What the Yeti borrows from todays SUVs is flexibility, practicality and, if its a four-wheel drive model, real all-terrain capability. The VarioFlex rear seating system, which allows the bench to be slid forward and backward, completely removed or just the center chair to create more space in the second row for two, gives the Yeti a level of versatility that few other cars can match.
For all these reasons, it is almost unmatched as an affordable family car a decade after its launch. The cheapest officially approved used cars cost around £7,000 and many of them have travelled less than 50,000 miles. The 4×4 models start at £8000 and are worth paying a little more. Not only does a second drive axle make the Yeti more suitable for winter driving (especially when combined with winter tyres), but four-wheel drive vehicles also benefited from a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension architecture.
The 2.0 litre turbodiesel under the bonnet of the vast majority of these 4×4 Yeti is strong and rich in torque, either in the lower tuning state of 138 bhp or in the upper specification of 168 bhp. More than 45 mpg is also within reach. Approved used Skodas come with a 12-month warranty and roadside assistance during the same period, although buyers have the option to upgrade to 24-month coverage.
What is most pleasant about the Yeti, however, is that Skodas designers and engineers were able to take a look at a huge warehouse full of VW Group mechanical components, all of them very well used throughout the business and long too familiar, and yet they lowered only the right parts and wrapped them in a funky body to create not only an original concept, but also a very charming car. Now that the Yeti has been replaced by the Russian doll Karoq, it is likely that we will never see it as before.
Need to know
The slightly strange style of the Yeti will not be for all tastes, especially due to its somewhat clumsy fog lamps. Skoda updated the car with a more conventional front end in 2013 and these models are not much more expensive today.
In the upper part of the VarioFlex rear seat system, the front passenger seat can also be folded forward in a horizontal position. This means that the Yeti can be used to transport very long objects, such as rolled up carpets or, er, gutters.
Several owners have reported problems with hesitant engines. This can be fixed by mounting a wedge under the turbo solenoid, which is a cheap and simple repair that should have been applied to an approved car.