Skoda Yeti GreenLine II – Road TestMarch 11, 2011
The Skoda Yeti is a practical and interesting family car, and in two-wheel drive Greenline II guise it can now achieve 61.4 mpg. The Yeti is a crossover, being a cross between a small ‘SUV’ and a people carrier. Although you can get four-wheel drive versions, it’s the front-wheel drive GreenLine model that will give you the best economy, and 119 g/km CO2 emissions.
We Road Test the Skoda Yeti
Model/Engine size: GreenLine II S 1.6 TDI CR 105PS
Fuel economy combined: 61.4 mpg
Beating Spirit rating: 9/10
Skoda has a reputation for producing sensible, practical, dependable, no-nonsense cars that offer good value for money. This can sometimes result in them being very competent but slightly unexciting. The Yeti is one of the more interesting cars of the range, and now it has a high miles-per-gallon variant. If you’re doing the school run, the kids are likely to prefer their transport to be a Yeti rather than a bland family hatch. The exterior has 4×4-type styling, and the interior has the sort of levels of space, and good visibility, associated with a small 4×4 – although the dashboard could benefit from a little more design flair.
The interior has enhanced flexibility with its Varioflex seating arrangement, which allows the seats to be moved forwards, backwards, reclined individually, folded forwards, or completely removed – although they are quite heavy to lift out. Boot space is good at 416 litres, or 1,760 litres with the rear seats down.
The driving experience is as per most of the current Skoda range – everything seems to work as it should. The GreenLine II model, which feels like a large, solid car, has 104 bhp, which means that it is on the verge of feeling underpowered, but this is not something that you notice in most driving conditions. If you need to overtake something, then even with the slightly longer gearing there is still just enough power to do this safely, but you probably won’t be buying this car for rapid acceleration.
To achieve its efficiencies, the Yeti borrows technology from the Volkswagen Group arsenal, including a stop/start system (saving 5-10 g/km CO2 overall), and an energy recovery system that captures energy that would otherwise be lost when braking and stores it in the battery, to be used later when required, so reducing the load on the engine (saving 2-4 g/km CO2).
All GreenLine II models also have smaller, lighter alloy wheels and higher pressure low rolling resistance tyres, along with slightly lowered suspension.
Being an SUV-style vehicle, you get a slightly raised driving position, which many people like. With previous generation SUVs, this usually meant lots of roll on corners, but thankfully this tendency has been controlled on the Yeti. Sharp steering is another area that SUVs aren’t renowned for, but the Yeti is better than most. In addition to its good handling, the Yeti also has a comfortable ride on most roads, and the lowered suspension hasn’t impacted upon this.
Of course, being a Skoda, you would expect the Yeti to represent good value for money, and you’d be right – this mini 4×4-style machine costs from just £16,865, which is much cheaper than a Land Rover Discovery – as well as being much greener.
The Yeti GreenLine II is available in three trims: S, SE and Elegance. All models are fitted with safety features such as ESP and curtain airbags, along with air-conditioning, central locking and an aux-in socket.
If you want something economical but a bit more conventional than the Yeti, then the GreenLine II treatment has also been applied to the Skoda Fabia (89 g/km CO2), Octavia (99 g/km CO2), Roomster (109 g/km CO2), and Superb (114 g/km CO2).
Skoda customers generally seem happy with the reliability of their cars and the service from their dealers.
Beating Spirit’s Summary
The Skoda Yeti GreenLine II offers a sensible yet interesting mode of family transport, combined with 61.4 mpg and 119 g/km CO2 emissions. It has no serious flaws, it represents good value, and so it gets a Beating Spirit rating of 9 out of 10. The only issue you might have is that when it snows, you may wish you bought the four-wheel drive version – which also performs better than you might expect off-road. The 109 bhp 2-litre diesel emits a significantly higher 159 g/km CO2 along with 46.3 mpg in 4×4 form, so you would have to decide if your priority is improved levels of traction or saving money at the fuel pumps. With fuel prices at £6 per gallon, the two-wheel drive GreenLine II, along with a set of snow chains, may be your answer.
Unless of course Skoda decides to give us a 4×4 version of the Yeti GreenLine…
Fuel economy extra urban: 67.3 mpg
Fuel economy urban: 54.3 mpg
CO2 emissions: 119 g/km
Green rating: VED band C – first year £0
Weight: 1340 Kg
Company car tax liability (2010/11): 13%
Price: £16,865 (From £14,465 to £23,485)
Insurance group: 9
Power: 105 bhp
Max speed: 109 mph
0-62mph: 12.1 seconds