Geneva 2009: Skoda descends on Switzerland with a Yeti

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Skoda Yeti

Europeans are about to get one more soft-roading cute 'ute to add to their shopping lists now that Skoda, Volkswagen's Czech subsidiary, has released the production version of the Yeti at the Geneva Motor Show. First shown in concept form back at the 2005 show in Geneva, the production Yeti keeps the same basic design as its conceptual forebear, but we think it loses some of what made it so interesting in the first place.

Gone is the contrasting white roof that was obviously cribbed from Toyota's FJ Cruiser but looked perfect in this application. So too gone are the flanks, now smoothed out and looking very first-gen Honda CR-V-ish and missing the hidden rear door handles from the concept. See for yourself, we've included a gallery of the concept along with live shots of the production Yeti below.

Inside, the Yeti features the same innovative seating arrangement as the Roomster, featuring three separate rear buckets that can individually slide fore and aft or be removed completely. Gas and diesel-powered engines ranging from 1.2 liters to 2.0 liters will be offered with up to 170 horsepower along with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Expect sales in Europe to begin later this year.

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