Skoda Yeti (2009-2017) Review
The Yeti is one of the pioneers of the crossover segment – and has proved a good value, popular and highly practical choice for buyers
Strengths & weaknesses
- A spacious, roomy cabin is ideal for young families
- Trim levels are well specified, even for base versions
- Small petrol engines and diesels mean that Yetis are inexpensive to run
- Not pretty: It won’t win any beauty contest (but it does have a charm of its own)
- Off-roading: 4x4 versions have limited off-roading abilities
- Dated: the interior and some of the tech now feels a little old
Far from being a mythical creature, the Yeti is an all-too-real, practical, popular compact crossover that has proved to be a hit with buyers (in 2016, its last full year of sales, 13,654 Yetis were sold, the best-selling year of all).
At launch in 2009, there weren’t many rivals in class, but it has subsequently been joined by the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Suzuki Ignis and, at the more premium end of the market, the BMW X1 and Audi Q2. It has been replaced by the similarly sized Skoda Karoq.
It has found favour in part because its idiosyncratic, boxy design means that the cabin is very spacious and particularly suited to families. There’s plenty of space in the rear, with lots of headroom and legroom, while the 416-litre boot is also capacious enough for most requirements.
The aforementioned styling was never going to win any awards, but it certainly never seemed to put buyers off, while it evolved fairly significantly in 2014, when the Yeti was facelifted and split into two distinct models. The Yeti was aimed at a more urban audience, with its body-coloured bumpers and smooth lines, while the Yeti Outdoor was a more rugged-looking proposition, with black mouldings on the lower bodywork, and bumpers with steeper approach and departure angles, to make it look more off-road-ready.
Equipment levels are good, with even base trim models (there were three trims originally, expanding to five after the 2014 revisions, including a sporty Monte Carlo and a more premium/luxurious Laurin & Klement) having the likes of Bluetooth on all models and some later cars having DAB digital radio.
The Yeti had, in essence, two different engine line-ups over its lifetime, with original cars having two petrol units (1.2 and 1.8) and three versions of the 2.0 TDI diesel: the 2014 revisions saw that tweaked to replace the 1.8 with a 1.4 TSI and the diesel offering trimmed down to just two variants (110PS and 150PS). All are a good match for the Yeti, depending on how you use it, with perhaps the exception of the 1.8-litre petrol, which offers performance, but at a price.
As with the rest of the Skoda model range, the Yeti performs well – in conservative, consistent, under-the-radar kind of way – on the road. The handling is well suited to a compact SUV, with accurate steering and good body control, and it rides comfortably. Four-wheel-drive versions also perform well off-road, coping well with slippery and boggy conditions: they can’t perhaps compete with the likes of Land Rovers, but it’s a useful tool in the Yeti’s box.
The Yeti is a good all-round package of practicality, reliability, safety, performance and economy – and it manages to also offer a good value proposition. As new cars start to fade from the market, there may well be some offers, while it’s a very attractive second-hand proposition.
|3 years, 60,000 miles
|416 litres//1,760 litres
|Tax (min to max)
|£160-£200 in the first year, £140 thereafter
Best Skoda Yeti for...
Best for Economy – Skoda Yeti S 2.0 TDI 110PS manual
The lower-powered of the two diesels returns up to 64.2mpg (on cars fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and emits just 115g/km.
Best for Families – Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI 110PS DSG
The smooth-running base petrol engine mated to the dual-clutch automatic transmission is a doddle to drive – and not too expensive to run, with fuel economy of 53.3mpg.
Best for Performance – Skoda Yeti 1.4 TSI 150PS 4x4
With a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 121mph, the flexible 1.4-litre petrol engine is the quickest of the Yeti line-up.
One to Avoid – Skoda Yeti S 2.0 TDI 110PS 4x4
While the 2.0 TDI engine is economical, entry-level S trim doesn’t have a generous equipment list. It has air-con and electric front windows, but not much more than that. It’s paying the extra to step up at least to SE trim to get a few more luxuries and practical touches, including roof rails, a central armrest and dual-zone climate control.
- March 2009: Yeti unveiled at Geneva Motor Show.
- September 2009: Yeti goes on sale in UK.
- September 2013: Revised Yeti unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show.
- January 2014: Revised Yeti goes on sale in UK.
- August 2014: Monte Carlo versions added to line-up.
