Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 FSI - SKODA OCTAVIA Car Review

Review

Added: 28 Feb 2008
Last update:

THE SCOUT movement's motto is be prepared.

Skoda appear to have adapted this for their four-wheel drive Scout version of the excellent Octavia which appears to be prepared to take all but the very roughest of terrains.

Its muscular profile would not look at all out of place by the camp fire either and just like the other scouts it is already picking up its merit badges from the motoring press - the latest being the Caravan Club tow car of the year award - and at under £18,000 is competitively priced for a four-wheel drive estate car.

The Scout is a beefed-up version of the Octavia Estate but is slighty taller, wider and longer and therefore roomier inside. It also sports aggressive new bumpers and special new body mouldings, profiled door sills and 17-inch alloys add to the rugged look.

As rugged off-roaders go, it looks a little on the slimline side, but the Haldex clutch operated four wheel drive already has a proven pedigree in other VW group cars and is more than capable of handling rough, if not extreme, conditions.

It would easily be at home on the farm or the stables.

It sits 17mm higher off the ground than the normal car, and the off-road capability is given away by the aluminium stone guards underneath the front and rear of the car and moulded strips on the wheel arches.

The interior reflects the ruggedness of the exterior with non-slip aluminium pedals, ideal if you are getting into the car in a slimy farmyard, with special upholstery and a grip to help lever the driver into the cabin.

The four-wheel drive comes via the Haldex system attached to the rear axle gearbox which senses conditions and transfers drive to all four wheels when necessary.

In addition to the all-wheel drive, other useful offroad extras like hill hold control, which hold the vehicle on an incline and electronic stability programme are included.

The interior is typically Skoda - minimalist but of high quality. Special Scout badges give the car its identity and other features include a large air conditioned storage box with an adjustable armrest between the front seats.

The extra dimensions mean the car is extremely roomy with plenty of head and legroom for all passengers and the steering column is rake and reach adjustable allowing for optimum driving comfort.

It comes with one of the biggest boots in its class. With the rear seats in place, the Scout offers 580 litres of space, this increases to a cavernous 1,620 with the seats folded.

Standard specification includes parking sensors, cruise control, tinted glass, rain sensors, the usual electrics on windows and door mirrors, climate control and good radio/CD player.

Performance comes from either a 140bhp diesel engine or the two-litre 150bhp petrol unit featured on this test car.

The petrol unit is a gutsy and refined engine mated to a slick six-speed gearbox.

Accleration is nippy, the 0-62mph sprint takes just 10 seconds, while economy is good. The car's computer clocked up around 35mpg average over a week, against official figures of 32.5mpg.

On the road the car feels composed and comfortable and even at high motorway speeds, wind and tyre noise is muted.

Like all Skodas, the Scout is a safe place to be with driver, passenger and side airbags, assisted, anti-lock brakes and stability control.

Since its launch the Otavia in all its guises has sold more than a million cars.

The Scout opens up another new market.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 FSI

Price: £17,925

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 10 secs

Combined mpg: 32.5

Insurance group: 10

CO2 emissions: 207g/km

BiK rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000, 3yrs paint, 10yrs anti-rust

Words: Bill McCarthy

Keywords: SKODA, OCTAVIA