23 January 2007

Scout master

New Octavia 4x4 goes on sale in March with a choice of two engines

Skoda Octavia Scout

Just as the anti-4x4 lobby reaches fever pitch and doesn't even want owners to park their cars, along comes Skoda with an eminently sensible alternative to those big and nasty SUVs.

The Octavia Scout is based on the existing 4x4 model but features a mildly raised ride height to give 17mm more ground clearance, while aluminium undertrays protect the front and rear.

There are also some chunky plastic mouldings, 17in alloy wheels, and ESP with Hill Hold Control to stop you careering backwards into the scenery on slippery slopes when attempting hill starts.

Engines on offer in the Scout are the 150bhp 2.0-litre petrol and 140bhp 2.0 turbodiesel, as used in other Octavia models.

Prices start at £17,585 for the petrol and £19,940 for the diesel, so the Scout's prices are just as sensible as its 4x4 approach. Just don't tell Ken Livingstone or Richmond council when sales begin in March.

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