- February 2017: SE Drive and SE L Drive models added to Yeti range
Understanding Skoda Yeti names
There were originally just three trims (S, SE and Elegance), but this expanded to five trim levels after the 2014 revisions, which make cars more expensive as additional equipment is added to the specification. They start at S, moving up to SE, SE-L, Monte Carlo and the range-topping Laurin & Klement
Engine 1.2 TSI 110PS
The car was originally launched with five engines – 1.2 and 1.8 TSI petrol, plus a 2,0 TDI diesel with three different power ratings – but after a facelift in 2014, this was reduced to four powerplants: 1.2 and 1.4 TSI and 2.0 TDI 110PS and 2.0 TDI 150PS.
There are four gearbox variants used in the Yeti. The two manuals are a five-speed and six-speed ’boxes, while DSG dual-clutch transmission come in six-speed and seven-speed DCT versions.
Skoda Yeti Engines
1.2 TSI, 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TDI 110PS, 2.0 TDI 150PS
Original Yetis were available with 1.2 and 1.8-litre petrol engines and three versions of the 2.0 TDI diesel – 110PS, 140PS and 170PS.
However, the engine range was simplified in the 2014 facelift, with Skoda offering just four units: 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrol units and two 2.0 TDI variants, with 110PS and 150PS power outputs.
All these engines are tried and tested, and used extensively across Volkswagen Group models (i.e. in Skodas, Volkswagens, Audis and Seats).
The 110PS 1.2 TSI petrol is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. Although not exactly massively powerful, it’s a quiet and smooth petrol unit, with official fuel consumption in the low fifties (depending on the size of the wheels fitted and whether manual or automatic gearbox). The impressively flexible 1.4 TSI is another smooth engine, but the extra power shaved a couple of seconds off the 0-62mph time compared with the smaller petrol engine, while fuel economy is still 44.8mpg. This engine is also only available with four-wheel drive in Yeti Outdoor variants.
The workhorse 2.0 TDI diesels are rated at either 110PS or 150PS, with both offering fairly refined and efficient operation. Obviously, the 150PS offers more power and feels quicker on the road, with decent levels of boost coming from low down in the rev range and fuel economy in the low to mid fifties (depending on whether fitted with six-speed manual or DSG gearbox – all cars have four-wheel drive). The more popular 110PS variant offers better fuel consumption figures (up to 64.2mpg with front-wheel drive) and, though palpably able to call on less in the hurry-up department, is perfectly acceptable for most drivers.
2.0 TDI 110PS
2.0 TDI 150PS
Skoda Yeti Trims
S, SE, SE L, Monte Carlo and Laurin & Klement
Yetis are well specified, with base S models coming fitted with features such as manual air conditioning, curtain airbags, ESC stability control, alloy wheels and Bluetooth.
SE models add the likes dual-zone air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and a removable LED lamp in the luggage compartment.
Moving up to SE L models adds bi- xenon headlamps, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, cornering front fog lights, Hill hold control and an off-road button on Yeti Outdoor 4x4 models.
The sportier-looking Monte Carlo models add design features including 17-inch black alloy wheels, black roof and door mirrors, bi-xenon headlights and sports seats.
At the top of the range (but only for Yeti Outdoor models), Laurin & Klement cars include features aimed at adding an element of luxury, including LED rear lights, leather upholstery with L&K logos and stitching, satellite navigation, DAB radio, panoramic sunroof and park assist.
Skoda Yeti Reliability and warranty
Owners really rate their Yetis – so much so that it came second overall in the list of best cars in the 2017 Auto Express Driver Power survey. Those who happily live with the car love everything from the design to the way it rides and drives, with particular highlights include the styling, plus the fit and finish of the materials – especially inside, where the Yeti was highly praised (the front seats are the fifth most comfortable of all the cars in the survey). It was also second in the list of most reliable cars.
The new car warranty is three miles or 60,000 miles, but buyers have been given the opportunity to extend that to five years and 100,000 miles, which is transferable, so it’s something worth checking if looking for a used car.
Used Skoda Yeti
The Yeti has proved a very to be a very popular model for Skoda, with thousands of buyers every year opting for its boxy practicality.
As a result, there are numerous examples on the second-hand market, from as little as £4,000-5,000 for early (2010) cars. Even post-2014 facelifted cars start at around £7,000, with Outdoor versions from around £8,000.
Yeti and Yeti Outdoor cars can be differentiated by their exterior looks, as detailed earlier, so it’s easy to spot them on the forecourt or images.