Skoda Yeti

Last year's Car of the Year is still the one to beat in the crossover class

Why it won...

Our Car of the Year 2010 holds on to its Best Crossover crown after seeing off a raft of new arrivals. What makes the Skoda Yeti such a hit? It’s all down to the depth of its talents. Those tough Tonka-toy looks set the tone, but the model is about substance as well as style.

Inside, you’ll find a brilliantly crafted layout with high-quality materials, plenty of standard kit and loads of space. The interior is one of the most flexible in the sector, thanks to MPV-style rear seats which slide, fold and tumble forwards.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Skoda Yeti

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However, don’t mistake the Skoda for a plain family machine, because its sparkling dynamics deliver unexpected driver appeal and the kind of handling you would expect from the best hatchbacks. The brilliant engine line-up is another reason to visit the extensive dealer network; the broad range starts with a smooth 1.2-litre TSI petrol powerplant, and includes the best of the VW Group’s diesels.

What’s more, Yeti buyers can choose from two and four-wheel-drive variants. Opt for the latter, and you get surprising off-road ability, as well as secure handling on tarmac in the kind of wintry conditions that drivers usually dread. Improvements this year include the addition to the range of the eco-friendly GreenLine model, complete with emissions of only 119g/km. VW’s award-winning 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine is also being introduced.

Competitive prices and that highly regarded dealer network make finding flaws in the Skoda Yeti package harder than tracking down the creature from which it takes its name…

Our pick: Entry-level 1.2 TSI Elegance is arguably the best choice, although higher-mileage drivers should check out the brilliant 1.4 TSI or one of the diesels. Whichever model you choose, make sure you specify ESP  – it comes as standard only in high-spec Elegance trim. 

Highly commended

Kia Sportage  To see how far Kia has come, you only have to look at the Sportage. With styling and cabin quality to rival the best, the striking crossover is one of the most distinctive cars on the road. Better still, it’s practical, great value and has the reassurance of one of the longest warranties in the business.

MINI Countryman  This super-sized MINI has been a huge success. Purists who argue that it does not fit with the Brit brand’s heritage are missing the point: it’s the ideal solution for the thousands of customers who’ve outgrown their superminis. Countryman blends unmistakable retro styling with sharp handling and low running costs.

Nissan Qashqai  The original family crossover is still one of the best. Attractive prices and generous kit make UK-built Qashqai an attractive choice, while its trendy looks have aged gracefully. The car still cuts the crossover mustard, so don’t expect it to drop out of the top 10 UK sellers list yet.

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