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Skoda Yeti Outdoor SE L Drive 2.0 TDI 150PS 4X4 SCR

Click to view picture gallery“Most people ‘know’ a Skoda Yeti
  even if they’ve never driven one.
  If you haven’t, and want a family-
  friendly, multi-purpose, go-anywhere
  vehicle that isn’t a ‘samey’ old
  crossover or SUV, the 4WD Outdoor
  model could be right up your track...”


MEASURING A MANAGEABLE 4.2 METRES from nose to tail, the Yeti's pleasingly 'utilitarian-cool' bodyshape provides spacious passenger accommodation and load carrying versatility — both valued attributes in an ever-shrinking world.

But first you must ask yourself, Are you an urbanite or an adventurer? Once you've decided, Skoda has made choosing the best model for your needs easier by offering not one but two Yetis: those with two-wheel drive; and those fitted with four-wheel drive, identified by 'Outdoor' badging.

The 4x4 versions look more rugged than their 2WD counterparts, and are better qualified for foraging along forest trails thanks to 180 millimetres of ground clearance, short front and rear overhangs and bumpers designed to cope with steep approach and departure angles, pronounced wheelarches with ample room for wheel travel, black protective side mouldings, and off-road underbody protection — equally effective in potholed jungles of the urban kind!

Are you an urbanite or
an adventurer?
Skoda has made
choosing the best model
for your needs easier
by offering not one
but two Yetis: those with
two-wheel drive;
and those fitted with
four-wheel drive,
identified by ‘Outdoor’
badging...”
But the Outdoor's outer shell is not short of some Notting Hill sparkle: the shapely and distinctive vertically-slatted grille, finished in black and smartly edged in chrome, sits above a lower grille that's also black and strikingly defined by silver-finish, bull-bar-look profiling; clean-cut headlamp units with integrated daytime running lights set into the upper front wings and bonnet; and the glossy black of the slim screen pillars reiterated by shiny black detailing along the glasshouse sides.

Overall, combined with stylish alloys and brazen gleaming red paintwork 'our' Yeti Outdoor was decidedly audacious during our week with the car we caught a lot of people admiring it.

Skoda has a reputation for offering its customers a strong and well-judged selection of proven powerplants. For the four-wheel drive Outdoor line-up these are a 150PS 1.4-litre petrol engine plus 110 and 150PS 2.0-litre turbodiesel units.

Off-road, too much torque is undeniably better than too little; and the same goes for load-lugging. So, holding that thought, and bearing in mind that economy is important too, one of the most fitting units is the 150PS (147bhp) 2.0 TDI not least because it also brings a lively 250lb ft of torque to the party.

According to the official figures, the 150PS 2.0-litre 4WD Outdoor should return 55.4mpg in the Combined Cycle. However, on real roads and not intentionally driving 'economically' our Yeti notched up a very healthy 49.7mpg over the course of a hard week's driving. Whereas back in the swinging Sixties the number to beat was 100 (the magical 'ton'), today it's 50 but for the more relevant MPG figure. And, as near as dammit, the Yeti Outdoor hits the spot.

Driving through a six-speed manual gearbox (should you prefer it, a DSG double-clutch autobox is on the menu) the oil burner offers plenty of get-up-and-go even when carrying (cargo or passengers; it's not fussy), and takes towing in its stride. You lose nothing sticking with the manual 'box because its accurate change action and well-spaced ratios means it's easy to make meaningful progress and smooth overtakes zero to 62mph is done and dusted in just 9.1 seconds. Off-road, the ample torque also enables the Outdoor to punch its way up, down and over most terrain, but more about that later.

For the driver it’s all
tickety-boo, with a
commanding driving
position and clear
views over the bonnet
that guarantee a fine view
of the road ahead and to the sides. All of which
makes it simple to
see exactly where your
corners are — as
important when exploring
in the rough as it is on
traffic-stuffed roads...”
First, the all-important cabin. Generous side glazing and a tall windscreen let in plenty of light, highlighting the spaciousness: up front there's liberal headroom (a hat-friendly fist-and-a-half of it) plus plenty of space for legs and feet. Coming aboard is easy and you sit in supportive leather-upholstered seats with pleated centre panels and holding-but-not-intrusive bolstering, with three-stage heating, adjustable lumbar support and height-adjustable belts.

For the driver it's all tickety-boo, with a commanding driving position and uninterrupted views over the bonnet that guarantee a fine view of the road ahead and to the sides and hassle-free parking. All of which makes it simple to see exactly where your corners are as important when exploring in the rough as it is on traffic-stuffed roads.

The understatedly-smart trim is not only welcoming but makes time spent in the cabin time well spent chrome highlights are kept to an effective minimum while the metallic-finish inserts in the fascia add a splash of class.

Seen through the good-to-grip, perforated leather rim of the flat-bottomed multifunctional steering wheel is a set of clear dials bracketing the driver's comprehensive on-board computer display all trip data plus tyre pressure monitoring as well as key navigational graphic prompts such as a countdown to the next turn, etc.

To its left at the top of the centre stack sits a 7-inch touchscreen for the SatNav/Infotainment; a useful feature is the posted speed limit always clearly visible on the mapping and, as you'd expect, there's smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth and a DAB radio.

The easy-to-use dual-zone AirCon pushes out a refreshing stream of chilled air that's especially welcome in 'bad air' urban areas and the glovebox is also cooled so your drinks remain as chilled out as you.

