Return of the Yeti

Road test: Škoda Yeti Outdoor 2.0 TDI 140PS 4×4 DSG

We loved the Skoda Yeti last time round so couldn’t wait to get our hands on a high specification model now the range has been face-lifted.

What has changed?

Škoda has broken the range down into the standard Yeti and the Yeti Outdoor, the latter being a slightly ruggedised version with different bumpers and extra plastic trim. Bodily, it hasn’t changed a great deal over the first generation: the most notable tweaks are to the bonnet, lights and grill (now looking a little edgier and losing the contours which flowed down through the old model’s grill). The tail gate is tweaked too and now uses the company’s current origami-style flat planes. The first generation was slightly purer of design with the smoother back and large, circular driving lamps integral to the front panel but the 2014 model looks fine with the latest Škoda family nose.

Inside, the story is the same: very small changes but the common sense approach is still prevalent. Sitting in the well-specified Elegance trim version, there is little to fault. Heated leather seats (although it appears to be that man-made stuff), nav and DAB radio, plus copius storage makes for a very easy life. Oddly, it didn’t have a USB connector for the stereo – quite an omission in the 21st Century.

On the hoof, there isn’t a great deal to report over the last model. This all-wheel-drive version feels a tad taughter in the drive train than the front-wheel-drive last on test and although not quite as forgiving when it comes to winter-ravaged roads, it is certainly more civilised than anything else in this class of vehicle.

Sleet and hail fell

As the week progressed, I found myself giving less and less thought to the Yeti, for the very best of reasons: it just does everything extremely well. Then the cold snap happened. Temperatures dropped and the sleet and hail fell from the skies. Here, the Yeti positively shone (although not its olive ‘Jungle Green’ paint which didn’t do our press car any favours). Okay, so the car is fitted with winter tyres but the all-wheel-drive and pliant suspension give the Yeti great sure footedness on flooded lanes and with icy slush on the road.

Fitted here with the 140PS 2.0 diesel (and ubiquitous six-speed dual clutch gearbox) the Yeti doesn’t feel stressed at all; it is probably the best combination (although there is a 170PS version, should you wish to shave a second-and-a-half off the 0-62mph time). Alternatively, there are the 1.8 and clever 1.2 petrol units plus the smaller (and slightly lacklustre) 1.6 diesel. Unlike its Volkswagen cousins, there is no stop-start here which would save a few pennies on the commute.

The Yeti’s trump card has always been its versatility and that is still very much the case. There have been some very minor tweaks cosmetically (although it is still a design which polarises opinion) but nothing to detract too far from the car’s original, capable design. We love it.

Škoda Yeti Outdoor Elegance 2.0 TDI CR DPF 140 PS 4×4 DSG, £24,720. Range starts at £16,405.

Power: 140 PS (@ 4,200 rpm), torque: 320 Nm (@ 1,750-2,500 rpm), emissions: 164 g/km CO2 (band G), 0-60 mph: 10.2 secs.

Motor Writer rating: ●●●●●

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