With a host of awards in its boardroom and sales teams congratulating themselves for exceptional achievements, it's little wonder that the Skoda Yeti SE Plus is something to write home about.
Carefully placed between the SE and Elegance it brings £2,270 of additional equipment over the SE but you pay less than £1,000 more for it and gain among other things 16-inch alloys, unique upholstery, parking sensors, touch-screen satnav with uprated media and Bluetooth connectivity.
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You get the choice of a new 1.8TSI petrol engine as well in the SE Plus and an intelligent 4x4 system which only works when it has to and so saves fuel.
The big, boxy body may not be to everyone's taste but it's immensely practical, taking from 416 to 1,760-litres as the individual back seats drop and there is a low back sill and a sensibly shaped compartment.
The four side doors give good access to the front of the loadbed or ease passengers inside and the seats are comfortably upholstered and have good support and adjustment range as well.
Oddments room is reasonably good, the heating and ventilation effective in such a big cabin and you have powered front and rear windows as well but there is no sunroof facility.
Visibility is good all round thanks to the big windows, bright lights and effective wipers and the standard sensors on the SE Plus help with parking as well as the compact turning circle does a good job.
Room is relatively spacious, particularly headroom, and the ride quality is surprisingly smooth for a small 4x4 which often suffers from a short wheelbase. Handling is safe and surefooted in any conditions.
Noise levels are also low but the open nature of the cabin means road noise comes up from the back wheels more so than the front pair.
The new 1.8-litre petrol TSI engine is a very sweet unit, pulling well and without hesitation, quietly and is well matched to the six ratios to give uninterrupted flow. I was, however, surprised by the unremarkable fuel economy and the 189gkm emissions are high for a small to medium sized car and so VED road tax costs are high.
If you do not have to worry about BIK as a company car user, then the benefits of the engine's smoothness and willingness could outweigh its downside.
Overall, the Skoda Yeti SE Plus is an attractive, effective and refined small 4x4 and it exudes sophistication which will surprise and delight in equal measures.
Skoda Yeti SE Plus 1.8TSI 4x4 5-Door
4-cylinder, 152ps, 1798cc petrol engine, 6sp, 4x4
125mph max., 8.4sec 0-62mph
Emissions/ VED tax/ BIK tax:
189gkm/£460 First Year then £250/ 27%