The Crossover segment of the Irish motoring market is really growing at the moment. Recently you will have read here on Car Buyers Guide that the APMP (Association of Professional Motoring Press) crowned the Qashqai from Nissan as Car of the Year. You may have noticed more crossovers in general on our roads, and even SIMI are showing us figures that the crossover segment is constantly climbing. It's no surprise really. Some of them are really good. Some, on the on the other hand, are less impressive. I'm not exactly sure as to what it is that attracts people to them in their droves. Maybe it's the sporty 4x4 look of them - although this to me is cheating a bit, I have to ask the question "why have something that only looks like a 4x4 as opposed to opting for the real thing?" It's when crossovers are available with four wheel drive that really impresses me. So, that brings me onto to this week’s test drive - the Skoda Yeti 4x4 Outdoor.
I can remember the first time I drove a Yeti. I went to Skoda dreading this funny looking machine, but, from the second I sat into that first Yeti, I really fell for it. I'm glad to report that my latest encounter with the Bigfoot was just as endearing.
In terms of style, well... it is still a bit "funny looking", but instead of using that terminology I prefer to say that its looks are "unique". Yes, it has "unique" styling. It's still a bit box-shaped, but trust me on this, sit inside this beast and you will be won over.
Skoda use the term "simply clever" in their branding and advertising these days - sit into their vehicles and you can see why. They take care of passenger comfort and offer a wide range of technologies. Their infotainment system is easy to use and the comfort they offer is impressive enough - I'm not saying that it offers the high quality comfort you'd expect from a Mercedes, BMW, or even from their cousins Audi, but what they do is offer affordable-ish comfort, that surpasses what's on offer from some of the other brands.
The Yeti isn’t what I’d call massive, but the layout within the vehicle and the materials used gives you a spacious feeling. It doesn't ever feel cramped in here. The boot space is plentiful, and if this vehicle is to be used for more than just carting the family around you can put down the back seats. To add to the spacious feel within the Yeti, Skoda has added a panoramic glass roof to the vehicle. Other nice touches inside include plenty of storage and lots of places for coffee cups!
One of the best things about the Yeti I tested is that it comes in four wheel drive, and it can actually do the job. There's no bluffing in this machine. Without the four wheel drive technology this would just be a teddy bear, and not a Yeti. It's comfortable on motorways, small enough for cities, and just loves country roads. To help with the drive Skoda has added a myriad of technology to aid those behind the wheel. The Yeti comes with an alphabet of driver aids... here goes – ABS, MSR, HBA, EBD, ESBS, ASR, ESC, EDL, AFM and DSR – is that enough for you?
I drove the 2.0 TDI 110hp 4x4 Yeti. According to Skoda the top speed of this vehicle is 174 km/h, and you will reach 0-100km/h in 12.2 seconds. The brochure tells me that the combined fuel economy of this particular Yeti is 5.8l/100km – but as always, this is down to how you drive. In terms of CO2 emissions the Skoda Yeti burns 152g/CO2 per km.
In 2009 Skoda got a five start NCAP rating for safety, some of the reasoning for this is the aforementioned driving aids, but it has also got to do with the 9 airbags, curve lighting and LED daytime running lights.
To be honest with you, I don't think I've ever written a bad review about the Skoda Yeti - I've written a good few in Irish and in English, and I've even reviewed them on radio. When people ask me what I would buy if I was to get a new car I usually have a Yeti on the list somewhere. I suppose these are just some of the reasons as to why I would give this machine a full 5-star rating. That's it. The Skoda Yeti.
Read more of our Skoda reviews here: http://www.cbg.ie/cbg-official-reviews/skoda/all-models/new-cars-reviews/