About the Skoda YETI

    Mr Wobblybottom purchased this Skoda Yeti new with additional options for $40,200 (including all on-road costs). Mr Wobblybottom wouldn’t buy this car again because: “Sadly I can’t buy another Yeti, as Skoda no longer make them. The Yeti has been nominally replaced by a combination of the Karoq and Kamiq, but both are soft and just not up to being a Yeti replacement. There are no off-road chops, no diesel, and a severe lack of character in comparison.

    Having said that, I still have my Yeti after seven-and-a-half years, as it’s not just Skoda – no one else makes a credible replacement that would cause me to open my tightly held bag of shekels, a few improvements here and there, but nothing worth $30K+”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    There have been zero mechanical issues with the Yeti.

    It was involved with the unfortunate Dieselgate issue, that took many vehicles in the wider Volkswagen Group, but all this involved for me was to drop the Yeti off on the way to work, take the loaner to work and back to the dealer, and off home.

    Noticed a slight change in gear changing on the way home, but couldn’t pick it the following morning or ever since.

    The only other issue involved a new mapping SD card not being read by the head unit – although strange, it was eventually a good news story, and I will discuss it further later.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    The Yeti has been great little car.

    She has been a daily driver, getting me to work and back, with the rear seats coming out (takes a minute or two) to create a relative Tardis when needed for deliveries at work.

    The same seat removal saw us put four weeks worth of gear for camping, cooking, and you name it, for a 7000km road trip.

    She has taken me up into the high country for bushwalking on many occasions, with ground clearance being a slight issue, but happy to pull her belly along the middle of a track as long as it was grassy, and at least one wheel had good traction.

    She also happily does duty for three, with three sets of golf bags and buggies on board, with a son who likes his sprawl space seated in the rear.

    The seating position is good, with the combination of seat adjustment and steering wheel adjustment (rake and reach), making everything fall fairly well to hand. I did ask about a powered seat originally (with adjustment up and down at both the front and rear of the seat base) as I prefer a bum down, knees up position, but once I got used to it, it feels as though I belong there.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    I originally approached the selling dealer, as they had a couple of pre-facelift Yetis at a good price but coming from a VW Eos, I wanted a panoramic sunroof. They were happy for me to take a car for what ended up being about four hours to have it measured up for an aftermarket sunroof.

    Although I didn’t end up buying the car they had, I was impressed enough by their service, that I said if went with a Yeti I would go back to them (and I did).

    When I ordered I was still really keen to get a manual, and get power seats (see my earlier comment on my preferred seating position). Although available in New Zealand, they hadn’t been submitted for certification in Australia and not available.

    I signed up for a Jungle Green Yeti, the best of what I thought was a pretty dreary colour pallet. The sales manager heard me saying so, and commented that he could order me a Corrida Red one if I wanted it.

    This was a non available colour since the facelift, but as Yeti Outdoors were available in this colour in the UK, it could be done. They didn’t mention price at the time, but $500 came off the price when I got the car as the Red was a solid, the jungle green a mica.

    When I went to pick up mine, it turned out be the first in Australia with the new Amundsen head unit, which used an SD card for the mapping rather than the disc in the previous Columbus unit. When we found there were no maps installed, it was funny to watch the guy from spare parts arrive with a mapping disc and look all over the car for somewhere to insert it to no avail.

    Turned out the Yeti had beaten the SD card to Australia, and one had to be express shipped from the Czech Republic.

    The selling dealer was two hours from home, so the Yeti has been serviced at the local dealer. Skoda servicing isn’t the cheapest, but I had purchased an extended warranty and had no independents close by, so I thought I would see how they went.

    After a few years, new mapping for the SatNav became available. I purchased it, but it wouldn’t work in the head unit. Over maybe six-to-nine months, the service dealer (who I didn’t buy the car from) had the Yeti overnight on three or four occasions, hooked up to head office in the Czech Republic, with their tech staff attending – alas to no avail.

    About 6-9 months later, they contacted me to advise that a new mapping SD had been released, and they had a new head unit that had been tested with it. If I dropped the Yeti off they would install it.

