Skoda’s done it again. This is a brand that doesn’t have one model in its entire range (Roomster Scout excepted and gratefully forgotten) that I wouldn’t recommend to my nearest and dearest, and the new Yeti continues the trend.
It has a ride and handling combination that should have every mainstream rival sitting up and paying attention, a functional, high-quality interior, some class-leading engines and the ability to go further off road than any sane person would choose to go without a winch and a satellite phone.
But I don’t think you’ll see many leave the showroom. Even Skoda only predicts around 3000 sales in the UK in the first year. The problem is that this car’s design makes it a niche product despite the fact that actually, given that pricing is likely to start at £14k, it is more talented and versatile than most of the more conventional big sellers in its price range.
Associate ed Hilton Holloway drove a pre-production Yeti and described it as “the all-terrain vehicle that 95 per cent of people need.”
Having driven it I think he’s right. But I disagree with his suggestion that the Yeti could sell more than predicted.
I have never experienced such a good car that is so restricted by its niche market placement. Your average car buyer looking for a practical hatch is going to go straight to the household names, and it won’t even occur to them that the cheap SUV with the silly name is all they want and need.
That’s a shame because I believe that this is one of the best real-world cars on sale. Though I hope I’m wrong, I’m going to get my fill of the Yeti now because it could end up being just as rare as its namesake.