Yeti Spotted on The Ridgeway, Britains Oldest Road – Skoda Yeti Review

In Car Reviews by Jonathan Humphrey

The SkodaYeti Review, a refined fun to drive all purpose family car and capable 4×4 – hatchbacks move over.



Recently I set out to explore a piece of the local landscape the Ridgeway National Trail, known as Britain’s oldest road. Only a few sections are available for 4×4 vehicles. I set off in a SKODA Yeti Elegance 1.8 TSI, the 160bhp 4×4.  A fantastic car for those wanting something sturdier than just a hatchback. The Yeti is a versatile vehicle that can handle outdoor living in its stride. This car was a 4wd with the latest 4×4 system, the 180mm ground clearance was helpful on the undulating Ridgeway trails even though the 4 wheel drive wasn’t necessary, it was re-assuring. I have always liked the Yeti looks and spotting other owners, they seem to have that knowing look, that they know how good it is. The car was finished in Rosso Brunello, a striking dark red metallic



On the road the 1.8 petrol engine in the Skoda Yeti was smooth and quiet, the extra height from just being in the Yeti gives you that raised 4×4 feeling. The top speed of this model is 124mph with a sporty 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds. The car at all times had more than enough power and even on motorway use was a comfortable long distance cruiser.

The ŠKODA Yeti has a massive cabin with clever thought out seating arrangements for a family car of this size. The rear seats feature a Varioflex seating system that gives you an extremely flexible solution. With over 20 seating positions where rear seats can be removed, slid back folded, rolled up or down, stowed or slightly reclined. Children and rear passengers will appreciate the large windows, in the rear the seats are set stadium like, slightly higher. In the week I had the vehicle my seven year old daughter didn’t suffer from car sickness at all.

Enjoy our ŠKODA Yeti High Def YouTube Video below for some images of the Ridgeway.

The addition of the panoramic sunroof although it is a £1065 optional extra made the car light and airy inside. The dial switch gave the option of opening or closing it to full reach. The sunroof runs almost the width and length of the car. The single-piece sun blind is electrically operated via a one touch dial switch above the windscreen. The same dial also opens the front section of the roof. Another neat feature was being able to close the roof and fold mirrors with the key remote.

The section of the Ridgeway I headed to was between Compton and Streatley on the North Wessex Downs. The route follows ancient tracks and paths walked 5000 years ago by herdsman and soldiers since prehistoric times. The Ridgeway  now offers walkers, cyclists an easy to get to escape from day to day life. Even though the route can only be driven by 4×4 in a few places (see below), it is worth taking a look. The Ridgeway views are spectacular and passing through the exposed and remote countryside was quite spectacular. A peaceful quiet spot and worth a visit, just for the views.

Driving the Yeti along the Ridgeway for the afternoon was a most enjoyable experience. It was ideal, the car with its higher ground clearance makes it a highly capable off roader with positive handling, not that the Ridgeway this time of year is too difficult. The ride surprisingly isn’t that firm, it is refined and from the cabin overall noise is very quiet. I found the driving position very comfortable on long runs, the seats are infinitely adjustable. The dual zone, climate control worked brilliantly as was very easy top select options for both driver and passenger. The children and I particularly liked the Bolero 12 speaker sound system,  although it did also include the pretty much redundant 6 CD option, but even that was handy set in the dash, not the boot. The iPhone bluetooth was incredibly easy to set up and operate from the unit or the driver display by the speedometer, the children also liked the easy connection of their iPod shuffles via bluetooth which gave them control of the system. The sound quality at all levels was amazing and one of the best I have heard in-car for a long time. The model tested didn’t include the optional Colombus Sat Nav which is available as an option on this model and is included on the Special ŠKODA Yeti Urban.

