Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the staff at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles. This time, Euan Doig explains why the Honda CR Z he bought only a few months ago has been replaced.
Cars: Honda CR-Z and Skoda Yeti
Owner: Euan Doig
It was a regular day at home. I was working away quite happily in the office. The cat came in and said hello. Things were going well. Right up to the moment they weren't.
BANG! Tinkle. Screech. The sound of an engine revving. A neighbour shouted: “Oh God!”
“Wonder what that was?” I thought. “Surely it couldn’t be. Maybe I should check. Nah, it’ll be fine. But then again…” I donned footwear, stepped out of my front door to see a neighbour walking up to it. She said: “Is that white CR-Z anything to do with you?”
My heart plummeted faster than mercury in winter. A man was standing at the end of the path, looking sheepish and trembling. “I’m so sorry. A wasp flew down my t-shirt and…”. He’d hit the CR-Z with his Audi S5 and pushed it into the car next to it. Both sides were bent and one of the rear wheels was at a jaunty angle. I hoped it would be okay, but to no avail – it was a write-off, said the insurance company.
What to replace it with? As much as I loved the way the CR-Z looked and went, it was a bit impractical. There wasn’t much load space and anything you did put in the boot tended to roll around. And my girlfriend and I like heading off at the weekend with our bikes.
That just wasn’t happening with the CR-Z. And as for our regular camping trips – well, Tracey’s Skoda Fabia supermini stepped up but ended up rather full. In effect, I needed a Swiss army knife of a car.
A Skoda Yeti seemed like the ideal choice. It was roomy, square (in the physical sense), cheap to run and reliability reports were favourable. And you can not only fold down the rear seat, but you can also take them out altogether. Roll on camping joy! Even better, there's an AutoFix for it.
So the hunt began. The Yeti is pretty rare in Australia (not quite as rare as the CR-Z, granted), but I'm based in the UK and there's a fair choice of used examples out there.
I wanted something low mileage that had been looked after. And after a few weeks of scouring ads, I found my ideal car. One owner, 44,250km, full service history and most important of all, within my budget. Negotiations ensued and the deal was done. A full service later, it was mine, and I’m chuffed.
It’s an early car with the funky front-end styling that I prefer, and it’s a basic model with no irritating touchscreen and suchlike. It does have air-con, rear parking sensors and electric windows, and it has roof rails I can attach a bike rack to.
Early economy is around 5.5l/100km from the 1.4 TSI petrol motor, and the only thing I need to sort is the slightly wobbly passenger-side door mirror glass (more on that in my next report). I may swap the radio head unit for something more smartphone-friendly, but a quick scoot into a car accessory shop the other day revealed that to be a fairly expensive job. An aftermarket unit wouldn't work with the parking sensors, either, which is a pain.
Bring on the next few years of flexible motoring (as long as people who live nearby manage to avoid hitting it).