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New Skoda Yeti 112TSI review

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    The frame sits tight over bumps and there’s no trouble stopping quickly on loose gravel and sand.

Allison Garoza road tests and reviews the 2012 1.8-litre Skoda Yeti 112TSI.

Skoda Yeti 112TSI 3.5

Remember that short, kind of stocky looking kid everyone underestimated in gym class? Well he’s grown up and created a vehicle that will leave comparative, image-conscious SUVs in the nurse’s office.

While the Abominable Snowman may have trouble fitting into this compact SUV, Skoda’s Yeti offers human families the opportunity to pursue a little adventure. Strength and tight handling on road, stability off, and a sturdy body - the Yeti brings a neat bundle to Skoda.


The automatic, 1.8-litre Yeti 112TSI 4x4 is priced at $35,290. It comes with 17-in alloy wheels (16 inch steel spare), eight-speaker stereo, ABS, ESC, ASR, EBD, Hill Hold Control, 12-volt sockets, Bluetooth, cruise control, trip computer, dual-zone climate control, pollen filter, auxiliary input socket, and a multi-function leather steering wheel.


The six-speed DSG Yeti prowls with 112kW/250Nm, going from 0-100km in 9.0 seconds. 8.2L/100km is the official fuel combined, but we found 11L/100km on our mostly urban and off road test. The DSG slides through quick and smooth gear changes as the Yeti seeks new territory with long as there isn’t a log or large ditch in the way, but we’ll get to that later.


Externally the boxy Yeti isn’t as well groomed as sleeker compact SUVs, but the Yeti isn’t one to worry about looks when the open road is calling. Internally the cabin is quiet and airy (except for an extremely high pitched noise on our test vehicle).

The dash display looks slick, and the leather steering wheel adds a nice, high quality, touch. While the radio display screen gives plenty of programming options, it isn’t easy to navigate while driving, and the fan controls would work better as a dial than the easy to miss buttons.

Drink holders are only able to hold small cups, leaving any long distance traveller with a serious lack of caffeine. Seats in back are a bit rigid and narrow for three adults to sit comfortably on a long trip, but kids will have no trouble. The middle seat flips down, providing two more insanely small cup holders, and vents in back will keep all types of creatures cool.

The boot is small for an SUV, but storage compartments beside the spare wheel (which isn’t full size), sliding hooks for groceries, and the VarioFlex ability to separately fold down and remove each back seat, gives plenty of storage options, assuming you’re not carrying five people.


A five-star rating, seven airbags, height-adjustable front headrests with WOKS, ESC, ABS, EBD, and ASR, make the Yeti one safe little monster.


The Yeti can tackle moderate off road terrain. The frame sits tight over bumps and there’s no trouble stopping quickly on loose gravel and sand. The limitation comes with the vehicle’s clearance. With a low frame this 4x4 has difficulty with obstacles and scourged tracks. 

While the underbody protection can shelter a few dings, it won’t take much to bottom out, leaving the Yeti willing, but not able, to follow the pack. An optional off road technology pack brings a few more tricks for adventurous travellers, but the clearance will still limit you.

Obstacles aside, responsive handling, very little body roll (especially considering the high interior), smooth DSG, and a fair dose of zip makes the Yeti a fun on road vehicle, with the ability to get a little dirty off road. 


Wrangle this beast and the Yeti becomes a solid, compact SUV for the family or moderate adventurer.

Skoda Yeti 112TSI

Price: from $32,990 (manual); $35,290 (auto)
Warranty: 3 years
Dimensions: (L) 4223mm, (W) 1793mm, (H) 1691mm, (WB) 2578
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder, 112kW/250Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual/auto, 4x4 constant
Thirst: 8.4L/100km (197g/km), 8.2L/100km (194g/km)



Subaru XV 2.0L
Price: from $30,990 
Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder, 110kW/196Nm 
Transmission: 6-speed manual/auto, AWD
Thirst: 7L/100km, CO2 162g/km 


Subaru XV - see other Subaru XV verdicts


VW Tiguan 132TSI
Price: from $33,490
Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder, 132kW/280Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, AWD
Thirst: 8.7L/100km, CO2 204g/km 


VW Tiguan - see other VW Tiguan verdicts



Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI
Price: from $47,000 
Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder, 125kW/380Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual and 7-speed auto, AWD
Thirst: 7.3L/100km, CO2 174g/km 


Audi Q3 - see other Audi Q3 verdicts


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 6 comments

  • I have rust / blisters on the Skoda Yeti.  VW has problems with galvanization on some of their car models. Skoda is one of them. I Have a 2010 that had rust blisters on all 5 doors in 2012. It was repainted -12 and now in 2013 the same problem pops up again. VW will not fix the problem again because a few months over the 3 year warranty. But it’s the same basic problem as the one they were trying to fix 2012. They have become really hard to take costs and do not take responsibility. Now I stand with a Yeti that is rusting quickly, due to the faulty galvanization of all 5 doors.  I would google on rust / galvanization / blisters /VW before deciding on a model.  I have seen that the same problem has been on Passat and A4. The big issue is not that problems occur on cars, but how the car maker handles the problem. VW has put on a cost cutting program where they are taking on less claims.

    Martin Blomqvist of Stockholm, Sweden Posted on 28 November 2013 2:28am
  • how come a 16yr old kid can join the army, fight & die for his country, but he can’t have a beer in a pub?  However the Yeti does stack up rather well against the opposition especially with the VW mechanicals. Skoda eh!!, Does anyone remember Seat??

    Mr Clarance Prutt of Cairns Posted on 14 June 2013 7:48pm
  • I have owned a Yeti for 8 months. It is a fantastic car. It holds heaps of gear (more than it appears to) and as far as looks - I have had so much attention from people that I have added signwriting for my business to the back window. It is very comfortable and goes extremely well. My wife has a Mercedes Kompressor and I actually prefer driving mine - go figure!

    Brian Wappett of Alstonville NSW Posted on 13 June 2013 10:32pm
  • How come that you can buy a new yeti from 23000 to 28000 depending which dealer you choose ..can some one let me know the lowest price and which dealer you bought. Yours from ......don

    Don Ross of Thornlie Posted on 26 December 2012 4:12pm
  • We’ve had our Yeti for 9 months and clocked up 16,000km. It is really quiet and comfortable for the 300+km journeys we frequently do. The turbo lag is but a fraction of a second and the zoom effect is great. Fuel economy is good, but offset by the requirement to use 95 petrol which is as much as 20 cents per litre more than 91.  Drink cans fit in the centre console, larger water bottles in the front door pockets. Removing all the rear seats (a minute to do) gave us a ‘wagon’ that was very useful when recently moving house. Who cares what people think of the outside - on the inside the fit and finish are fine, seats comfortable, stereo good, and aircon efficient. In terms of value for money with good performance we found the Yeti to be well ahead of the competition.

    Chris Kenyon of googong nsw Posted on 19 December 2012 9:06pm
  • I sat in the Yeti at the recent Sydney Motorshow, I was hugely impressed by the fit & finish. The seats were also very comfortable.

    I really don’t understand this reviews comments about ‘insanely small cup holders’. Are you crying to put buckets in there?
    I had a large coffee cup with me and I tried it in numerous cars, including the Yeti - and it was fine. Remember - all cups taper down at the base.

    MitchellW of NSW Posted on 22 November 2012 12:42pm
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