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Skoda Yeti Elegance 1.6 TDI CR Greenline II

Click to view picture gallery“Like its fabled namesake, Skodas
  Yeti has now become almost
  legendary itself — only much easier
  to find! Nobody knows for sure if
the Himalayan-dwelling Yeti is eco-
but, in Greenline II guise,
Skoda’s most definitely is...”

THE WELL-LIKED YETI CROSSOVER now offers even lower emissions and better fuel economy. Externally, there's not a lot to tell you just how 'green' it has now become. Not many would spot the 25mm lower ride height, but they would notice the smart new 'Moon' design wheels; 16 instead of 17-inch, lighter in weight and fitted with low rolling resistance tyres.

Along with the lowered suspension and improved aerodynamics to reduce drag, there's also stop/start, an energy recovery system and a gear change indicator to maximise the eco benefits.

However, what's not obvious to the naked eye is brilliantly obvious at the pumps: a combined 61.4mpg (officially). Our hard-worked test car averaged 56.8mpg over 500 miles but we'd expect most owners to see 60mpg without trying too hard. Add to that 119g/km of tailpipe emissions and the savings start even before the Yeti turns a wheel: no road tax in the first year and then just 30 a year annually.

But is the Greenline II's pound-saving fuel consumption bought at the cost of performance? Actually, it's not. The 1.6 turbodiesel unit under the bonnet puts out 103bhp which, on the face of it, is not that big a figure.

“Overall, the Greenline’s
mechanical character
is relaxed
appreciated on
motorways, where this
greenest of Yetis
is not only quiet and
refined but where it
drinks even less:
However, out on the road it's fit for purpose and 'green' owners won't feel as if they've lost out for their environmental principles. For the record, 0-62mph takes 12.1 seconds and the top speed is 109mph.

In point of fact, the in-line four-cylinder 1.6 is punchier than you might expect; it has plenty of overtaking torque (a tractable 184lb ft) and it certainly felt capable mixing it with other traffic.

Cruising along at 70mph on the motorway at 2,500rpm in fifth, the oil-burner feels more than flexible enough. And while the five-speed 'box comes with longer, economy-biased ratios, it didn't noticeably cause any extra gear changing and even if had it wouldn't have mattered because the change action is fast and polished and the clutch pedal light.

Overall, the Greenline's mechanical character is relaxed particularly appreciated on motorways, where this greenest of Yetis is not only quiet and refined but where it drinks even less: officially 67.3mpg.

More good news: you don't have to wear the automotive equivalent of a hair-shirt when you choose to drive an eco-friendly Yeti while a greened-up Greenline II spec Yeti can be bought from 17,045 (in S trim), they also come in SE guise (18,505) and the range-topping and very well kitted out Elegance that just breaks through the 20K ceiling (20,365). Green is nice, sure enough; but green, comfy and indulged is better.

The Yeti's excellent packaging is well-known to current customers, particularly its versatile Varioflex rear seating system and general all-round practicality. The semi-sport style front seats (with ribbed centre panels and decent side bolstering), are set high in the tall and roomy cabin. Helped by large windows, everyone not just the driver enjoys good views in all directions.

A generous range of seat height and steering wheel (reach and height) adjustability ensures a first rate, commanding driving position.

The dash layout is logical with clear white-on-black dials, switchgear is sensibly sited and all within easy reach, and there's a pleasant mix of quality surface textures all contributing to a likeable cabin ambience enhanced by a climate control system that responds speedily to requests for either deep freeze-banishing heat or heatwave-quenching cold.

“The rear middle seat
can be taken out
and the outers slid
towards the centre
to create a
roomy ‘executive’
two-seater configuration.
All passengers benefit from masses of head and shoulder room along with impressive legroom. The well shaped front seats are supportive on long journeys but it's not just the driver and front passenger who are pampered in the back, three can enjoy individual seating with backrests that offer eight recline settings. And when not required for sitting on, the centre rear seat's backrest can be folded down to provide an armrest-cum-table complete with cup-holder. Wide outer armrests are fitted in each rear door.

Those in the back also sit higher and, courtesy of the Varioflex system, have a variety of seating options for instance, the rear seats can be slid forwards or backwards, or the rear middle seat can be taken out and the outers slid inwards (by just over three inches) towards the centre to create a roomy 'executive' two-seater configuration.

If you like to experiment, know that there are over twenty different seat and load-carrying arrangements that help make the Yeti a perfect family car.

Bringing up the rear, and accessed through an easy-rise, high-lifting tailgate, is a big boot (416 litres). For larger load-carrying duty, it can be quickly extended into a bigger loadbay (1,580 litres) by folding down and tumbling forward the three 40:20:40-split rear seats.

Go the whole hog and remove them completely and you'll have an enormous 1,760 litres of flat cargo space. A pair of flexi luggage nets allows you to create your own luggage 'pouches' for non-regular carrying solutions.

Further ease of use comes from thoughtful touches such as the rails on either side of the boot walls with sturdy slide-adjustable hooks for hanging shopping bags (even very heavy ones), and the flexible 'corral' band to safely ring-fence bottles and other fragile items.

Back in the main cabin, you'll find a number of large storage bins and handy cubbyholes including a hidden drawer beneath each front seat and a cooled glovebox along with a cooled storage box built into the sliding front centre armrest.

“From a passenger’s
point of view,
and courtesy of the
Yeti’s settled ride
over Britain
s bumpy, broken roads,
s a pleasant car to be
driven around in —
even the school run
feels de-stressed
in a Yeti
Standard kit on the Elegance Greenline II model includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, front and rear electric windows (all auto one-shot up/down), power-adjustable heated door mirrors (with built-in boarding spots), dual-zone climate control, air-conditioned glovebox, trip computer, Varioflex rear seating system, multifunction four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear parking sensors, cruise control, radio/CD player with 6-CD autochanger and touchscreen controls, privacy glass (from B-pillar back), auto wipers and lights and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Additionally, you also get tyre pressure monitoring and a tyre repair kit, roof rails, 16-inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres, bi-Xenon headlights with cornering function plus cornering front foglights, seven airbags (includes one for the driver's knee), Hill Hold and an extensive array of electronic safety systems.

The optional touchscreen 3D SatNav fitted to our test car was first class in a nutshell: absolutely idiot-proof. Exactly what you need when you haven't the foggiest of how to get to where you're meant to be!

This greener Yeti feels pretty much as competent as any other Yeti and that holds true for both its handling and ride. The lowered suspension hasn't spoiled the standard car's ride and it still soaks up bumps with ease. It handles predictably, holds the road well, is easy to place, the brakes are fine, and the variable assist power steering progressive and accurate an easy and assured driver, no less.

From a passenger's point of view, and courtesy of the Yeti's settled ride over Britain's bumpy, broken roads, it's a pleasant car to be driven around in even school runs feel de-stressed in a Yeti.

In Elegance Greenline II spec, the Yeti is as good as ever; the only difference is that's it's cut back on its drinking! So, much more frugal but still just as practical for families; as pleasant to use and as relaxing to live with as the rest of the Yeti range. So why put up with all the restrictions of a cramped small car when you can have a spacious Yeti for, in many cases, not a penny more in running costs. MotorBar

Skoda Yeti Elegance 1.6 TDI CR Greenline II | 20,365
Maximum speed: 109mph | 0-62mph: 12.1 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 56.8mpg
Power: 103bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2 119g/km