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.
PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
Explore the 2012 Skoda Yeti range
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 confidence...as 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.