Road Test : Skoda Yeti 77TSI Manual
Review by Tristan Tancredi - 4 July 2012
The Skoda Yeti, winner of the 2009 Top Gear Magazine "Family Car of The Year" award and runner up at the 2012 Wheels Car of the Year award, is a car that has made a serious impact amongst motoring enthusiasts worldwide.
So much so, that motoring journalist and Top Gear UK host Jeremy Clarkson once declared the Skoda Yeti, "The Best Car in the World". Whilst we strongly disagree that the Yeti is the best car in the world, it is a top of the line compact SUV that utlises the same successful technologies of VW.
The 6-speed base model manual 77TSI that we put to the test, lived up to our high expectations in areas, yet failed in others. Let's take a closer look.
The Skoda Yeti 77TSI is available in both 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG. We were lucky enough to be given a manual tester for a week, albeit the base model Yeti.
People who have been lucky enough to drive a VW in their lifetimes will feel at home inside the Skoda Yeti. It's the same technology that VW utilise in their massively popular vehicles, namely the Polo.
It's this reason as to why the Skoda Yeti instantly brings a cheeky grin on the face of any who sit behind the wheel. By no means is it quick or powerful (Does the 100m sprint in 11.8 seconds), simply put, it's a nice, relaxing, smooth drive.
The base model manual Skoda Yeti is front wheel drive, so for total AWD control, it's best to look into the diesel variants. However the manual base model 77TSI handles itself well approaching tight corners and on open highways. The only downside to the drive is the lack of real power especially on steep inclines (It's no Samuel Sanchez "Obscure Tour De France Reference")
We wouldn't recommend towing anything of substantial weight with the Skoda Yeti. It is only a 1.2 litre engine after all.
The 6-speed manual is quite friendly on the hip pocket when it comes to frequenting the bowsers drinking a measely 6.6 litres per 100kms. 0.4 litres more efficient than the 7-speed DSG.
A four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI 77kW petrol engine is what sits under the hood of the Yeti. The 1.2 litre is a bit of a drop compared to the competition (Subaru XV in particular) and this translates to slightly poorer performance levels.
For an SUV, the 1.2 does the basic neccessary requirements yet lacks that extra bit of raw power that you will find in other SUV's.
The 77TSI 6-Speed Manual boasts 77Kw of power at 6500rpm and 175Nm of torque at 1550-4100rpm and despite lacking awe-inspiring power, still provides a relatively crisp driving experience, mainly thanks to the Volkswagen technology instilled within the Skoda.
Considering the 1.2 TSI 77 is the same engine used in the VW Polo, the fact that it is quiet and smooth should come as no surprise. It truly is a comfortable, relaxing, smooth engine, albeit one that lacks a bit of macho grunt.
The most unique and noticeable exterior feature of the Skoda Yeti, is the low profile and wide boot entrance. To quote the lovely folk at Skoda, "...the rear of the five-door hatchback body evokes practicality".
And practical is exactly what it is. It is brilliantly designed to cater for loading and unloading the boot of the compact SUV. We have never loaded golf clubs into the back of a car so efficiently. It is low to the ground to limit lifting and it is wide mouthed to cater for larger objects.
On the flipside, the car is a little too "boxy". It seems the people at Skoda headed down the path of practicality at the expense of "sleekness". This isn't exactly a criticism, rather an option: Practicality or Sexiness?. Because this car ain't sexy.
Don't get me wrong, the car looks OK, but it's on-road presence isn't exactly "strong" (Unlike the Subaru XV, which we agreed, looks much sexier and a little meaner). 16 inch allows sit beneath the Yeti. Combined with a radiator grille, roof racks and wide, large windows, the car although simple, does have a unique exterior personality.
The Skoda Yeti measures in at 4223mm long, 1793mm wide and 1691 mm high.
First things first, the Yeti received a 5-star rating from independent Euro NCAP tests. Also, the 2011 Yeti received a 5-star ANCAP rating with an awesome score of 34.67 out of 37. Not too shabby in the Compact SUV range.
The Skoda Yeti 77 TSI comes with Electronic Stability Control System (including ABS, EBD, EDL, ASR and Hill Hold Control). Hill Driving Assistant allows the driver to maintain a constant speed when driving downhill and thus prevents the wheels from locking.
The Yeti is loaded with seven airbags including driver's knee airbag, two front, two side and two curtain airbags.
Considering this was the base model Yeti, the list of interior accessories is limited, yet there is an abundance of space and comfort.
The highly positioned seats are comfortable and offer terrific back support. A big plus in testing was on-road visibility, the cars design allows great viewpoints through the "larger than usual" windows.
The Yeti comes with a "VarioFlex" system. This enables versatility of the rear seats to guarantee maximum luggage space and interior comfort. A total of 416 litres of bootspace is available with all the seats upright. With the backseats out of the way and a maximum of 1760 litres is available.
All the standard features are with the base model Yeti: Cruise Control, Blue-Tooth and Climate Control and 8-speakers provide decent sound throughout the cabin.
The Skoda Yeti makes only a small imprint into the Australian Car Market. In fact, Skoda doesn't make the top 20 manufacturer sales this year to date.
The only thing we can gain from this, is that alot of people are missing out on such a nice compact SUV. Although the 1.2 litre engine lacks enough power to satisfy motorheads, it provides an amazingly smooth, relaxing and safe driving experience.
When buying a car and comfort is your priority, look no further than the Skoda Yeti. Prices start at $26,260.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Skoda dealer.
"Boxy" Exterior Design
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