There are plenty of anonymous cars on Irish roads and if you drive a crossover it’s very easy to slip into oblivion among all the other raised-up hatchbacks.

But there’s just something about the Skoda Yeti. It stands out. It says something about you. Whether that’s good or bad is for you to decide.

The Skoda Yeti is quite van-like in profile but it’s a purposeful design that reaps benefits in terms of interior space. The high, squared off roof gives excellent headroom for everyone on board and rear legroom is very generous too. It’s certainly one of the roomier feeling cars in its class and the 416 litre boot is very versatile.

The Yeti’s interior is ageing well and the material quality is generally good around the cabin, if not especially plush. The grey and red seats in my Monte Carlo test car did inject some colour and fun into the otherwise sombre interior but it would be churlish to write off the Yeti on these grounds because there is something pleasantly honest and functional about this car that goes beyond colour accents and other gimmicks.

Skoda Yeti Ireland Review
The Skoda Yeti has a distinctive presence on the road and Monte Carlo models with black wheels and black roof add even more attitude

The engine line for the Skoda Yeti is made up of a 1.2-litre TSI turbo petrol engine with 110hp and a 2.0-litre TDI with 110hp or 150hp. The 2.0-litre TDI with 110hp is the most efficient, returning up to 63mpg and motor tax is €200 per year. Petrols starts at €23,955, while diesels start at €25,495. Manual and automatic gearboxes are offered, as is the option of four wheel drive, with the cheapest 4×4 model coming in at €27,990.

My test car had the 2.0TDI with 150bhp and it’s got loads of grunt for the Yeti. Running costs do start to creep up a little however, with motor tax costing €270 per year for this model, though it still returns up to 59mpg. The 2.0TDI is a bit noisy on start up when cold and during harsh acceleration, but generally it’s a good companion for the Yeti.

The Yeti’s on road driving manners are surprisingly good. In short, it might look like a van but it does not drive like one. The steering is weighted nicely and it grips well over twisty rural roads with not too much body roll, and the suspension takes the edge off bumps and ruts in the road surface. However, it does get quite noisy in the cabin at motorway speeds.

Skoda Yeti Ireland Review
Skoda Yeti: The interior is sturdily built though it can get quite noisy in here at motorway speeds

There are five trims offered in Ireland: Active, Ambition, Style, Outdoor and Monte Carlo, with standard equipment including roof rails, alloy wheels, front fog lamps and air con.

The Monte Carlo model on test has cruise control, dual zone climate control, parking sensors, and a touchscreen for infotainment. There are also a number of unique features including a panoramic glass sunroof, 17” black alloy wheels, a front spoiler, rear diffuser, black front grille, door mirrors and roof, chrome tail pipe, flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and a sports pedal set.

Skoda Yeti Ireland Review
Skoda Yeti: An offbeat but practical crossover

With its unique looks and practical, spacious cabin, the Skoda Yeti remains an attractive and offbeat choice in the crossover segment.

Strong and sturdy with plenty of attitude, that’ll be the Skoda Yeti!

Model tested: Skoda Yeti Monte Carlo 2.0TDI 150hp
€31,165 (Range starts at €23,955)
2.0-litre turbo diesel
9.0 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Tax band:
€270 per year

Caroline Kidd