With it’s 4 wheel drive and squat, short shape, the Skoda Yeti is unlike any other in the line, yet it makes a compelling choice for a road tripping shredder. There’s plenty of room for four people if you put your board bags onto a roof rack and three will comfortably fit with bags inside the cabin. Fuel economy is very acceptable for a four wheel drive, with an average real world figure a shade under 50mpg on our trip to Morzine earlier this year. 4WD duties are taken care of by a Haldex system, which pushes all the power to the front wheels in normal driving conditions, but when if notices either of the front wheels slipping, power is diverted to the rear wheels, giving the car it’s 4WD capability. This happens in milliseconds, so fast in fact that you don’t notice it, all you know is that the car grips firmly in all road conditions. Icy, snowy runs up form Morzine to the ski resort of Avoriaz were handled easily, and despite the slippery nature of the roads and expansive ice bound car park at the entrance to Avoriaz, the Yeti did not slip, slide, or skip a beat once.
Despite all the jokes about the Eastern European origins of the brand, there’s a lot of positives to be said about Skoda cars. Since Volkswagen bought them in 1986 the Czech manufacturer has enjoyed the advantages of Volkswagen’s legendary German engineering and reliability, but with the reduced costs associated with building vehicles in the former Eastern Bloc. This means you get a German engineered vehicle without the premium price that is normally associated with that. In fact, the Yeti has taken the top slot in the Auto Express Customer Satisfaction survey for three years in a row. Yes, you read that right, three years in a row, beating out the likes of BMW, Audi and Toyota and it scored high marks for reliability, build quality and value for money.
‘Despite the slippery nature of the roads and expansive ice bound car park at the entrance to Avoriaz, the Yeti did not slip, slide, or skip a beat once’
On the drive down to Morzine, the Yeti ate up the motorway miles with ease and at no point did we feel as though we were driving an 4WD. Motorway speeds were taken in it’s stride and it even handled well when a fox with a death wish darted out in front of us as we travelled at 80mph. The fuel economy was sufficiently good to mitigate the horror of paying £70 EACH WAY for motorway tolls – in fact, the tolls cost us more than fuel for the trip.
We were sad to give the Yeti back. It’s the kind of car you can drive every day, small and nippy enough to do everything you need, big enough to get your road trip gear in and well priced enough to make it a seriously viable option.
Engine size: 2.0l diesel
Top speed: 105mph
CO2: from 118g/km
Fuel economy: up to 68.9 mpg (49.6mpg during our review)
Price: from from £20,000