The Skoda Elegance model had the Full leather interior with heated front seats, which were quite effective but largely unneeded this time of year. I didn’t get to try the full 4×4 system which uses the 4×4 off road button on the centre console. By pushing the button a constant speed is set electronically on any slopes over 8 degrees. This maintains traction and stops over use of the engine and wheel spin and slippage. The latest system sense what is happening at each wheel transferring power or applying brakes as necessary for smoother off road driving. The system gives the driver the choice of Uphill start assist, Downhill assist, ABS off-road, and EDL off road. The extra security this system would give the driver on rural slippery roads would be useful but for urban use I would probably top up on the options and go for 2wd.

One simple addition that I loved was some simple hooks on a side rail in the boot, ideal for spirited drivers just to hold their shopping in the bags on the way back from Waitrose. A brilliant simple solution.

This car with a list price of £23,795 was the Elegance Version not quite top of the range but overall excellently equipped throughout. The Yeti range consists of a multitude of models from the Yeti E starting at£14245 to the top of the range at £23,790.

The New latest equipped Yeti URBAN model is a great looking new addition to the range and available with the 1.2 or 2.0 litre engines and a host of included extras: sat nav, 17″ alloys, multi function steering wheel, DAB digital radio, sports seats , sunset glass and many body enhancements.


A car for the times, overall an excellent, spacious family car package. Having the car for a week it proved its excellence, refinement and ability in all areas. The fuel consumption did drop with spirited driving to around 32mpg, although on longer journeys it improved. If fuel consumption is key the Green Line options are better. The 1.8TSi is known as one of the best in the range is one of the most fun to drive but go for a lighter colour, if you want it to look clean! Oh and don’t forget the Skoda Yeti Review of its award winning service.

For more information on the ŠKODA Yeti Click HERE




The Ridgeway National Trail,

Offers gives some spectacular views. There aren’t that may places down south where you can escape from day to day life for a moment.

Even though the route can only be driven by 4×4 in a few places, it is worth taking a look. The Ridgeway passes through the open and remote countryside of the Wessex Downs to the quaint villages and chalky grassland of the Chiltern Hills.

Route Map of the Ridgeway National Trail


The Ridgeway meanders 87miles (139km) through five counties. It beginning in Wiltshire and passing though Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hertforshire before ending in Buckinghamshire. The route starts in Avebury home of the largest Stone Circle in Europe and rambles on through the wild and remote landscape of the Wessex downs. Near the River Thames at Goring, the landscape changes and then takes you through woodland tracks and chalk grassland passing through little villages and moving on to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Drivers Note – Since May 2006 the routes that can be driven by 4 x 4  or recreational vehicles have largely been reduced.  If you wish to ride a motorbike, or drive a 4 by 4 or car on The Ridgeway you can now legally use the following sections but only from 1st May to 30th September each year. Walking is fine, cycling is fine, serious 4 x 4 is not encouraged. as the trail can get quit damaged.


Western half of The Ridgeway

There are four sections of the Trail from Overton Hill to Streatley on the River Thames that can be driven for recreation.  A summary map of the western half of The Ridgeway is available as a download below but grid references are given here and you are advised to check detailed maps before you venture out:

  • 6 miles – from the start of the Trail at Overton Hill (SU 118681) to just west of Barbury Castle (SU 145764).  Available for driving from 1st May to 30th September only (apart from final 200m that can be driven at any time of the year).
  • 4.5 miles – from just west of Ogbourne St George (SU 193746) to south of Liddington Castle (SU 215780).  Available for driving from 1st May to 30th September only.
  • Less than 2 miles – from Fox Hill (SU 232815) south of Hinton Parva to Bishopstone (SU 259832).  Available for driving at any time of the year.
  • 4 miles – from north of Compton (SU 509819) to Streatley (SU 567813).Available for driving from 1st May to 30th September only.

East of the River Thames

There is just one very short section available for driving 1 May to 30 September only:

  • 1 mile on the edge of Princes Risborough from the Wycombe Road (SP 806025) east to SP 814033.
More information about the Ridgeway National Trail can be found HERE
For more information on the SKODA Yeti Click HERE


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