Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI

Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI

For 2014 the two model Skoda Yeti range has received a revamped front end and mildly modified tailgate to bring it into line with the new corporate exterior design as worn by the all-new Rapid, all-new Octavia, and revamped Superb car line.

Thankfully the unique spirit of the Yeti has not been lost in its rejuvenation.

2014-Yeti-City-front-Unlike other compact SUVs with trending low roof lines and coupe-like curves, the Yeti is a practical, upright, boxily-shaped wagon that provides plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and its retains its 40:20:40 rear split seat, as well as the ability to remove the central rear seat, and place the two remaining seats closer together to create a roomy four-seat touring car.

Skoda calls this the VarioFlex seating system, while customers and drivers will call it “jolly useful”.

More importantly for 2014 there is much greater differentiation in specification and engines between the 2014-Yeti-City-rear-34front-wheel-drive petrol powered Yeti City and the all-wheel-drive diesel powered Yeti Outdoor to suit both the urban, recreational, and rural buyers that this car is marketed to.

Spec:

Both the City and the Outdoor models marketed here arrive in the Ambition trim level, but there are a number of exterior and interior differences between the two.

The City is differentiated by its body-coloured mouldings, all silver roof rails, and more modest 16-inch alloy wheels in 2014-Yeti-Outdoor-front-34contrast to the Outdoor which has a more aggressive stance thanks to its black body mouldings with silver details on the front and rear bumpers, silver exterior mirror caps, silver and black roof rails, and chunkier 17-inch alloy wheels.

Definitely a case (visually, anyway) of the urbane city mouse versus the brasher country cousin!

The City is equipped solely with rear parking sensors, while the Outdoor gets front and rear parking sensors (an additional $750 for the City), as well as folding exterior mirrors with puddle lamp function (this is a $250 option for the City).

The City receives manual air- conditioning as opposed to 2014-Yeti-Outdoor-rear-34dual climate on the Outdoor (a $1200 option for the City), and the Outdoor gets a partition net screen as standard equipment (a $350 option for the City).

Both cars have bluetooth preparation as standard, the City comes with the double DIN Swing CD/MP3 audio system, while the Outdoor is equipped with the double DIN Bolero MP3 audio system with integrated six-stack CD system.

A mobile device interface is standard on the City and a no cost option on the Outdoor.

Both cars are available with black or terracotta cloth upholstery as standard or optional black or terracotta leather upholstery for $3500. Sports seats in red or silver cloth upholstery are available for $750 as is front seat heating at $450.

Rear privacy glass on both versions is an additional $350.

Other than these differences, both cars absolutely mirror each other in terms all other specification details. Both cars also come with tow bar preparation reflecting their practical nature.

Inside:

2014-Yeti-City-interior-Both the City and the Outdoor have that Czech “hewn from stone” feeling to their interiors, yes theres a lot of commonality of design touches in the dashboard and controls which is shared with other Volkswagen Group offerings from VW and Audi, but the quality of the Skoda manufacture is just impeccable. Everything fits perfectly, there are no rattles, and the plastics have a quality look and feel to them.

The driving position of both Yeti models is wonderfully upright and a little old-school, but it suited my six-foot-four partner perfectly, he has huge difficulty fitting into smaller cars, and continues to drive a 1996 RAV-4 simply because he finds it comfortable to sit in such an upright position.

The front seats are both comfortable for long distances, and both are equipped with the all important lumbar adjustment for those of us who suffer from crook backs, and its telling that this feature is often not fitted to vehicles that are far more expensive than the Yeti.

The Yetis both offer maximum visibility through the large glass areas, which also add to the feeling of space inside the car, and you can easily forget that this compact SUV is only 4.2 metres in length, which combined with that commanding seating position makes both cars easy to manoeuvre, and park in tight spaces whether in the city or out in the back of beyond.

Where the spacious-feeling Yeti struggles against bigger SUV rivals is boot space, theres just 321 litres behind the rear seats. However thanks to the VarioFlex, you can fold the three rear seat backs down to create a generous load through, tip them all forward for more space, or remove all the seats to create a Yeti delivery van.

