So after all the previous stuff (deliberation, elimination etc), we decided on going to see a real life true to the flesh Skoda Yeti. Connie did some research on the model that we wanted and found a good car with low mileage that was based in Dewsbury and whilst we considered a trip south to there to see it, we instead got the dealer to move it to Blackpool turning a seven hour round trip into a four hour round trip.
On the way down to test drive the car we got caught up in an car accident, stuck on the M6 for about 45 minutes. On the way back we got stuck again at the same spot – this time the accident was fatal, and a car came off the carriageway and hit two police officers and rolled who had been attending the recovery from the previous accident. That was sobering.
The test drive was short and sweet and we agreed on a good deal on the car, managing to get it under the top level of our budget. But the big deal was that the car was amazing. It drove smoothly. Then began the agonising three day wait to get the new car. On the Wednesday we drove down as early as we could manage (Joni doesn’t like getting woken up, and this particular morning was stubbornly refusing to be “accidentally” woken by my stomping around). We arrived, the paperwork was finalised and the car taxed. We transferred the car seat over and got in and we were off immediately driving across to Lytham St Annes for some food. I will tell you that that first drive was nerve wracking but exhilarating.
After a quick fuel up Connie and I drove back to the Old Passat and transferred Joni back into it, and Connie took the wheel of the new car. After getting set up we agreed a few codes for driving up in convoy, with a agreed stop at Tebay. After getting out of Blackpool and onto the M55 we started to speed up. Originally, Connie had intended to sit at 60mph, but once she was out in the main road and in the flow of the traffic she realised that the Yeti was perfect for her and she gained confidence. She drove the whole way and enjoyed every moment of it – it truly is the best car she’s ever driven, and certainly sits at the top of my list (not sure what else would usurp it, but I’ve driven loads of hire cars).
The Yeti has some really neat features, so I’m going to go full Top Gear (though leaning more towards Tiff Needell and not Mr Clarkson) with this review of the Yeti, as I know a few are reading this wanting to know what I think of the car.
The first thing I should mention is the technical details of the model we got – we picked up a 62 plate 2013 Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI with the 7 Speed DSG gear box and the SE trim level. The SE gave us rear parking sensors, aux input for the touch screen entertainment system, and electric windows and climate control. The only thing out of that we 100% couldn’t live without is the aux input, something missing from the Passat to the detriment of my driving.
Driving and Comfort
The car is fast. It’s smooth too. It feels like it could drive for hours and hours without ever being uncomfortable. Later this year Connie’s dad is coming to stay with us and I’m already wishing we could figure a way to get the Yeti big enough for us all as it’ll be better than the Passat on long drives (we’re currently planning on driving to London!).
On the inside the seats, steering wheel, and driving position can be customised very extensively. The space in the back is pretty wonderful, and even Joni has loads of space with her car seat (a MaxiCosi 2wayPearl on the 2wayFix base, for those who want to know) fits even reversed, the most onerous case. There is space for at least two adults, with it being maybe a little uncomfortable. It compares well with the Passat though.
The boot is pretty impressive too – it’s low and the boot door is massive. The boot swallows the Uppababy Vista pretty well and can be extended as each rear seat can be moved forward, folded down flat, and the folded up against the front seats, and even then can be removed completely! This was a revelation when I saw this on one of the video reviews and almost single handedly sold me the car there and then.
The car has a 400 mile tank and gets around 45mpg on the motorway and to and from work at the best efficiency point (the BEP in Engineering terms) at around 55 to 60mph, which is pretty good and much better than our thirsty Old Passat. The car is cheaper in Tax too, at £11 a month. To insure it also compares well.
So really, every-time I drive it I am so happy we picked it up. Can’t imagine me writing this many words about any of the other cars we had in our long list, and certainly not as in love with the car as we ended up. We reached out and didn’t compromise on anything, and now I am be happy to know that Connie and Joni are out and about in a car that she finds easy to drive, that is safe, and looks the business. A total win-win.
Some neat little things that I like about the car now, in list form.
- When you’re driving at night the lights are really good at lighting the road. But there is also these wee dim spotlights that shine down from the roof onto the gear stick and the dash controls that are excellent.
- The boot has these two rails on each side with hooks, intended for hanging shopping back from. This is a great idea and should be copied by every car company.
- The view out the back is just amazing. The blush straight sides do make it a little noisier than maybe other cars, but the huge windows and straight sides make it a dream to park and drive around.
- The seats and driving position is so so good. I really notice how much head room there is but mostly it’s in the back where a car of similar proportions would be tinty, but the Yeti forgoes any sleekness (though, in my mind, no loss of form or attractiveness) to give you tonnes of space.
- I’ve never owned a car with such levels of technology – climate control with different areas, a touchscreen media centre, a six-disc changer, parking sensors and stuff.
So that’s that – Parts I, II and III finished with IV. My recommendation is to consider the Yeti when looking for a family hatchback, and almost to not look any further. For completists, we have the old pre-facelift model, which I massively prefer.