Skoda Successful model was simple for a long time: Take a VW and make it not only a little cheaper, but above all much larger. In Octavia (Golf) and Superb (Passat) has proven that. At the Yeti, the Czechs have taken a different approach: the SUV is half a size smaller than its Wolfsburg counterpart Tiguan. And that's exactly the right size.
At 4,22 meters long, the Yeti is more of a jacked-up golf; It is separated by around 20 centimeters from the Tiguan, which is why it is less compact than a mini SUV. A loss of span that can be coped with. Not only because the Skoda is easier to maneuver in narrow inner cities, but also because it is so practically constructed that it offers hardly less interior space than its larger cousin. This is mainly due to the exemplary variable back seat. The three seat units can be moved lengthways and crossways separately from each other, the backrests can be folded down and the inclination can be adjusted. The trunk is smaller than that of a classic compact SUV, but it can be converted into a cargo space the size of a delivery van if you completely remove the rear seating and store it temporarily in the garage. However, the seats are relatively small, the three of them are hard to sit in the back. And those who want to sink into deep, cozy cuddly cushions are also wrong in the Skoda.
At the front there is a decent sense of space at a compact class level, although the relatively low seating position does not have to please every SUV fan. The car-related stance fits the character of the Yeti, however, as the Czech shows no SUV jokes while driving. Sunk-free and without side inclination, it gives the basically taut, agile everyday car with a harmonious long-distance chassis and brisk steering. In addition, a quiet and sufficiently powerful turbo petrol engine with 90 kW / 122 hp was added to the test car - the most powerful gasoline engine for the front-wheel-drive versions of the Skoda. If you are in a hurry than the 1,4-liter engine allows, you have to choose one of the all-wheel drive variants with up to 118 kW / 160 hp. The manufacturer specifies 6,8 liters of super as standard consumption, which was only just missed in the test with moderate driving (7,3 liters). Not a dream value, but at least honestly.
It is precisely this honesty, it is in the core, which makes the Yeti even six years after his debut still one of the best small SUV. Unlike younger competitors, he is not a superficial lifestyle. He does not only rely on a fashionable appearance, but above all on inner values. Convincing, as mentioned, space and variability, but also the overall atmosphere. Everything is well made, feels extremely solid and high quality and largely dispenses with ornaments and flourishes - the well-known VW Group style just. The easy Anglerwestesten Biederkeit typical Skoda trivia such as the trash in the door does not need it there to make the Yeti to one of the most practical representatives of its class. Only one or the other larger storage, such as the wallet, you miss in the interior.
A bargain is the Skoda SUV, however, not. The price list shows 19.230 Euro for the entry-level model with 77 kW / 105 PS, our test engine is available from 21.430 Euro. However, as an "Active" model with incomplete features. More recommendable is the higher level "Ambition" with air conditioning, CD radio and alloy wheels - this drives the test car price to 23.130 Euro. The Tiguan is not very far away.
Who wants a small SUV with substance, should take the Yeti on the selection list. With about six years of construction time, it is no longer the freshest, but the good space economy and the variable interior are more or less the same, for example, the infotainment system already looks slightly old-fashioned. As in this class, you can confidently save all-wheel drive as a lowlander and invest the money in equipment - for example in the design extras of the particularly attractive two-tone special edition Monte Carlo (from 24.230 Euro, 77 kW / 105 PS). Then the Yeti beats the VW Tiguan outwardly loose.
Author: Holger Holzer / SP-X