I like this car. Ok, maybe I should embellish a little bit as to why the Skoda Yeti Elegance is one of the best cars I have driven this year.
As soon as you sit in the drivers seat you get a good feeling about the Yeti, the whole dashboard, steering wheel and seating position feels familiar and immediately comfortable. The Stereo system is good too, (meaning I had to listen to the young one’s Lady Gaga CD all week). You are not so high above other cars on the road to need a ladder to get inside, but all round visibility is still excellent.
It feels a bit like jumping into your comfy armchair at home, complete with cup holder and slippers. Having said that, the Yeti is not actually that huge inside, but because of it’s height feels big, and consequently it drives and handles very much like a smaller car.
Easy removal and adjustment of the Viroflex back seats allows multiple seat combinations on the Yeti, adding extra flexibility to it’s usefulness. But be careful, that Car Boot Sale you’ve always tried to get out of may suddenly becomes a reality!
The 6 speed gearbox is smooth, while the suspension handles pot holes and speed bumps without the car feeling like a frog on a spring when your going down the motorway.
Up front, there’s plenty of life under the bonnet, the 160bhp produced by the 1.8 engine equals tons of torque, especially in lower gears. 0-62 in 8.4 seconds is more than fast enough for any car where you sit this upright. It has a top speed of 124mph, and 4×4 capabilities that will keep you happy off and on the road when YOU choose to be, (especially when the weather closes in).
Fuel consumption is a reasonable 35.3mpg but emmission’s on the 1.8 are a tad on the high side at 189g/km CO2. The ‘Greenline’ option fares much better with 119 g/km CO2 and 61.4mpg, not quite low enough to avoid the congestion charge but good enough to turn up at a ‘Friends of the Earth’ meeting without having to park it round the corner.
In total there are four trim levels, E, S, SE and Elegance and you can pick up the ‘basic’ 1.2 E from around £14,000. When I say basic it still comes with Air Con and Electric Mirrors, and other features not normally seen on a standard model, while the top of the range Elegance 1.8 we tested (just over £20,000) comes with Heated Leather Seats, 17′ Spitzberg Polished Alloy Wheels and Volkswagen Cornering Headlights that will bend round corners.
That may seem like a lot for a Skoda, but next to a £50,000+ Land Rover it sounds like a bargain. It has famous admirers too, Jeremy Clarkson LOVES the Yeti (see below), and as you can see from our pics, it’s even a good swimmer!
It looks great from the outside, but somehow it’s not a cool car. ‘Cool’ means it’s dependent on the fickle whims of fashion, and with the Yeti, Skoda has skipped ‘cool’ and gone straight for ‘quality’ and ‘customer satisfaction’, things that equate to long term success for any car manufacturer (or pop star for that matter).
You see, although the kids might love Gaga now, wait 20 years and they’ll all be listening to Dark Side of the Moon, just like their parents (and grandparents did), and while no one can dispute their talent, I’m not sure Pink Floyd have ever been cool.