I live in North Worcestershire in the Wyre Forest area and for my sins I don’t have a Land rover! I have a Skoda Yeti 4×4 170ps diesel. Umm not a real off roader perhaps, but its close, even Clarkson raved over them. No it doesn’t have a low ratio box, winch, snorkel etc. etc. But it does have Dunlop winter M+S tyres, reasonable ground clearance and limited under body protection, oh and yes it has the latest generation Haldex diff.
As a new joiner to GW4x4R I had to do the BORDA course, so I could have borrowed one of Whitecliff’s off roaders, but no I thought, lets use the Yeti. After a hour or so of theory and safety, it was off to the Quarry. First a general drive around, that seemed easy, but then it was on to the 30 degree muddy slopes. No the Yeti wont go up or down those I thought, of course I was wrong, setting the electronic wiz bangs it crept off over the top. Feet off everything allowing the Haldex and computer systems to do their worst, no problem went down at 2 mph with hardly a glitch. Same again up, no problem. Then practiced again and again confidence grew, it will do these things. The gloopy mud came next, no it cant do 9 inches of mud plus water on top, well of course it did with ease, even starting and stopping in the centre didn’t seem to give any wheel spin, it just drove out. The fast acceleration and emergency stop hardly gave any slippage, what on earth is this Haldex thing? Though it didn’t like the cross axle situation, but I later learnt you need to use a lot more power in a Yeti than I did at the time.
Later and just to put me out of my misery I had a go in a proper Land Rover with automatic electronic off road controls, of course it went anywhere without effort, fantastic. But I bet it doesn’t do 53 mpg driving around Scotland and park itself, like the Yeti.
A big thank you to the people at Whitecliff, I was really impressed, very professional and friendly, I’m planning a family day out there next year for one of their off road days.
And the Yeti – no scratches, but a little muddy, better than I ever imagined off road and on, though I should have known better – It is a Skoda bodied Audi Quattro underneath!!!