We've noticed that quite a few carmakers seem to be cutting back on cabin storage but not Skoda whose Yeti provides plenty of cubbies including a practical lidded bin in the centre of the fascia top, a deep tray at the base of the centre stack for your mobile (with a USB, aux-in and 12v power), a box under the sliding padded centre front armrest, a drop-down overhead sunglasses case, and a useful storage cubby concealed under the front passenger seat as well as long, bottle-holding rigid door bins.

Driving the Yeti,
be it in a metropolitan
landscape, out in the
burbs or in the depths of
the countryside,
is more fun that you
might have imagined.
That’s because its 4WD
chassis serves up ample
grip and predictable
dynamics that along with
accurate steering makes
the Outdoor easy
to punt through bends
and corners
...”
Also part of the standard equipment tally are an auto-dimming rearview mirror, electrically-adjustable folding and heated door mirrors, and power windows (all one-shot up/down with child safety lock-outs), rain-sensing wipers, and a Light Assistant to manage coming home and leaving home illumination as well as automatic tunnel lighting.

While we're talking kit we might as well mention some of the other standard-fit items: front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass from the B-pillars back, drive-off automatic door locking, 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, bi-Xenon headlights with cornering function and dynamic angle control as well as cornering front fog lights, and a full complement of airbags (driver and passenger front and side, driver's knee, and curtain). You also get a heated front windscreen and boarding spots integrated into the door mirrors, plus Hill Hold Control, Electronic Stability Control and plenty of safety systems.

'Family holdall' is a truthful description because the Yeti is not just amazingly spacious but extremely versatile too. The seats in the rear cabin ensure back passengers sit noticeably higher while still enjoying amazingly good headroom (a very generous seven inches for someone of average height) and panoramic views out during journeys.

Adding to the comfort is masses of foot room and loads of knee room plus reclining backrests that offer a wide range of settings so your passengers can be as laid-back as they like. Just to be sure you're sure those in the back really can stretch their legs right out and three sitting side-by-side will be perfectly sociable. Good, too, that there are also dedicated rear air vents. Those carrying youngsters will appreciate the Isofix child seat fittings on the outer rear seats.

But that's not all because in addition to being able to slide the outer back seats for and aft for extra legroom or more boot space, you can also remove the centre rear seat then slide the two outers in towards the centre to create a more luxurious two-seater layout. In fact there are over twenty different seating arrangements get the kids to help and try them all one Saturday morning!

Drivers have come to expect higher-riding crossover-style vehicles to handle well despite their extra ground clearances. Driving the Yeti, be it in a metropolitan landscape, out in the burbs or in the depths of the countryside, is more fun that you might have imagined.

That's because its on-demand 4WD chassis serves up ample grip and predictable dynamics that along with accurate and consistently weighted steering makes the Outdoor easy to punt through bends and round corners pressing on is definitely satisfying. Equally important, progressive brakes ensure stopping is never less than confidence-inspiring.

Where the Yeti also
scores highly is
in providing plenty of
variable boot space.
If you’re using the rear
seats, there’s a useful
416 litres for luggage and
you can expand the boot
by sliding the
40:20:40-split seats.
Folding all three creates
a flat-floored 1,580-litre
cargo bay and removing
them gives you a
van-like 1,760 litres...”
The Outdoor's tidy handling definitely impresses; it's on a par with a well-mannered hatchback. Yet despite the agility there's no hidden penalty in the comfort department this Yeti rides very agreeably and at speed it's rock steady with an easygoing gait that shrinks long motorway journeys.

Going off-road in the Outdoor is as easy as pressing a button to be precise, the 'Off-Road' button on the dash. Do so and you're ready to rumble helped by the fast-acting Haldex 4x4 system itself backed up by driving aids that make life easier when crossing challenging terrain.

For example, Hill Descent maintains a constant speed for you, winding you safely down tricksy slopes at a constant speed (whatever you set between a crawl and 18mph). Off-road the ABS braking and anti-slip traction control systems are automatically adjusted to best suit 'the rough' rather than on-tarmac conditions while the accelerator response is 'softened' to give more control on loose surfaces.

While it isn't a Range Rover, it's certainly off-road enough for most people's needs. On-road, up to 96% of the Outdoor's driving torque can go to the front wheels but whenever it's needed it can instantly send up to 50% back to the rear; in worst off-road case scenarios, so bad that the other three wheels have lost all grip, it can send as much as 85% to just one wheel to keep you moving.

Where the Yeti also scores highly is in providing plenty of variable boot space. If you're using the rear seats, there's a useful 416 litres for luggage. Should you need a tad more, you can expand the boot by sliding the 40:20:40-split seats towards the front. Folding all three creates a flat-floored 1,580-litre cargo bay. And it doesn't stop there because on those occasions you really do need every available litre of space, you can remove all three seats to give you a van-like 1,760 litres.

The top-hinged, upright, full-width tailgate make accessing the boot and cargo bay straightforward — load-lugging doesn't get much easier. A neat touch is the removable LED lamp; also very handy are the horizontal rails either side of the boot with sliding hooks for bags, etc. More carrying options include the roof rails (up to 100kg) and, alternatively, towing: the Outdoor can pull a braked 2,100kg.

A 'best buy' for families looking for a versatile and roomy alternative to the growing army of crossovers, the affordable Yeti — priced from 17K — comes without any of the 'sameness' that dilutes the looks of many crossovers and SUVs. ~ MotorBar
.
Skoda Yeti Outdoor 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 SCR | 26,030
Maximum speed: 121mph | 0-62mph: 9.1 seconds | Test Average: 49.7mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 250lb ft | CO2: 134g/km

.