The Yeti was an immediate hit for Skoda, and sales have grown every year since its launch, so the Czech brand could have been forgiven for playing safe with its replacement. But not a bit of it.
Instead, it's had a major rethink, even ditching the Yeti name. The newcomer is instead called the Karoq, but what else has changed and is the resulting car an improvement? To find out, we’re comparing the Karoq and Yeti side-by-side.
New Skoda Karoq vs Skoda Yeti – styling
The Yeti was always one of the most distinctive small SUVs around, even after its 2013 facelift, which included the big round front fog lights being ditched in favour of more conventional rectangular units. In particular, the Yeti's boxy, almost van-like silhouette is instantly recognisable.
The Karoq, by contrast, has a design that borrows heavily from Skoda's other SUV, the larger, seven-seat Kodiaq. So the Kodiaq is more conventionally good looking than the Yeti, but also a lot less memorable.
New Skoda Karoq vs Skoda Yeti – engines and driving
Karoq buyers can choose from five engines, four of which are new to Skoda, including the 113bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit that's the cheapest option. This replaces the old 109bhp 1.2-litre, while further up the range, the Yeti's 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is axed in favour of a 1.5-litre that produces the same power but averages 55.4mpg – a 10.6mpg improvement.
Buyers looking for a diesel have three choices, with the most efficient being the mid-range 148bhp 2.0 TDI which emits 115g/km of CO2. This engine delivers gutsy performance and remains impressively quiet at cruising speeds. In fact, unless you’re planning on travelling five-up with luggage on a regular basis, you won't regret foregoing the punchier 188bhp diesel unit.
The Karoqs we've driven were late prototypes, but intitial impressions suggest a softer, more comfort-orientated suspension set-up than that found on the Yeti.
As before, six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic gearboxes are available, and some versions of the Karoq can be had with four-wheel drive, giving added traction on and off-road.
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