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Long-term test: Skoda Yeti 1.6TDI Elegance Greenline II



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Journalists often have a fly-by-night opportunity to appraise a car (fly to foreign lands for the launch, drive a pre-arranged route, eat regularly and fly home again).

But often checking out the internet for reviews of cars by their owners instead proves a valuable way of getting a headstart on the pros and cons of a vehicle in preparation for showroom enquiries on what a car is like to live with.

There’s a pithy one on the Evo website on the Yeti: “It reminds me of the image of the Leyland Rancho, except the Yeti actually does what the Rancho promised and never achieved: it goes off road properly and doesn’t fall to bits.

"Yeti again ploughs its own little furrow and comes up with something excellent and truly useful.”

And another on What Car?: “The bonnet is a little light – you can see it vibrate.”

Having driven the Yeti prior to and during the Christmas break I was able to experience the car on a variety of journeys on all manner of roads, from motorways to the Tarmac ‘cowpaths’ of Somerset.

A business trip to Birmingham city centre demonstrated the accuracy of its sat-nav. Shamefully, I’d chosen to use my TomTom at the same time, trusting more on a long-standing travel aid than the in-built system – and how wrong I was.

Using just a postcode, the TomTom led me into a dead end where the only option was to go into a multi-storey while the Yeti’s took me exactly where I needed to be.

Later during the week away on a Somerset farm, the Yeti’s sat-nav proved equally reliable, from the M6 and M5 to navigating the rural road network that seemed to consist entirely of single track roads.

Such a variety of driving conditions proved the Yeti is a comfortable place to be.

There are additions to the standard equipment over the SE model that made the Elegance a standout choice: the cornering function and angle control of the headlights, cornering front fog lights and the light assistant package, including the coming home/leaving home feature which keeps the lights on after you’ve locked the car to see you to your front door – a great feature in a dark farm yard.

The GreenLine logo on the car refers to a variety of ‘green’ technological features on the Yeti and available on the S, SE and Elegance models.

These encapsulate low CO2, economical engines, energy recovery, lowered suspension and low profile tyres, a stop/start system and trip computer gear recommendations, suggesting the best gear for the speed you’re doing and reducing fuel consumption.

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