Skoda Yeti Outdoor

Elegance 2.0 TDI

140PS 4x4

Skoda Yeti Outdoor, off road, static
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, front, static
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, rear
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, side, static
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, off road
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, front, action
Skoda Yeti Outdoor, interior

WHILE the existence of the fabled wild Himalayan Yeti continues to be open to serious doubt - there can be no mistaking the presence of the four-wheeled Czech variety.

Unlike it's giant, abominable namesake Skoda's Yeti has become an increasingly regular sight since it was first spotted in 2009, brazenly strutting its stuff on roads around the world.

The compact SUV has quickly become an integral part of the manufacturer's modern-day success story and has built up a solid fan base of satisfied family buyers.

And Skoda took positive steps to build on the Yeti's popularity last year when the range not only benefitted from an eye-catching facelift, but was also expanded, with the line-up split into two distinct variants - Yeti and the Yeti Outdoor I drove.

Yeti models eschew chunky cladding in favour of more urbane, body-coloured bumpers and sills, have lower powered engines, are largely two-wheel drive and are built for life in the urban jungle.

The Yeti Outdoor offers more of the ruggedness usually expected of an SUV, retaining the black plastic cladding and bumpers previously seen on all models, boasts more powerful diesel engines and is mostly offered with four-wheel drive.

Both versions, though, adopt the design language of Skoda's other refreshed and new models, with a greater emphasis on precise edges, crisp lines and bold curves creating a cleaner, more modern look, while the Yeti's characteristic purposeful and upright stance remains.

For a tall car, the Yeti Outdoor is surprisingly composed and nimble on the road and offers some pretty good driving dynamics, making it enjoyable to drive.

Good grip is a given in 4x4 versions such as this, but the body roll in corners is well controlled and the accurate, responsive steering inspires plenty of confidence, with a versatile and snappy six-speed gearbox adding to the fun.

And while the 2.0 litre diesel was a little vocal, especially under sharp acceleration, if offered smooth and prompt power delivery for nipping around in town traffic and quietened down for effortless cruising.

And for those with a more adventurous spirit the Outdoor versions in Elegance and range-topping Laurin and Klement trim also get an off-road button which deploys a range of intelligent functions to help driving on slippery, more challenging surfaces, while a rough road package offering extra protection to the car's underside can also be specified.

It may be tough on the outside, but the Outdoor retains all the interior comfort and practicality which has always been a major attraction of the Yeti and offers versatility levels to match most compact MPVs.

The raised driving position and large windows afford the driver a good all-round view and there is plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel.

Head and legroom is good all around and the Yeti's width means three people can be comfortably accommodated in the back - although foot space is limited for the one in the middle.

Personal storage, cup and bottle holders are also plentiful with thoughtful extra cubbies including a lidded tray on top of the dash and a drawer under the front passenger seat.

Interior quality finds the right balance between comfort and durability, with plenty of tactile, soft-touch surfaces but everything having a solid and sturdy feel.

It is the clever Varioflex rear seats which really impress, though. Split 40/20/40 the outer seats slide forwards and backwards and all three can be individually folded, tumbled or completely removed - effectively turning the Yeti into a small van.

Equipment levels are good across the range with this Elegance trim boasting plenty of creature comforts and useful driver aids such as a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone air con, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear privacy glass and Bluetooth.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Yeti Outdoor Elegance 2.0 TDI 140PS 4x4

Price: £24,165

Mechanical: 140ps, 1,968cc diesel engine driving all wheels via 6-speed manual transmission

Max Speed:118mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG:48.7

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 152g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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