FOUR years after the launch of the very distinctive Yeti, Skoda has given its crossover vehicle its first major facelift, and brought in a new addition to the range.
Gone is the edgy, love-it-or-hate-it look that had a strong following, with over 280,000 sales worldwide. It is replaced by a more toned-down look that should broaden the fan base. Still very much in crossover 'recreational' vehicle vein, it will now attract those who want a more grown up look that will blend in better with conventional urban transporters.
Skoda believes it has struck a good balance, but, just in case, has cleverly introduced the Yeti Outdoors, for those who still hanker for the 'great outdoors' look.
The Outdoors joins the Active, Ambition and Elegance versions which, when combined with the big choice of engines, now gives over 80 Yeti options from which to choose.
The Outdoors' specification includes full-length panoramic retractable sunroof, off-road and exterior aluminium design features for skirts, wing mirrors, roof bars and front and rear spoilers. There is the option of two-wheel or four-wheel-drive and manual or DSG automation transmission.
The exterior changes include a new grille, bonnet, headlights, new foglights, a new tailgate and new paint and alloy wheel choices. There is now the option of a reversing camera and a new advanced parking assist system. A VarioFlex switch tips rear seats into the floor for more rear space and there is a double-sided carpet/rubber boot floor covering to cater for dirty cargo.
Skoda has very much held the line on prices, with marginal increases at entry level. Prices start at €24,490 for the 1.2litre 105bhp TSI petrol model which rises to €26,820 with DSG automatic transmission. The most popular choice will probably be the highly economical 1.6TDI 105bhp 'Greenline' version at €25,320. Other popular choices will be the 2-litre TDI 110bhp entry level version at €25,320 which costs €28,520 with the four-wheel-drive option. There are also 140bhp and 170bhp 2-litre diesel engines on offer. The Outdoors version prices start at €26,195.
Skoda sold 400 Yeti models last year and has expectations to increase this figure to over 500 in 2014.
Reliability is excellent right through the Skoda range but since its launch to rave reviews four years ago, many other manufacturers have come up with some excellent crossover models so Yeti will have tough competition in the future.