Remember our Carless Whispers column from Keris? Well, she’s not been officially ‘carless’ for a few weeks, thanks to those magically marvellous people at Skoda who decided to loan her a car. They didn’t ask for a review of the Skoda Yeti they sent her – they asked for no recognition at all in fact. Did I mention how much we love the Skoda PR team? But Keris felt obliged to let them know what she thinks. But no switching off now – this is not a Car Review as you would expect it…
I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Skodas before the Yeti was delivered. I’d had a look at the website and blanched at the size of it – it looked enormous! Outside of driving lessons, I’d only ever driven a Daewoo Matiz, which is basically a Noddy car. I was worried my feet wouldn’t reach the pedals in a 4×4.
Once it arrived, I was really keen to get in and have a go, it’s such a lovely, sturdy-looking car. I didn’t have any problems reaching the pedals – the seat and steering wheel are adjustable (although I did sit on a cushion for a couple of weeks until I realised the seat could be raised as well as scooted forwards) and it’s extremely comfortable to drive.
Having never reviewed a car before – and not being a “petrolhead” (as I believe car people are called) I’ll just tell you what I liked and didn’t like about it. Oh and do bear in mind that lots of the things I’ve been excited about may be standard in cars – my Daewoo didn’t even have central locking, so this was all new to me.
One of the first things we discovered was that you can play DVDs on the dashboard. Not while you’re driving (that wouldn’t be safe), but while parked and waiting. This went down very well with Joe and it was all we could do to remove him from the car for the first few days. Harry also loves the Map and happily watches our little red arrow as it makes its way to our destination.
The parking sensors are really useful – I’d also been worried about parking a car that’s basically twice the size of my previous car. The only problem is that if the sensors started beeping, the boys both get completely overexcited (Joe beeping along with them, Harry shouting “Careful, Middy! You’re too close! MIDDY! TOO CLOSE!”) which generally destroys my concentration. So we’ve spend rather a lot of time going round the block to find a space I can get into without being shrieked at.
We heard about the “Park assist” feature from a friend and while Harry was keen to try it out, I was nervous. (David was clueless, asking, “What? You get OUT of the car and it parks itself?!” No.) Eventually I managed it and we were all delighted as the car reversed into a space while I waved my hands above my head.
What else? Oh, there’s a display behind the steering wheel that tells you what gear you’re in and what gear you should be in. This would have been completely brilliant when I was learning to drive and is pretty useful even now. Although it does seem to want me to be in 6th a surprising amount of the time (and I don’t actually like 6th – I feel like I’m freewheeling). I’ve found this feature to be particularly useful since, unlike the Daewoo, the Skoda’s engine noise doesn’t make it clear when I should be changing gear. I could happily be tootling round in 2nd without even realising.
The front seats are heated, which just seemed like pure luxury after the Daewoo which, on a wet or frosty day, I had to dry ON THE INSIDE. They’re also a source of hilarity to Harry, who likes to shout “Middy! I think your butt’s on fire!” whenever I have three “bars” on. And there’s automatic heating and air conditioning too.
I frequently have bad dreams in which I’m driving in the dark, but have forgotten to put my lights on and am leaving all kinds of chaos in my wake. The Skoda has automatic lights, which come on and turn off when needed. Brilliant.
The boot is big and features a little basket to stop things rolling around. I would have complained that I had to jump up to shut it, but then my sister pointed out the handle for pulling it down… Skoda appear to have thought of everything.
The only issue I’ve had with driving is that I sometimes struggle to find the biting point, as does David. This means that, to begin with, I stalled a stupid number of times, particularly on very slight hills. On one occasion, I stalled dramatically about six times while the boys howled with laughter and shouted “Again! Do that jerking thing again, Middy!”
The only other thing I’d say is that the cup holders are a bit awkwardly positioned. Really, this is a brilliant car.
We’re all going to be sorry to have to give it back. In fact, we’re trying not to think about it since it’s become like a second home (with related mess – Harry asked, “Are you going to get the car cleaned before it goes back?” Yes. Yes, we are.) We’re still not in a position to buy a car, but as soon as we are, we’ll be looking at Skodas. And we’ll never forget our Yeti… *cries* *waves hankie*
Debut novel DELLA SAYS: OMG! out now
“Confidence-boosty sex-positive first love goodness. This could be the Forever of the 21st century, girls…” – Susie Day, author of Big Woo! and Girl Meets Cake