Power:

2014-Yeti-Outdoor-gear-shift-leverThe front-wheel-drive Yeti City is powered by a turbocharged petrol 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine which is rated at 90 kilowatts and produces 200 Newton meters of torque, the sole transmission on offer is the Volkswagen Group’s 7-speed dual-clutch direct shift gearbox (DSG).

Combined fuel economy is quoted at 6.6L/100km and this is quite easily achieved provided that you don’t enjoy the responsive acceleration of the City too often.

The all-wheel-drive Yeti Outdoor is powered by a 2-litre common rail turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engine which is rated at 103 kilowatts and produces 320 Newton metres of torque. Buyers have the option of a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed DSG gearbox that was in the car tested by Car and SUV.

Combined fuel economy for the Yeti Outdoor DSG is 6.3L/100km, and its slightly faster than City in the zero to 100km/h sprint, taking 10.2 seconds to get there, while the City is slightly slower needing 10.6 seconds to complete.

The Outdoor variant is also equipped with an Off Road Mode which is a remapped ECU setting which provides enhanced ABS braking, stability control, hill holding, and better gradient descent control in off-road situations such as climbing up a grassy knoll or driving through dirt tracks.

Experience:

2014-Yeti-Outdoor-infotainment-systemNot surprisingly, similar but slightly different sum up the driving behaviour and dynamics of the City and the Outdoor.

The front-wheel-drive City is an eager little critter, sometimes a bit too eager, because the potent 1.4-ltre TSI engine and instantly responsive DSG gearbox will mesh too quickly and produce a squeal from the driving wheels as you desperately try not to look like a backward-cap wearing miscreant sitting behind the steering wheel.

Feathering the throttle gently is the order of the day on takeoff in the City, because due to the softly sprung suspension it will spin a front wheel in the wet, or around a bumpy corner too.

But despite these chassis quirks, the City is an engaging drive with light but accurate and communicative steering, and very good brakes, offering good pedal feel with sharp and precise response.

The City will happily sit on the motorway cruising quietly and efficiently in seventh gear, very occasionally dropping back to sixth on an incline if necessary.

I was surprised there was so little difference in the zero to 100kph times between the City and the Outdoor, because from my perspective they both felt the same on a full throttle take off.

The difference being that the Haldex all-wheel-drive system in the Outdoor keeps the rear axle in free-running mode and it is only when the electronics detect that drive to all four wheels is needed does it kick in and send power through to the rear wheels.

So for the great majority of the time, such as the City, the Outdoor normally runs in front-drive-mode too.

However, plant the right foot onto the accelerator pedal and you can feel the all-wheel-drive system kick into life, and you can easily drive the Outdoor with more enthusiasm into and out of a corner than you would necessarily in the City.

In fact there is a number of all-wheel-drive competitors in the compact SUV segment that would be left trailing in the wake of an Outdoor being driven spiritedly.

Thanks to that 350 Newton metres of torque from the 2-litre turbo-diesel, travelling up hill and overtaking slower traffic are no problem to the Outdoor, and despite only having six forward gears as opposed to seven, and a louder, gruffer sounding engine, it too will cruise quickly and quietly down a motorway or state highway.

Verdict:

It is very simple, or to quote Skoda, it’s simply clever. One design, but two quite different applications.

Through the choice of engine and drive train the Yeti City is definitely more suited towards to the urban user, while the Yeti Outdoor is far better suited to recreational users as well as rural dwellers who want the long-distance efficiency of diesel, and the added safety of all-wheel-drive for traction in wet or muddy conditions.

Yes, the City does lack one or two items from the Outdoor’s arsenal of specification, but it is still a very well equipped car in its own right, and it has it’s own identity which again is no bad thing. It is also competitively priced.

The Outdoor takes the basic framework of the City, adds its own personality, and it too provides a competitive price point for the specification provided.

The final choice really does come down to which Yeti suits your needs and lifestyle better!

Prices:

Yeti City Ambition 90kW TSI 7-speed DSG $36,100
Yeti Outdoor Ambition 103kW TDI 6-speed man $41,400
Yeti Outdoor Ambition 103kW TDI 6-speed DSG $42,900

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Fun to drive nature
  • Great overall package

Cons:

  • Bootspace can be limited
  • Diesel can be clatter-y at idle

Words and pictures:

 

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