Skoda Octavia Scout
Car details navigation
Skoda Octavia Scout overall verdict
Brilliantly useful, brilliantly underplayed. Up yours Audi Allroad
It’s an Octavia 4x4 with a raised ride height and some cladding. Sounds dodgy, but the reality is a car that makes soft-roaders look stupid in muddy fields and can still do 99-percent of the things that a car can - all for less than you might reasonably expect.
That raised suspension makes the Scout a joy when potholes are deep and kerbs are tall. Seriously, there’s a dose of comfort, both mentally and physically, from knowing that you can bound around pretty much any landscape without smashing something important. It cruises brilliantly on the motorway - though there is some wind noise compared to the lower estate - and the seats are firm, but well-supported
The Scout comes with a pair of two-litre motors, one diesel, one petrol. The almost universally-adopted diesel suit’s the Scout’s USPs pretty well; 140bhp, loads of torque, 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds and just under 130mph with 50mpg economy. You don’t need much more than that, to be honest. The 2.0-litre Fsi petrol gives 150bhp and slightly better figures, but it doesn’t feel as brawny on the road. Quieter, but less punchy.
Plain, but super solid, the Scout is like any other recent Skoda product. It won’t win any design awards, but it won’t melt in the rain either. A good effort for what is essentially going to be looked at as a workhorse.
The Scout loses out to the standard estate in terms of outright handling prowess, but in daily driving you’re unlikely to be overly hampered by it. There’s a fair amount of body roll, but plenty of grip too.
You can’t beat the Scout for sheer, one-car-does-it-all practicality. Except perhaps if you don’t need the extra height and opt for the equally good Octavia 4x4 Estate. Still, the extra height means you don’t worry about rough tracks, and it provides a handy bench at social events in fields. The boot’s big (580-litres) seats up and cavernous (1620-litres) seats folded. The space for people is good and it looks like it’ll hose down well enough.
Insurance is low, fuel economy is good, residuals are so-so. The diesel emits 154g/km and gets a 21-percent tax hit with insurance group 10. About average then.