‘Skoda can’t have our Yeti for its mu­seum dis­play: we need it’

CAR (UK) - - From The Editor - Ben Miller Ed­i­tor

WE’RE ON THE BRINK of 100,000 miles – a mile­stone that, un­less you’re get­ting about in an ’80s Merc or perched on a Honda Cub, usu­ally her­alds an ac­cel­er­ated de­cline into non-func­tion­ing en­tropy. Our fam­ily Skoda Yeti has been with us for the vast ma­jor­ity of those miles and, sadly, it shows; dog hair is in­sep­a­ra­ble from strands of ac­tual car­pet, L-plate scrapes lend un­wel­come to­pog­ra­phy to its cor­ners, and the steer­ing wheel rim’s glossy like buffed mar­ble. But it shows no sign of bow­ing out, and nei­ther do we fancy let­ting it go.

In Au­gust, Skoda built its mil­lionth SUV (Yeti shifted 680,000 units). But if they’re after a nice ex­am­ple for their mu­seum they’re go­ing to have to make me a very silly of­fer (and get a re­ally good hoover) – our world would sim­ply grind to a halt with­out ours. Plus, we love it.

With this job comes a steady stream of box-fresh cars of all shapes and sizes, from B-road minxes like Alpine’s A110 to ex­em­plars of wan­ton lux­ury like Bent­ley’s Ben­tayga. But still jump­ing in the Yeti is a plea­sure.

The de­sign was right first time: orig­i­nal, nicely re­solved and dis­tinc­tive like few of its con­tem­po­raries. The 2.0 TDI en­gine isn’t a rock­et­sled but nei­ther is it slow; stuff the car with peo­ple and the pow­er­train doesn’t no­tice, and over­tak­ing is on the menu. (Let’s not dwell on what we now know of the en­gine’s dark se­crets…) You al­ways wish the nicely slick five-speed man­ual was a six-speeder (that ar­rived with the facelift), and the VW Group’s evil lock­ing sys­tem is enough to drive any­one to de­spair, but the Yeti’s a fine drive; keen, comfy and happy to not hang around if the road’s clear. And ir­re­place­able, ap­par­ently. Who knew?

En­joy the is­sue.

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