At the 2005 motor shows in Geneva and Frankfurt, ŠKODA presented two SUV concept cars that were exceptionally well received by the international trade fair visitors. Four years later, on 5 March 2009, the time had come: ŠKODA unveiled the series-production version of the YETI, also in Geneva, thus launching its fifth model series. Just one month later, on 3 April, series production began at the Kvasiny plant.
Just like the ŠKODA TREKKA, the new YETI was built on an OCTAVIA platform, but this time it was the second modern generation of the brand’s bestseller in the outdoor SCOUT version. Despite its generous ground clearance of 180 millimetres, the compact SUV model was renowned for its safe handling and high agility. In addition to the basic 4×2 configuration with front-wheel drive, ŠKODA also offered an advanced 4×4 all-wheel drive with visco-clutch. In addition, there were powerful yet economical engines. Two engines were available for the front-wheel-drive model versions: the 105 hp (77 kW) four-cylinder petrol engine 1.2 TSI, which followed the downsizing concept, and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel direct injection engine with 110 hp (81 kW), which could also be combined with four-wheel drive. The more powerful versions of the diesel engine with 140 hp (103 kW) and 175 hp (125 kW) were available exclusively for the 4×4 version, as was the 1.8 TSI petrol engine with 160 hp (118 kW). Later, a 1.4 TSI with 122 hp (90 kW) and – designed specifically for the Greenline model – a 1.6 TDI with 104 hp (77 kW) supplemented the engine range.
The YETI quickly captured customers’ hearts. Compared to the OCTAVIA COMBI, the 4,224-millimetre-long, 1,793-millimetre-wide and 1,691-millimetre-tall SUV was more compact. Thanks to a higher seating position, it offered better all-round visibility and was easier to enter and exit. At the same time, it came with numerous ‘Simply Clever’ ideas on board, such as the VarioFlex rear seats, already featured in the ŠKODA ROOMSTER, which could be adjusted individually or removed completely. The YETI also scored points in terms of safety: in the demanding EuroNCAP crash test, the model secured the top five-star rating.
In June 2011 ŠKODA manufactured the 100,000th YETI before it received a special honour just one month later: Jeremy Clarkson, the then famous presenter of the BBC programme Top Gear, known for his sometimes biting sarcasm, declared the SUV model “possibly the best car in the world” – after landing a helicopter on the roof while the car was in motion.
In 2013 ŠKODA comprehensively upgraded the YETI model and gradually expanded the engine and equipment range. One year later, the sporty MONTE CARLO version rounded off the series. In October 2015, the 500,000th YETI rolled off the assembly line. In addition to being produced at the Czech plant in Kvasiny, the model was also built in India, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as well as in China – with an extended body. Production of the compact SUV ended in 2018 after 683,603 vehicles had rolled off the assembly line. The ŠKODA KAROQ – the YETI’s successor – had already been launched a year earlier.