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  • Precise steering, versatile space, ground clearance, torquey engine
  • Heavy clutch, lack of automatic transmission, \'A\' pillar visibility

OUR RATING
7 / 10



by Nadine Armstrong

Quite the surprise package

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Skoda Octavia Scout; 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel; six-speed manual; wagon – $39,990*

Options

  • Xenon headlights $1,290; Electric glass sunroof $1,730; Parking distance control (front) $490; Alarm system $540; ‘Columbus‘ Satellite Navigation System (incl. 30GB hard disc) $2,590; Electric driver’s seat with memory $1,370; Leather seats in combination Alcantara/leather/artificial leather $2,490; Metallic paint/Pearl effect paint $630; Six CD changer $790; Media device interface $240.

CarAdvice Rating:

With the Skoda Octavia as its starting point, the Scout always had the potential to deliver something good – and it does.

A little bit posh but with rugged credentials, the Skoda Octavia Scout is a quite the surprise package.

Take one fairly mild-mannered wagon, add some bold styling cues, all-wheel drive and a jacked-up ride height – 180mm ground clearance – and you have the Skoda Octavia Scout. It’s no Audi Allroad, but it puts up a fine show, and at a fraction of the price. The Subaru Outback has a worthy rival.

There’s only one Scout model on offer and that’s the 2.0-litre turbo diesel four cylinder which delivers 103kW and 320Nm from 1750rpm. This is matched nicely to a six-speed manual transmission that rarely misses a beat. The lack of an automatic transmission is a shame and is sure to be one reason for lagging sales.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

The Scout is very quick off the mark and delivers a nice level of power through the gears. Power and acceleration are well matched to this vehicle.  The nice torque at hand contributes to this very enjoyable drive which is at its most perky at around 2000rpm.

The engine is eager and the gearbox is very responsive, with minimal turbo lag, but the gear shift itself is notchy and the clutch a little heavy – this detracts only slightly from an otherwise great drive.

Steering the Scout is a sweet pleasure. Its precise steering makes handling a breeze and makes the Scout incredibly simple to manouvre in more tedious driving conditions, like the supermarket car park.  Large side windows and good rearward visibility help in this regard and rear parking sensors are invaluable.

The turbo diesel engine returned reasonable fuel economy from our test route, which was weighted more to city driving, drinking around 8.0 litres per 100km travelled.

The Scout’s interior is very well executed. A tasteful mix of plastics and leather combine to deliver a very good looking cabin.  The dash and centre console are home to a really easy to use audio interface which features touch screen functionality.  It’s easy to see and simple to use.

In cabin storage is great, with an abundance of storage options at hand. The glove box and centre armrest box are both cooled via the air conditioning system.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

The Scout’s cabin features a high level of specification as standard, to include audio touch screen controls and a multi function steering wheel, satellite navigation, MP3/auxiliary/SD input, dual zone climate control and heated seats.

The driver and front passenger seats are firm and well contoured, but I struggled to get really comfortable. The squab is quite long, so my legs were hanging off the end of the seat. And the manual seat adjust makes it hard to make delicate adjustments to achieve a really good driving position.

Large A-pillars hinder forward visibility, and are particularly intrusive when cornering.

What I most like about the Scout is the nimble, confident handling and the great exhaust note. The turbo diesel engine is a gem and the suspension delivers a smooth, flat ride which sets the tone for this car. The ride is comfortable and composed.

With a new baby on board and the plethora of ‘stuff’ that I now seem to carry with me, I’m mad for a wagon and the usable space it offers. The Scout was no exception to my wagon love.  The boot opening is large and the load height low and the retractable boot cover keeps your goods out of sight. The split fold seats increase the boot load capacity from 580 litres to 1620 litres. The Scout easily swallows prams, golf clubs, bikes and the like. And if the boot isn’t enough load space, the roof rails give you the option to load up another 75kg of gear.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

When it comes to versatility and practicality, the Scout puts on strong show.

The second row offers nice space and comfort for three passengers, although the seats are a little flat and lifeless.

There’s a robust, durable feel to the Scout, without sacrificing a nice sense of style. Buttons, knobs and instrument storks all feel sturdy, doors close with a confident thud and the cloth interior appears ready for a more intense cabin treatment.

Six airbags, dual front, side and curtain, electronic stability control with anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution sees the Scout well equipped with safety features as standard.

The Scout is fit for off-road activity and looks every bit the part, with its sleek grille, integrated fog lights, colour coded wheel arches, roof rails, 17-inch alloys and twin exhaust pipes. While its shape is stock standard wagon, these features add interest to the look.

The compact SUV segment in which the Scout sits throws out a diverse range of vehicles, from the sales topping Toyota RAV4, the Hyundai Tucson and Subaru Forester, to the Renault Koleos.  The Scout fades into the background unfairly, with sales suffering as a result.  The Scout is a solid performer and at $39,990* plus on road and dealer costs. It represents great value.

The Scout’s bling brings with it a premium of around $4,000 over the standard Octavia wagon. A questionable investment, but without a doubt, worth a drive.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:

*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer.



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SKODA OCTAVIA BREAKDOWN

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
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Skoda Octavia Specs

1.6 : 1Z MY10 : 1.6L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
SKODA
Model
OCTAVIA
Variant
1.6
Series
1Z MY10
Year
2009
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$8,030 - $9,130
Dealer Retail
$9,530 - $11,330
Dealer Trade
$6,400 - $7,300
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
148Nm @  3800rpm
Max. Power
75kW @  5600rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
50.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
81x77.4mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
SINGLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
55Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.3L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1475
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1468mm
Length
4569mm
Width
1769mm
Ground Clearance
140mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1200  Unbrake:600
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10
Front Rim Size
6.5x15
Rear Rim Size
6.5x15
Front Tyres
205/60 R15
Rear Tyres
205/60 R15
Wheel Base
2578
Front Track
1535
Rear Track
1508
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Lower control arm, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
15 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Heated Front Seats, Power Sunroof
Driver
Parking Distance Control Rear, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  20,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
Czech Republic