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Drive

New Skoda Octavia Scout

There’s not that many cars on the market that combine quality with value in quite the way Skoda do
I know I’ve ‘made it’; I’ve got sensible and learned how to spend my money wisely

Look at Skoda as a brand you buy if you’re using your own money and want a car to do exactly as it says on the tin. Put another way, if you’re introduced to a Skoda owner for the first time you’ll probably be right in predicting that it’s someone who is quite prudent and sensible with their money.


 

I envy such a person because I’m not. So certainly, the day I walk into a Skoda showroom looking to buy something like this Skoda Octavia Scout, I know I’ve ‘made it’; I’ve got sensible and learned how to spend my money wisely.

Added value

At a starting price of £25,315 it is ‘fitting’ money rather than cheap. Yet actually, once seated in the cabin, the Scout feels a tad more money-wise than that, which is exactly how a buyer of a new car wants to feel. All cabin materials are of high and dependable quality, unlikely to show signs of serious wear for many years as a result. As a Scout buyer, you get a unique Scout design theme too; the dash is available in a black or  black/brown two tone finish, with Scout logos incorporated on the three spoke multifunction leather steering wheel and gear knob, while seats are finished in black or brown Alcantara. There’s Scout logo inserts on the door sills too.

Being simply the tougher rugged ‘lifestyle’ version of the Skoda Octavia Estate, you inherit  one of the largest passenger compartments in the class, combined with sector-best rear legroom. Go further back and 610 litres of bootspace can be transformed into 1,740 litres with the back seats down; that’s living accommodation.

The additional rugged off-road capability of the Scout comes courtesy of four wheel drive and tougher exterior design. This second generation Scout features an advanced fifth –generation  Haldex-5clutch transmission, powering state of the art all-wheel-drive technology.

There’s a choice of two 2.0 litre Turbo diesel engines. The most powerful 184 PS converts its power to the road through a six speed DSG transmission linked to the Haldex-5 four wheel drive system. It’ll power you to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds, with 380NM of torque allowing you to achieve that quick overtake with minimal fuss. The alternative 150PS is fitted with a six speed manual gearbox mated to the Haldex -5 four wheel drive. Both are more than adequate for  all-purpose use – and both are lighter (by upto 29kg) and according to its maker, up to 20% more economical than the engines they replace.

Exterior design updates show a more contoured tough black plastic moulding to the lower section of the front end, housing a central honeycombed air inlet  and embossed front fog lights. At the back, there’s black side mouldings covering wheel arches and door sills and along the side, new aluminium-effect door mirrors and aluminium effect roof rails. The Scout is further distinguished by a 33mm increase in ride height and the fitting of a rough-road underbody package that protect the car from underside damage during off-road driving.

Up to the challenge

The 184 PS version we drove feels sturdy and safe on the road, with reassuringly high thresholds of grip. The 340 NM of torque is useful when you want firm pick-up from low speed, making the car feel quite fast and capable for push-on driving. Ride quality is a little firmer than the standard car but not disturbingly so, and the four wheel drive grip is noticeably reassuring on hard cornering. There’s a little roll due to the height, but it is contained, safe and predictable. Actually, the real cornering and handling bonus of the Scout over the standard estate car really shows when more challenging driving is demanded. We found it hard to trigger the traction control warning, which gives you some idea of the high grip threshold this car carries. The steering feels nice too with good predictable feel.

The verdict

The Scout is capable, competent, predictable, and honest; representing good value for a quality product. Whilst we were unable to test it off road, it’s handling and grip thresholds were noticeably impressive, and combined with the added height and four-wheel drive capability, we are pretty confident it’ll stand up to real-world off road challenges.

- Kevin Haggarthy

 

Scout 2.0 TDI 150 ps (prices start from £25,315 OTR)

0-62 mph: 9.1 seconds. Top speed: 129 mph. CO2 emissions: 129 g/km. Fuel Consumption: 55.5 mpg average. Torque: 340NM. No of Gears: 6 manual

Scout 2.0 TDI 184 PS (prices start from £27,990 OTR)

0-62mph: 7.8 secs. Top Speed: 136 mph. CO2 emissions: 134 g/km. Fuel Consumption: 55.4 mpg average. Torque: 380NM. No of Gears: 6 DSG

Visit Ridgeway Skoda in Oxford, Reading or Newbury

 

 

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