Ever since it first hit our roads back in 2009, its boxy styling and fun looks have found fans everywhere. In 2013, it underwent something of a facelift and the Yeti Outdoor was born, alongside a more urban-centric version of the car. All the signs are there – if the name itself didn’t tell you – that this is a rugged car for off and on-road use. In fact, if you were hunting down its name sake, you could probably do it from the comfort of this car.
Tough black cladding adorns the sides and angled bumpers allow for scrape-free climbs or descents. There’s a large amount of glass all around that improves visibility (for Yeti spotting) and, although the overall impression is that the Yeti is a large car, it’s actually much smaller than it looks from the outside.
If you were hunting down its name sake, you could probably do it from the comfort of this car.
What’s it like to drive?
One of the biggest surprises that the Yeti has in store is just how good it is to drive. From looks alone you’d expect it to handle like a wardrobe on wheels, rolling around corners and with steering to match. It’s a whole lot of fun once you get behind the wheel and the car handles brilliantly, whether you’re on a trip to the supermarket or heading down the motorway.
The Yeti is a genuine off-roader too, which comes with very handy features such as hill descent control and, naturally, on-demand 4-wheel drive. It’s not the most aerodynamic of cars, though, so there will always be quite a lot of wind noise when you’re driving at speed.
One of the biggest surprises that the Yeti has in store is just how good it is to drive
One look at the Yeti Outdoor and you can tell that this is a car that’s been built for practicality rather than beauty. This is as true of the interior as it is of its curb-side appearance. From the elevated driver’s seat, which has plenty of adjustment to help you get the position just right, the instrument panel is laid out in front of you.
Skoda has also taken care to make sure that the interior features no-nonsense styling. It still features good quality materials throughout like soft-touch plastics on the dash and hard-wearing fabric on the seats.
Both back and front, there’s all the headroom you’d ever need, even if there’s an actual Bigfoot in there. The rear seats are really only suitable for a couple as the middle seat is very narrow – in fact, it’s a bit of a Sas-squash (sorry). Skoda seems to have anticipated this and so it folds down to create a middle tray, complete with cup holders. It can also be removed completely and the other two seats can be slid together on the handy rail mechanism.
All versions of the Outdoor have an infotainment touch screen, complete with Sat Nav to guide you to the wilds. Unfortunately, today this all seems a little clunky and outdated and a little last-generation to use.
If you want plenty of useable boot space, you’ve got it. Even with all the rear seats in place, you’ll be able to easily pack up for a camping trip. If you fold them down, you’ll be able to take the kitchen sink, too. Another very handy feature is that the rear seats can be removed completely to provide a truly cavernous space. Watch out though, those back seats are quite heavy.
There’s also a number of handy accessories that you can buy including a rack that can carry a bike inside the car adding even more to its practicality. Inside the car there’s plenty of room for odds and ends and the glove box is also very spacious indeed.
Running costs and reliability
The square shape of the Yeti means, aerodynamically speaking, it’s never going to be the most fuel-efficient of cars. So, both the petrol and diesel versions will deliver around 40-45 mpg on average which isn’t great when compared with the Nissan Qashqai.
What we love
The no-nonsense approach that Skoda has taken is like a breath of fresh air. The Yeti Outdoor has all the features you need, delivered perfectly, without the bells and whistles other manufacturers add – and make buyers pay out for. It’s also a genuine off-roader which is also quite a rarity for a car in this price range and which only adds to its appeal.
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Abominable is the very last word that you’d use to describe the Yeti, and we reckon that Skoda knew they had a winner so could take a risk with the name. You’ll be making a pretty safe choice too if you make this your next family car.
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