For a car that’s still rare enough to turn heads in the street, the Skoda Yeti has a bewilderingly wide range of models to choose from. All share the same five-door, SUV-style body but there are two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions, six different trim levels and seven engine specifications. There’s also the option of a twin-clutch automatic transmission, but only on the smallest of the three petrol engines and one of the four diesels. But if selecting your Yeti can be a bit baffling, living with it should be easy.
All over the Yeti there is evidence that it has been designed by people who actually use cars, and think about how others use them – from the picnic tables for rear passengers to the iPod connection inside the storage box between the front seats. There’s more storage space on top of the dash, in the centre console, and in the doors, and lots of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel. The boot is big, with a useful square shape and a low loading lip, and it can be extended by folding the rear seats or even removing them altogether. The doors open wide tall body provides a lofty driving position, and with lots of glass and a vertical tail the Yeti is easy to place on the road and a doddle to park.
At low speed the Yeti rides well, making it as useful on shattered city streets as it is on potholed country roads. The ride is a little less settled at higher speeds, but on sweeping A-road curves the Yeti feels stable, secure and surprisingly good fun.
Our test car had a 110PS turbodiesel engine and a six-speed manual gearbox. In our hands it returned around 47mpg, and while the manufacturer’s 0-62mph acceleration time of 11.6sec sounds tardy the Yeti proved to be quite spritely, thanks to the engine’s prodigious mid-range grunt. The SE Plus trim of our car included convenience items like satellite navigation, a CD autochanger and a leather steering wheel with radio and phone controls, all for only £700 more than the SE trim level.
The Yeti is practical, good value, and the kind of car that grows on you the more you drive it. And with so many models to choose from, you might never see another one exactly like yours.