‘Can we keep it?’ says my ten year-old. He’s talking about the car I’ve been asked to review. He’s not even seen the car yet but we’re walking from his school to where it’s parked and I’ve just told him that it has an iPad holder and a hot and cold box for food and drinks. Really, all it needs is goalposts inside and then it would be his dream vehicle. The car in question is a Skoda Yeti Laurent & Klement 4×4 and we’re using it for our trip to the Isle of Wight during the October half term.
The Yeti’s boot looks small compared to my car (an ancient Volvo XC90) but we easily fit in our weekend bags plus assorted walking boots and wet weather gear. The car’s great on the drive down to catch the ferry. I work out how to use the built-in SatNav and find its voice surprisingly human. Meanwhile my husband drives and our son dons wireless headphones to watch The Simpsons Movie on my iPad and is oblivious to the increasingly gridlocked streets of Portsmouth. It’s a Sunday morning and we’d expected to whizz through to the ferry terminal. We’ve allowed an extra hour to get there before the surrounding streets are closed off for the Great South Run but this isn’t enough. We get stuck between road closures a few hundred metres from the terminal and miss our 10am sailing. We park at the side of a road, walk to the terminal and change our booking with the nice lady at the Wightlink ferry ticket office then return to the car to wait for the roads to reopen. At this point we decide to eat the picnic I’ve packed in the hot and cold box. We enjoy a very early but nicely chilled lunch as we watch a stream of thousands of runners dashing through the breezy sunshine.
My husband and I take turns driving the car over the next couple of days and both really like it. I find it easy and comfortable to drive and I like the adjustable heated seats, the digital radio and the parking sensors. The only small niggle I have is that I find the iPad holder obstructs my view sometimes when turning left because it’s attached to the back of the front passenger seat. The car is very nippy (the blurb tells me it has a two-litre engine, a top speed of 125 mph and goes from 0-62 mph in 8.4 seconds) and does as much as it can to help the driver. It knows when it’s raining and puts on its windscreen wipers. It knows when it’s day and night and adjusts the strength of its headlights accordingly. But the most amazing thing of all is that it can actually parallel park itself by steering into a space between two cars. When I read this in the user manual I can’t quite believe it and drag my husband and son straight out to the our hotel car park to try it out. We have to stop for a man on a mobility scooter at one point, but the result is some magic parking:
That’s it, I now officially love this car. It really is a shame that we can’t keep it.
Family travel lowdown: The recommended price for the lovely Skoda Yeti Laurent & Klement with an iPad2 Active Car Mount, 15L hot and cold box and variable boot floor is £26,390 including VAT.
We travelled to the Isle of Wight as guests of Wightlink on the 45-minute ferry service from Portsmouth. Car ferries also operate between Lymington and Yarmouth (40 minutes) and there’s a foot passenger catamaran service between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head (around 20 minutes). Day return fares start from £38 for a car and up to four people, while short-stay return fares (up to four nights) cost from £48.
More on the Isle of Wight
You can read more about our trip in these posts: