2012 Skoda Yeti 77TSI Manual Review Photo:
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What's Hot
Good cabin quality, spacious boot and versatile interior.
What's Not
Small engine + SUV bulk = thirst for fuel.
The cheeky boxy lines will work for some, as will the practical and nicely finished interior.
Tony O'Kane | Mar, 19 2012 | 5 Comments


Vehicle Style: Compact SUV
Price: $26,290 (plus on-roads)
Fuel Economy (claimed): 6.6 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 9.7 l/100km



Skoda’s plucky little Yeti SUV has now been on the market for nearly five months. While it has moved into second place in sales (behind the Octavia) in Skoda’s local range, it is still underperforming.

It is, in fact, a far better car - and better value - than its 80-plus monthly sales would suggest. We really like the AWD diesel models, so what about the Yeti 77TSI 2WD, the subject of this review?

The 77TSI is the entry point to the Yeti family. It is not overburdened with features but is roomy, nicely finished, and, with practical boxy lines, has a cheeky appeal all of its own.



Quality: The Yeti’s interior is dominated by black plastics, but key touch-points like the gear lever, steering wheel, centre console lid and door armrests are covered in either fine-grained leather, or durable cloth.

All cabin fittings are tightly screwed together, and, although the base-grade 77TSI’s interior felt a little austere, we had no complaints with the Yeti’s cabin design or ergonomics.

Comfort: The Yeti’s front seats are wide and accommodating; neither are they lacking in lateral support.

The seating position is quite high, however you don’t feel quite as tall as you do in other compact SUVs.

The back seat is similarly spacious, and the reclinable 40-20-40 split backrest and twin air-vents greatly improve passenger comfort. The centre position is very short on legroom though, thanks to a protruding centre console and a fairly high centre tunnel.

Equipment: Our tester was given to us in base spec, so its equipment list isn’t particularly long.

Still, all the essentials are there, and standard features include cruise control, trip computer, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, leather-rimmed steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons, an eight-speaker stereo and 16-inch alloys.

Storage: Depending on the position of the rear seat backrests, the Yeti’s seats-up luggage volume varies between 310 and 415 litres. Remove them entirely, and you get a full 1665 litres of van-like cargo space.

The boot floor is flat and fairly wide, and incorporates a number of hooks to help secure cargo. A pair of shopping bag hooks are also provided to help keep groceries from spilling out while driving.



Driveability: The Yeti 77TSI’s 77kW/175Nm 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol four is the same as that used by the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia.

It’s a zippy little unit when married to the Polo’s lithe chassis, but a little overwhelmed when tasked with shifting the Yeti’s 1400kg bulk.

It’s not too bad with just the driver aboard, but load it up with a few passengers and some luggage and the little engine struggles to gain speed and doesn’t have enough low-end puff to sustain momentum up hills.

Frequent downshifts are the only way of coping with the shortfall in grunt. It’s a good thing then that the Yeti’s six-speed manual is light and easy to use.

Having to work the engine harder also makes it thirstier. Skoda claims the Yeti 77TSI uses just 6.6 l/100km on the combined cycle, but the best we could achieve was a V6-rivalling 9.7 l/100km.

Refinement: The engine is quiet and vibration free, but the big voluminous cabin amplifies road roar on coarse-chip roads.

Wind noise is also noticeable - particularly in a crosswind - but not unusual given the Yeti’s boxy profile.

Suspension: The Yeti is equipped with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup at the rear, and is tuned for comfort and compliance rather than cornering ability.

A tall centre of gravity produces some body roll when loaded up through a corner, but roadholding is still pretty good.

It’s pretty good on gravel roads too, and the stability control calibration smoothly intervenes when grip runs out.

The petrol-engined Yeti is only front-wheel drive though, so the extra grip offered by the AWD diesel variants is the better solution on loose surfaces.

Braking: No complaints here, thanks to the Yeti’s strong all-disc brakes and solid ABS performance on both gravel and tarmac.



ANCAP rating: 5 stars

Safety features: Standard features include seven airbags (front, front side, curtain and driver’s knee), three-point seatbelts, anti-whiplash front headrests, ABS, EBD, brake assist, a hill hold feature on manual cars, stability control and traction control.



Warranty:Three-year/unlimited kilometres; two-year warranty on Škoda genuine parts and accessories; three-year warranty for paint defects; and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Service costs: Consult your local Skoda dealer before purchase.



Subaru XV 2.0i ($28,490) - The XV has more on-paper grunt than the Yeti, but tall gearing in the manual gearbox makes it feel barely any quicker.

It’s more feature-rich though, and has all-wheel drive as standard. The back seat is quite roomy for a small SUV, but the Yeti easily outdoes the Subaru for boot space. (see XV reviews)

Jeep Compass 2.0 Sport ($26,500) - The Compass offers a great deal of metal for your money, and is quite a sharp looker. However it’s saddled with a lacklustre interior and a soggy driving experience.

The 2WD Compass Sport misses out on the more powerful 2.4 litre engine of the 4x4 models, and its 115kW 2.0 litre four feels weak by comparison. (see Compass reviews)

Mitsubishi ASX 2WD petrol ($25,990) - The ASX’s cabin feel doesn’t quite match the Yeti’s, but its 110kW engine feels livelier.

It’s slightly better value too, and in our opinion a more handsome looking machine. (see ASX reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.



As an entry-level SUV, the Yeti 77TSI toils manfully but is not at the front of the pack.

Its packaging is good, quality is high and there’s plenty of room, but it’s let down by the meagre 1.2 litres under the bonnet. For a car that’s likely to be pressed into use as a load-lugger for a growing family, we think the undersized engine is a liability.

Instead, if your finances can bridge the gap, we’d recommend the diesel-powered Yeti 103TDI. It’s nearly nearly $10k pricier, but it’s got a muscular diesel and a sure-footed AWD system that does wonders for the Yeti’s driveability.



  • Yeti 77TSI six-speed manual - $26,290
  • Yeti 77TSI seven-speed DSG - $28,590
  • Yeti 103TDI six-speed manual - $35,690
  • Yeti 103TDI six-speed DSG - $37,990

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

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