£26,335 - £30,345 Price range
55 - 58 MPG
The Skoda Octavia Scout is a more rugged, four-wheel-drive version of the super-practical Octavia Estate.
The four-wheel-drive system helps improve grip on slippery roads and rough tracks, and the raised suspension is handy for driving over uneven surfaces without scraping the underside of the car on the ground.
Apart from these changes – and a few light cosmetic revisions – the Scout model is almost exactly the same as the standard Octavia Estate. That means its dashboard design is a vision of simplicity with buttons that are clearly marked and logically laid out – even the infotainment screen is simple to navigate through.
Scout is the top-of-the-range Octavia trim and the extra money you’ll spend over a standard Octavia buys you Alcantara suede-effect leather seats and LED mood lighting, although a Golf Alltrack still feels a little bit nicer inside.
It doesn’t feel more spacious though. The Scout has more rear legroom than the Golf and a bigger boot than all alternatives at the price. Your tall adult passengers will have plenty of space on the back seat – even if there’s someone of a similar height in the front – and the boot can swallow a family’s luggage for a fortnight away.
The driving experience is also pretty much exactly the same as the standard Octavia Estate, although the Scout’s raised suspension gives you a slightly better view of the road ahead and also irons out bumpy roads better than the basic setup.
It also makes the Scout reasonably capable off-road, allowing it to make full use of its grippy four-wheel drive system and special ‘Off road’ setting in the drive select that makes it easy to get the car’s power down without spinning its wheels.
Engine choices are diesel only – you can have a 2.0-litre with either 150 or 184hp. The less-powerful model is smoother and quieter making it the best pick. It’ll get from 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds, return official fuel economy of 61.4mpg and tow up to 1,800kg (to the more powerful model’s 2,000kg).
The Octavia Scout gets additional safety features over basic Octavias, including automatic emergency braking that’ll detect an imminent collision and apply the brakes to prevent or lessen it – as standard and you also get auto-dipping headlights. It’s also worth noting in 2013 the basic Octavia scored a five-star rating for safety from Euro NCAP.
So the Skoda Octavia Scout makes sense if you need a spacious estate that can deal with rough road conditions. For most people though, the regular estate will do the job just fine.