Skoda Octavia Scout review
The Skoda Octavia Scout is a slightly more rugged, off-road-ready take on the standard Octavia Estate.
What's not so good
Skoda Octavia Scout: what would you like to read next?
Aesthetically it’s a little more muscular than the standard Octavia, with tougher protective cladding, underbody guards and re-styled bumpers, but it’s the added grip and higher ride height.
It can tow up to 2,000kg, and although it lacks the hill-hold or descent control of some 4×4 cars it handles rough and slippery terrain even more smoothly than its boxier cousin. Its all-wheel-drive technology is the same as in the Yeti, so there’s plenty of traction for when you need it most, without having a permanently connected 4×4 system hurting your fuel economy.
The Octavia Scout is praised for its best-of-both-worlds attributes. It’s blessed with the same comfortable handling as the vanilla Octavia but with a smugness-inducing ruggedness which means you can easily negotiate those would-be sticky situations come winter.
The Octavia Scout is the antidote to the SUV craze
The Scout is a tough-terrain-tackling crossbreed of a car, designed with outdoorsy families in mind. It’s not going to be as capable as a pure off-roader, but with two-tonne towing power it’ll more than do the job if you have a caravan or horsebox to cart, and its rough-road package offers excellent value for money next to others in its class.
Ultimately though, despite the dearer price tag over the standard car, critics say the Scout is hard to beat in terms of sheer confidence-boosting does-it-all practicality.
The Skoda Octavia Scout has the same space for passengers as the regular Octavia estate, but the boot capacity is a little smaller because of the four-wheel drive system
Never mind a couple of kids. This car is so big you could get a whole pack of Scouts inside
You’re unlikely to ever feel claustrophobic in one of these, but a full-length panoramic sunroof can be added. Critics also praise the generous amount of leg and headroom for passengers – even six footers won’t mind a trek across Europe in the back of an Octavia.
Being a Skoda, it has has many ‘simply clever’ features, including an ice scraper hidden in the filler cap, a smartphone holder, a double-sided boot carpet (one side is carpet, the other wipe-clean), a pocket bin in the door, plus of plenty more practical nets, hooks and nooks for keeping your cabin in order. Put simply, you could probably live in the thing for a week and not run out of space.
The Scout also gets the Octavia’s big boot, although the 4×4 system means it’s a teeny bit less spacious than the cavernous estate. However, boot capacity is an ample 580 litres (down from 610 in the normal estate) with seats up and enormous 1,620 litres with the seats folded down.
Despite the increase in weight and height over the normal Octavia Estate, the Scout is a confident overtaker.
The ride height helps more with providing a comfortable ride than adding much off-road ability
The Scout the choice of two 2.0-litre diesels. The lower-powered diesel (with 148hp) will do 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds,129mph flat-out and will achieve a claimed 55.4mpg.
The higher powered diesel (with 182hp) only comes with the DSG automatic gearbox, which is actually slightly clunkier and coarser than the smooth manual matched to its lower-powered counterpart. It’s more expensive too: it costs £2,675 more than the slower version, but Skoda claims the same 55.4mpg for the 182hp engine as the 148hp, and the 0-60mph time drops to a nippy 7.8 seconds.
Although the Scout lacks the handling prowess of the normal estate this is unlikely to faze you in day-to-day driving. Although the noise of the diesel engine is a little intrusive at high revs, all-round body control is good, and it’s smooth when cruising at speed.
This level of performance is made all the more satisfying for the knowledge that it can tackle a muddy field with the best of them. You don’t need to work any levers or buttons to switch modes when you plan to go off-road – you’re just rewarded with much better traction over its two-wheel-drive counterparts.
Despite the Scout’s outward differences to the normal Octavia Estate – the front and rear black bumpers and silver side panels – very little has changed on the inside. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.