What is it?
The facelifted Skoda Yeti, and the sister car to the recently launched Yeti Outdoor.
Unlike its all-wheel-drive sibling, this Yeti is offered in front-wheel-drive form only and gets a more urban-ready look.
The boxy styling of the previous model remains, but elements of Skoda’s new design language, including its more prominent logo and a larger front grille also feature.
It’s admittedly a mild facelift, and this Yeti has arguably lost some of its rugged charm, but splitting the model line-up allows Skoda to pitch to two different sets of customers.
Three engines are available from launch, with a 104bhp 1.2-litre TSI petrol going alongside a pair of 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI diesels, offering 104bhp and 108bhp respectively.
Skoda is pitching its new pair of Yeti models straight at the crossover class leader, the Nissan Qashqai, as well as the Hyundai ix35 and the Kia Sportage.
It’s an important market for the Czech car maker, and one that’s almost doubled in size since 2008, accounting for a claimed 200,000 sales in the UK alone in 2013.
What's it like?
Even in base 1.2 TSI form, very competent indeed. This Yeti is energetic and agile, and while the engine needs to be worked harder than higher-capacity units to perform, it doesn't feel overburdened and noise is never an issue.
Beyond 2000rpm there’s a reasonable amount of torque, and the six-speed manual gearbox offers up a decent shift action and well-spaced ratios. Our only complaint is that taller drivers would likely prefer the gearstick to be higher, making it easier to reach.
On Gloucestershire’s waterlogged roads, the Yeti felt capable and for the most part well planted. There’s some fidgeting from the rear end when taking corners at speed, and the ride does border on the firm.
Both, however, are relatively minor grumbles in what is otherwise a pleasant driving experience.