Skoda Yeti Elegance 2.0 TDI  CR15 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    There's nothing abominable about Skoda's Yeti


    I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles around Scotland since I passed my test many, many years ago. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve driven the M8, M9, M74 and M90 motorways in the Central Belt; I’ve come to know dual carriageways like the notorious A9 better than my back garden; and many’s the time I’ve tackled the single track backroads of the Highlands where you have to keep your wits about you to gamble with the only other car on the road for the sole passing place. But I can honestly say, I have only ever once driven in Loch Ness ... and that was at the wheel of a Skoda Yeti.

    The company chose the superb Aldourie Castle Hotel south of Inverness to reveal their crossover vehicle which is designed to be as happy on a hillside as in a city street. But they went even further by laying out a very demanding off-road course round the Aldourie Estate some of which, after a week of very heavy rain, disappeared into Nessie’s home territory. Rather than re-route the course, they carried on regardless and so did a stream of Yetis, each handling some dramatic wading in the chilly Highland loch. It was an impressive display and subsequently, after a week with the car in a more urban environment, I’m mightily impressed.

    On the road

    Offroad – whether up to its wheel arches in Loch Ness, or at crazy angles on a hillside – it is very capable and takes everything in its stride. If things get tough, the off-road button is there to keep control on downhill speed and maintain traction uphill. The four-wheel-drive is excellent, sensing what’s happening at each wheel — whether to transfer power, or apply the brakes — to ensure it puts as much power and grip where it’s needed.

    Give it a wash and it settles down to the city streets to become a flexible family car with a higher ride height which gives superb visibility and huge carrying capacity, even without the rear seats folded down. In the week I had the car I had it fully loaded with the all the gubbins needed to feed 80 people at a big birthday bash … and the following day it easily handled a fridge which had to be brought from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

    Comfort & Safety

    The Yeti’s very nice to drive and the Elegance version of the test car was fitted with lots of standard equipment, including brilliant bi-xenon headlights and front fog lights with cornering function to see round the bends and slice through the darkest night. Inside there was full leather, and heated front seats which incorporated double lumbar supports. The rear seats have a great folding system which offers more than 20 different seating positions and options to suit whatever load you have to carry. I really liked the Yeti – and to continue the company’s quirky advertising, it’s come in from the cold and you’re going to see a lot of it.

    Should I buy one?

    Without doubt, this is a cracker of a car. The test car was top of the range and therefore carried a hefty price tag but you get a lot for your money. If you don’t need the power or the four wheel drive, the basic Yeti E starts at under £14,000.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £21,370 / £21,370
    Engine / Power: 1998cc / 140bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 9.9secs, Max 118mph
    How big/heavy?: H1691mm  W1793mm  L4223mm / 1530kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 47.1mpg / CO2 157g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 16E / Band G, £150
    Alternatives: Hyundai Tucson; Suzuki Grand Vitara; Nissan Qashqai

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