A new version of the UK’s most recognisable crossover - the Nissan Qashqai – is set to hit the road next year, so the Skoda Yeti has been refreshed to help keep it competitive.
We’ve already tested it on European roads, but now we’re trying the 2.0 TDI 110 4x4 model in the UK.
The main difference between this updated Yeti and the old car is that it’s now available in rugged Outdoor trim, as tested here. This means that as well as the Yeti’s new, more traditional front end, you get underbody protection at the front and rear, plus silver door mirrors.
The standard Yeti now comes with body-coloured bumpers and sills for a classier appearance. Those looks may be just for show on the lesser two-wheel-drive models, but our 4x4 car is a capable off-roader.
It has more ground clearance and better traction than most rivals, too. While that won’t matter to most people, it’s still nice to know.
The 4x4 system in this updated car is lighter and more efficient than before, so CO2 emissions are down 5g/km, from 159g/km to 154g/km, while fuel economy goes from 46.3mpg to 47.9mpg. Yet that’s still no match for the 1.6 dCi 4WD Qashqai, which emits just 129g/km of CO2.
Skoda hasn’t changed the way the car drives drastically. That means you still get a slightly coarse note from the engine, but plenty of punch as long as you keep this diesel in its relatively narrow power band.
The handling is safe rather than exciting and the ride is firm, without being uncomfortable.
It’s a shame that Skoda hasn’t done more to the interior. Next to the new Qashqai’s smart cabin, it looks a little bland and low-rent. At least it’s practical – the clever Varioflex seating lets you slide, recline or remove the rear seats.
The Skoda has price on its side, too, with our SE model costing £21,090. Standard kit includes dual-zone air-con, alloy wheels, cruise control and parking sensors. The cheapest four-wheel-drive Qashqai is better equipped, but costs £25,695.