The rate of progress in the crossover class is relentless – no sooner has one new model arrived than another manufacturer is taking the wraps off its latest contender.
The all-new Nissan Qashqai took the top honours in our last crossover test, but one car was conspicuous by its absence then: the Skoda Yeti. Now it’s judgement day, as the updated model has just arrived in the UK.
We’ve lined up 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol versions of both, and while these low-capacity engines may seem too small on paper, they’re actually surprisingly capable in practice.
And we’ve included another turbocharged petrol crossover in the shape of the Vauxhall Mokka. We’ve already tested the somewhat unrefined diesel version, but this is the first time we’ve looked at the 1.4-litre petrol car. Will this engine help the Mokka deliver on its initial promise? And will the revamped Yeti be good enough to end the Qashqai’s reign at the top of the crossover pile?
Even with two-wheel drive, our high-riding trio can tackle the sort of rutted lane that would leave a normal family hatch floundering. In Outdoor form, the Yeti offers 180mm of ground clearance, while the rugged bodykit improves its approach and departure angles.
The Mokka goes a step further – even front-wheel-drive cars get hill-descent control, which helps control your speed while driving down steep, slippery slopes.
All Yetis come with seven airbags and stability control, as well as a £40 optional driver fatigue sensor. The Mokka can be fitted with front collision alert, lane departure warning and sign recognition for £750. However, the Nissan is offered with the same kit, plus auto high beams, for just £450.
Each car uses a small-capacity turbocharged engine. The Yeti’s 1.2-litre TSI is found throughout the VW Group line-up. Nissan’s 1.2-litre DiG-T comes from Renault, while the Vauxhall’s 1.4 is also used in the Astra and Insignia.
Subtle tweaks keep the Skoda on top. It’s not quite as clean as its rivals, but it’s more practical, better to drive and represents excellent value. And while the Tonka toy looks aren’t as sophisticated as its grown-up rivals’, the Yeti’s cabin matches the best for quality.
The upmarket Qashqai tastes defeat for the first time. In 1.2-litre petrol guise, it’s smooth and refined, plus it has an upmarket cabin and plenty of kit. But it’s uninspiring to drive and undermined by a high price and less roomy rear seats.
With a roomier cabin and bigger boot, the Mokka could have finished higher up the order. But if you don’t need the space and want a distinctive, well equipped and refined compact crossover, the petrol Vauxhall deserves serious consideration.
|Skoda Yeti Outdoor 1.2 TSI SE||Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta||Vauxhall Mokka 1.4 Turbo Exclusive FWD|
|On the road price/total as tested||£18,110/£20,985||£19,145/£19,145||£18,719/£20,319|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£8,693/48.0%||£9,094/47.5%||£7,525/40.2%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£688/£1,376||£683/£1,366||£704/£1,409|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,913/£3,188||£2,106/£3,510||£2,138/£3,563|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||13/£342/F/£140||17/£335/D/£105||12/£365/E/£125|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£529 (3yrs/30,000)||£109/£169/£109||£129/£229/£129|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,197cc||4cyl in-line/1,197cc||4cyl in-line/1,364cc|
|Peak power/revs||104/5,000 bhp/rpm||113/5,000 bhp/rpm||138/4,900 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||175/1,550 Nm/rpm||189/2,000 Nm/rpm||200/1,850 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||55 litres/£150||55 litres/foam||54 litres/£95|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||416/1,580 litres||430/1,585 litres||362/1,372 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||10.0 metres/0.36Cd||10.7 metres/N/A||10.9 metres/0.36Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||10,000 (1yr)/165||12,500 (1yr)/212||20,000 (1yr)/349|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||2nd/7th||12th/11th||26th/18th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||92/78/46/5||N/A||96/90/67/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||10.9/11.3 secs||11.2/11.4 secs||9.6/9.4 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||5.5/7.9 secs||5.9/8.7 secs||5.1/7.7 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||18.3/13.2 secs||13.7/20.2 secs||11.5/15.8 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||109mph/2,500rpm||115mph/2,400rpm||120mph/2,400rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||36.9/8.2/446 miles||33.6/7.4/407 miles||33.1/7.4/393 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||177/142g/km/20%||194/129g/km/18%||197/139g/km/19%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise ctrl||£1,100/yes/yes||No/yes/yes||£930/yes/yes|
|Climate ctrl/leather/heated seats||Yes/£1,800/£230||Yes/no/no||Yes/no/£270|
|Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£525/£900/£400||£525/no/no||£545/£790/no|