Yes, my steed to celebrate the first stirrings of the soon-coming Spring is nothing less than Skoda’s spirited attempt to bite off a meaty chunk of the soft-roader party. And immediately, this square cut high rider comes over all Jon Culshaw. Yes, this baby’s got first impressions nailed. And nailed hard. But is there a tasty filling behind that pretty pie crust? Time to find out.
Engine catches softly with a stern urgency that flirtily fails to mask a teasing under note, like a mid-flight giggle from an air hostess. First gear slots as a smooth as Roger Moore’s snooker table, clutch bites like an Alsatian on amphetamines and we are rolling. Straight away, you can feel that this baby wants to play, and the game is called ‘progress’. That motor under the prow may pack just 1.2 neat little litres but such is its eagerness to please that you might wrongly guess it runs on pure prostitutes.
The Yeti is really on the rampage now, motor spinning like Alistair Campbell, ably rowed along by a gearchange that’s keen as Roy’s mustard. But how does the sturdy Skoda cope when the going gets twisty? The answer comes in one simple word – simply brilliant. Steering reacts like a crack fuelled cat, pouring the Yeti into each corner with poised precision. Blindfold the driver and they might easily assume they were pedalling a perfectly polished German car. But this is Czech, mate.
At nine-tenths the Yeti is as frisky as Seabiscuit and just as rewarding. But the really good news is that when you poke this snow monster with the sharp stick of helmsmanship it comes back smiling. Mid-bend I lifted off, felt the tail go light, simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.
The Skoda Yeti S 1.2 TSI is a bitch. And I spanked it.
Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine