry has moved on in seven and a half years, and however splendid the Yeti seemed when it first appeared it’s starting to feel a little creaky now. The interior plastics have begun to look and feel cheap (the rear seat adjusters being particularly villainous in this context), the gearchance isn’t nearly as precise as it is in more modern Skodas, the tailgate requires considerable effort to open and close and the sound deadening is, by modern standards, not quite up to the job of keeping the noise made by the test car’s 2.0 TDI diesel engine out of the cabin. It would be reasonable to expect improvements in all these areas when the new model arrives.

But I’m talking from the perspective of someone who drives almost nothing but brand new cars. If you’re not troubled by missing out on a bit of refinement, the Yeti still makes a good deal of sense.

One of its best features is that it’s tall; not so tall that it feels as if it’s going to fall over every time you change direction, but tall enough that it the driver has a reasonably clear view of what’s coming up and every occupant, unless they’re freakishly large, has plenty of headroom. Legroom in the back is fine as long as you’re not much more than six feet tall.

Its height is also a major contributor to its practicality. At 4.2 metres the Yeti is not an especially long car, but its load space is 416 litres with all the seats in place and well over 1700 litres if you fold down the rears and are prepared to stack it to roof level.

The driving experience isn’t particularly interesting but the ride and handling are okay (and the steering is much nicer than the gearchange). For a two-litre car it’s not particularly quick, the maximum power output being under 110bhp, while combined economy is an okay but undramatic 53.3mpg. An everyday average in the mid 40s should be within the reach of most owners.

The Yeti looks a bit like an off-roader but this one, and indeed most others, is front-wheel drive, so you wouldn’t want to be too adventurous with it. If you need to venture into the rough stuff the one to buy is the Outdoor, which has four-wheel drive and has a lot of technology to help you in difficult situations.

SE specification includes dual-zone air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and rear parking sensors, but you’ll want to invest a further £150 for a space saver spare wheel to replace the silly tyre repair kit offered as standard. Heating is available for the windscreen (£300), front seats (£250) and windscreen washer nozzles (£35). Amundsen satellite navigation and DAB digital radio are bundled into one pack costing £755.

I have every confidence that the next Yeti will be significantly better, but the current one has served both Skoda and its customers well, and I’m sure a lot of people will miss it when it’s gone.

The production-ready Yeti was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show Show, just under seven and a half years ago at the time of writing, and immediately found favour with people who suddenly realised that a Skoda SUV was just what they needed even though such a thing had never existed before. It’s still popular now, but isn’t much longer for this world. A replacement date has yet to be confirmed, but you can expect a new Yeti to be on the market within the next couple of years.

The retirement won’t be overdue. The motor industry has moved on in seven and a half years, and however splendid the Yeti seemed when it first appeared it’s starting to feel a little creaky now. The interior plastics have begun to look and feel cheap (the rear seat adjusters being particularly villainous in this context), the gearchance isn’t nearly as precise as it is in more modern Skodas, the tailgate requires considerable effort to open and close and the sound deadening is, by modern standards, not quite up to the job of keeping the noise made by the test car’s 2.0 TDI diesel engine out of the cabin. It would be reasonable to expect improvements in all these areas when the new model arrives.

But I’m talking from the perspective of someone who drives almost nothing but brand new cars. If you’re not troubled by missing out on a bit of refinement, the Yeti still makes a good deal of sense.

One of its best features is that it’s tall; not so tall that it feels as if it’s going to fall over every time you change direction, but tall enough that it the driver has a reasonably clear view of what’s coming up and every occupant, unless they’re freakishly large, has plenty of headroom. Legroom in the back is fine as long as you’re not much more than six feet tall.

Its height is also a major contributor to its practicality. At 4.2 metres the Yeti is not an especially long car, but its load space is 416 litres with all the seats in place and well over 1700 litres if you fold down the rears and are prepared to stack it to roof level.

The driving experience isn’t particularly interesting but the ride and handling are okay (and the steering is much nicer than the gearchange). For a two-litre car it’s not particularly quick, the maximum power output being under 110bhp, while combined economy is an okay but undramatic 53.3mpg. An everyday average in the mid 40s should be within the reach of most owners.

The Yeti looks a bit like an off-roader but this one, and indeed most others, is front-wheel drive, so you wouldn’t want to be too adventurous with it. If you need to venture into the rough stuff the one to buy is the Outdoor, which has four-wheel drive and has a lot of technology to help you in difficult situations.

SE specification includes dual-zone air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and rear parking sensors, but you’ll want to invest a further £150 for a space saver spare wheel to replace the silly tyre repair kit offered as standard. Heating is available for the windscreen (£300), front seats (£250) and windscreen washer nozzles (£35). Amundsen satellite navigation and DAB digital radio are bundled into one pack costing £755.

I have every confidence that the next Yeti will be significantly better, but the current one has served both Skoda and its customers well, and I’m sure a lot of people will miss it when it’s gone.

Price £20,105
Engine size 1968cc
Power 109bhp
Top speed 109mph
0-62mph 12.2 seconds
Fuel economy 53.3mpg combined
CO2 emissions 137g/km
Towing capacity 1500kg (braked)
Euro NCAP (2009) Overall 5 stars Adult occupant 92% Child occupant 78% Pedestrian 46% Safety assist 71%
Information correct at publication date

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI SE
Author Rating
4