    Each of these occasions was with a no cost loaner car.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    The list price on the Yeti was $36,690 drive away, with $2400 for the Tech Pack, $500 for Off Road, $1690 for Panoramic Sunroof, $2390 for Panoramic Sunroof, so I saved about $3700, not to mention the $500 saved by going from Jungle Green to Corrida Red.

    Servicing for Skoda is definitely not the cheapest, although with the trouble that the local dealer has gone to, I suspect it may have been worth it. Although I have had no other issues, I think I would have had a pretty fair hearing – on the strength of that, I have bought an extended service pack for another four years.

    The features overall for the Yeti were probably about par for the course at the time I bought it. The Yeti had been released about six years earlier and there was a major facelift about four months before mine was built.

    The folding and removable rear seats are something you just don’t get elsewhere and have proven their worth on many occasions.

    The storage in and under the load area is great, and something you just don’t see in a lot of other SUVs. It may be there in some cases, but accessibility and usability are often something else. There are four or five shaped foam PP inserts under the floor and I have the towbar, tyre pump, jumper leads, socket sets, ropes, tarp, umbrella all in their own little spaces.

    She’s no LandCruiser, but I suspect I would back her against most other “soft roaders” when the track gets a bit gnarlier. The Haldex kicks in very quickly, and can send pretty much all of the drive to any wheel with traction.

    She is pretty good going up a slippery slope and not bad coming down.

    She has semi-automatic park assist and can get into a parking spot with only about five inches at either end.

    I thought this was impressive, until I thought about the cars front and rear getting out – only useful if they have nothing behind and in front of them.

    This was one of the early cars without a CD player, just an SD card and USB. On the Central Australian trip, we made up a playlist that lasted for about 5000km before it started to repeat. Who needs CDs?

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    For a small SUV (4223mm long, 1595kg, 350Nm of torque at 1750rpm is a bit more than adequate, but certainly not sports car). There are no issue with pulling away from the lights in the wrong lane, and overtaking on the open road doesn’t take much planning.

    The DSG gearbox seems to have a reputation for being a bit jerky or something in the lower gears or revs. Maybe I know how to drive mine, but there has never been the slightest hint of this.

    The Yeti was supposed to do 7.8L/100km urban, 6.0L/100km extra urban, and 6.7L/100km combined. Over 140,000km of logged consumption I have averaged 6.4L/100km, but often will see 5.2-5.3L on a trip of 100km plus. Given most cars are well above the test standard. I am happy with this.

    She is rated to tow 750kg unbraked and 1700kg braked, but only has a tow ball weight limit of 85kg. While I haven’t towed anything particularly heavy, what I have pulled has been effortless.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    Things like LED headlights, active cruise, and Lane Assist were just being introduced, and I don’t feel short changed by not having them. The Dynamic Bi-Xenons do a pretty good job, and the rest of safety package for its time was up to date.

    The Amundsen head unit has very logical and easy to use menus, and the upgraded speaker system has quite good sound. I hasten to say that I am not a music snob, and I am sure there are enormously better sound systems around.

    I buy a car to drive and not to listen to and not to drive for me, so the tech in the Yeti does what I want it to, and at this point still haven’t really said to myself – I just really wish it had “X”

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    OK, the Yeti, like a lot of Skodas of its time has a “firm” suspension. It doesn’t provide a magic carpet ride, and those really shitty washouts you get on country roads, where its just a continuous ripple strip, shake your teeth out, and rattle anything that’s not tied down around the dash and console.

    There is a section of the Jamison – Licola Road, where I have to slow to 10km/h as the car just shakes so much. 60 series tyres would have helped compared with the 50s the car has, but then I wouldn’t have the 17″ black Matterhorn wheels – so I made my bed and I lie in it.

    The upside of that is a nicely tied down steer on more reasonable roads. Handling, for instance 50km/h corners on the Great Ocean Road at 80km/h (the speed limit) on cruise quite happily.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    The longer you drive a Yeti, the more it becomes part of you. Its not pretentious, it is what it is, and what it is, is bloody good.

    Although the Karoq and Kamiq are good cars, Skoda has lost something in them that the Yeti has in spades

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