By the time the new, second-generation Yeti goes on sale in 2017, it should have both a smaller and a bigger brother in the shape of a Fabia-sized crossover and a larger 7-seat Skoda model. The likelihood is that the SUV will expand to press home the slight advantage in cabin space it already has over the Nissan Qashqai, and so give the smaller SUV some breathing room.
The current Yeti is available in standard and Outdoor versions, and we expect a similar range structure for the new car in order to maximise its appeal. Our exclusive image shows how the Outdoor version could look, with more durable underbody protection, plus cladding around the arches and sills rather than colour-coded bodywork.
With the smaller SUV likely to be offered in front-wheel drive only, the new Yeti will also have boosted off-road ability, including increased wading depth plus improved approach and departure angles. Expect a more conservative styling approach than the quirky original, though. Strong creases, angular lights and a geometric grille will pull the Yeti into line with the rest of the range – unlike the current model, which sports a look all of its own.
The Yeti is already a crucial car for Skoda, especially in the UK, and that importance is only set to grow. Since it arrived in 2009, Yeti sales have increased annually – from 4,357 in 2010 (its first full year on sale) to 11,005 in 2013 and 13,081 in 2014.
Last year, that total made it Skoda’s third best-selling model behind the Octavia and Fabia (hatchback and estate sales combined for both), and
meant the Yeti single-handedly accounted for nearly one in five Skodas sold.
Ambitions for the new model will clearly be even higher – after all, there’s a long way to go before it catches the Nissan Qashqai, 49,909 of which found homes in 2014.