The Skoda Yeti is a five-seater, five-door compact SUV first introduced in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show. Also going by the name Sandi, the Skoda Yeti is the Czech car manufacturer’s first venture into the SUV market. In most areas in Europe, the Yeti is offered with three trim levels: the Experience, Ambition, and Track. In the UK though, five trim levels are available. These are the E, S, SE, SE Plus, and the Elegance. In 2009, the Yeti was recognized as the Family Car of the Year by Top Gear Magazine. And in 2010, it was in the running for European Car of the Year, ranking fourth on the overall according to the awards website. In June of 2011, Skoda built its 100,000th Yeti.
As expected of a vehicle from Skoda, the Yeti is a very safe car. Rated with five stars by the Euro NCAP, the Skoda Yeti features an Electronic Stability Programme with Anti-lock Braking System, Anti-Slip Regulation and Electronic Differential Lock, and Hydraulic Brake Assist. Additionally, the Yeti can also be ordered to include up to 11 airbags (dual front, front and rear side torso, front and rear side curtain, and driver’s knee).
The Skoda Yeti also has a number of stand-out features in terms of design, the most noticeable of which are the large drive lights located inboard of the main cluster and the daintily curved front bumper with a skid guard. These are complemented by Bi-xenon headlights capable of adaptive cornering in the Elegance trim. All trim levels also feature foglights in front except for the basic ‘E’ trim.
Inside, the Skoda Yeti is comfortable, many thanks to individually sliding seats and enough leg, elbow, and head room for two adults. The dash is well-designed and the touchscreens on the Elegance trim add ease of use and elegance to it, while the tall windscreen and broad windows let in ample light and offer excellent visibility. Remove the rear seats and the Skoda Yeti has a boot that the Peugeot 3008, Nissan, Qashqai, and the Ford Focus can’t beat.
There are four diesel and four petrol engines available for the Skoda Yeti, with a Greenline model offered for those keen on saving on fuel consumption. Whatever kind of engine you choose though, the Yeti is easy to drive through various road and traffic conditions. It may boil down to preference but a manual gearbox on any engine is recommended over the automatic one.
It depends on how you look at it but the Skoda Yeti’s shape is a bit unusual, falling between vehicles like the Fiat Panda 4x4 and convention C-segment soft-roaders like the Volkswagen Tiguan at just 4.2 metres.
While passengers will be comfortable at the back, those seating at the front will have a bit of a problem with their seats because they lack lateral support. And if you’re the driver, it’s hard to get into a comfortable position while taking into consideration the steering wheel. The steering wheel is adjustable but both the front seats and steering wheel could benefit from a wider range of movement.
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