The Yeti isn’t exactly prime CT fodder, but we’ve always had a soft spot for it. Practical cars like the Yeti are often generic and rarely interesting, but this Skoda has always been delightfully quirky, well packaged, rugged and rather loveable.
It’s a borderline cult car, but it’ll soon be no more, replaced with the car you see above: the Karoq. Yep, first Kodiaq, now Karoq - we’re thinking names ending on the letter q is Skoda’s new thing for SUVs (Karoq is “derived from the language of Alaska’s indigenous people,” says Skoda). But our worries about the Karoq go further than the loss of the adorable Yeti name. Why? Because the recipe doesn’t sound as interesting.
It’s an MQB-based affair, and is best thought of as Skoda’s take on the VW Tiguan and Seat Ateca. Judging from the first prototype drives that are coming out in the motoring media, it doesn’t sound like there’s a huge amount going on to differentiate the crossover from its VW Group cousins.
While official images released by Skoda show a partially disguised Karoq, it’s pretty clear it’s a much more conventional shape than the Yeti. A little like a Kodiaq and a Seat Ateca had an MQB-shaped baby.
We’ll reserve further judgement until we first drive one, of course, but the Karoq does get the clever Varioflex seating from the outgoing Yeti. It’s bigger too, so should be significantly roomier - just expect much of the Yeti’s utilitarian nature to go out of the window as Skoda aims to move further upmarket.
On the engine front, the Karoq gets VW Group’s brilliantly smooth new 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine, along with a 1.0-litre petrol three-pot, and 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels.
It’ll go on sale later this year. For now, we’ll be mourning the impending loss of the affable, dependable Yeti…