The Yeti Quest Part I: The Passat

In March 2012 Connie and I made a decision that would shape our future. We decided, after several weeks and months of putting up with it, that we would go out and buy a car. We sat down, listed what we wanted, and discovered that we both loved Volvos, and we both wanted a car to grow into. This meant we homed in on the Volvo V50 and its sultry sleek estate vibes. However, our budget at the time was small, as we had recently became engaged and had a wedding to plan and get on with, so the Volvo was deemed a little out of our reach.

Those pragmatic decisions lead Connie to become a master of the Auto Trader site. We went to the Volvo garage and had a look, taking a bus trip out from our flat in Rosemount to Altens, having a wee wander around the car garages there. The Volvo garage confirmed our fears – getting an Automatic, my preferred choice and Connie’s required choice – was too difficult and too costly. Instead, Con found a black Volkswagen Passat, a 2006 model with around 50k miles on it, out in Westhill for a good price.

We took the bus out to look at it and fell in love with the shape, size, and presentation of the car. The model was one of the lowest in the range, and had a big petrol engine, but it did have the DSG auto gearbox we wanted, and it look like it was in great condition. We sorted out the particulars and Connie managed to negotiate the price down almost £700. We took delivery of the car and I remember driving it out of Westhill for the first time and discovering the Verve’s Urban Hymns had been left inside the CD player.

Our first major trip in the car was to Lochcarron, an epic journey where we saw dolphins and deer on the way over. That car later became our saviour – when we left Aberdeen for Glasgow it swallowed up our earthly possessions in two packed trips. We decided to get Frank and the car grew into him. It is the car that brought Joni home from the hospital. It is the car that I got locked out of. We have well and truly run it into the ground, with scrapes and bumps and stains and marks all over its body work and interior. It is truly our first car together, and one that has so many memories in it.

When we lived in Glasgow I made a decision to cycle and take public transport to work for cost reasons and environmental reasons, but also for Connie’s benefit. We were a one car family and it was annoying to think that when she needed it to go swimming or for a walk with Joni I had taken it and it was sitting outside my office. At least then I had the option of taking an alternate method of transport. The moment we moved to Cumbria it was clear either I needed to really get into cycling or Connie would need her “own” car. And so begins the Yeti Quest.

That’s a spoiler alert actually – we decided upon a Skoda Yeti. There are so many reasons for this decision and it took quite a long time I thought that it might make a good series of blog posts. And here we are. That’s the back story.

Next – let’s look at the contenders and why they weren’t chosen.