Skoda Octavia Estate Scout 1.8 TSi - SKODA OCTAVIA Car Review

Review

Added: 14 Feb 2010
Last update:

IN military terms by its very nature a scout always keeps ahead of the rest.

A scout can go where others never follow and is very much an independent free-spirit. So it seems an entirely natural name for the Skoda Octavia estate with attitude.

There are nearly 30 versions of the Octavia Estate including two Scout derivatives with 140bhp 2.0 diesel engine or the version we tested, the 160bhp 1.8 TSi, arguably the most desirable of the series spanning prices from approximately £13,600 to £22,000.

The 4x4 powertrain is well proven and delivers good performance with minimum fuss or noise. Use the six gears sensibly and the acceleration means it can keep up with traffic and cruises with a lot of composure on main roads.

As it is loaded the flexibility diminishes to some extent and you know it is working harder but it still manages to return acceptable fuel economy. It is, however, at its best when not heavily laden either with people or goods.

The gearchange is light and precise while the steering matches it with precision and moderate weight and it’s not heavy around town or when parking.

Underfoot, the brakes needed only modest pedal pressure to bring about rapid deceleration and the parking brake held it securely on a steep slope.

I found the minor controls conveniently laid out around the wheel and column, some fascia switches were on the small side but the instruments were big and infront of the driver for immediate reference. Warning lights backed up the displays.

For the heating and ventilation the system is clearly marked and it worked well to maintain temperature but I found it very slow at demisting the front windscreen. Output to the footwells and cabin was good by contrast.

The amount of oddments room would please many users whether in the front or the back of the Octavia.

At the rear, the fifth door lifts high to reveal a low, wide and deep loadbed which can be significantly increased as the back seats gradually fold down to increase carrying capacity from about 600 litres to over 1600 litres.

Access for people is good and the room in the back is generous even for taller persons. The amount of front seats’ adjustment is plentiful for most and their shape and padding is particularly comfortable as well.

Scout models come with Alcantara trim as opposed to cloth or leather in other models.

Ride quality is biased towards firmness but it’s surprisingly absorbent as well over most surfaces.

It is not only slightly bigger than the other estates in the Octavia range but it has higher ground clearance as well to optimise off-road ability when using unmade tracks.

On metalled roads, it does tend to run wide on corners which some might consider tight but easing off the throttle will bring the nose back onto line.

The Octavia Scout is not a small car and it never feels agile, certainly not with this 1.8 litre engine, but it feels well planted onto the road.

There is a lot of glass area to the Scout and it gives good vision all round with the ability to park in places where there is little room, the wipers are effective and the lights bright and far reaching, and they can even “look” around corners.

Apart from a busy engine note under hard use and some bum-thump from the suspension, the noise level inside the Octavia Scout 1.8TSi  is low, which adds to its refinement.

With the Skoda Octavia Scout you will be prepared for whatever the roads throw at you.

FAST FACTS                          

Skoda Octavia Estate Scout 1.8 TSi

Price: £19,640

Mechanical: 160bhp, 1.8 litre, 4cyl engine driving all 4 wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 131mph

0-62mph: 8.4sec

Combined mpg: 37mpg

Insurance group: 12E

CO2 emissions: 182gkm

BIK rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

Words: Robin Roberts

Keywords: Skoda, Octavia, Estate, Scout, 4x4, four, wheel, drive