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

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
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.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

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.

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.

Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test

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.

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
Skoda Octavia Scout Review & Road Test
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.

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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  • Jake02

    ImoIl still unsure of the styling, but it’s no longer the worst-looking Octavia as a result of the facelift. I never realised what a strange-looking car my Octavia is in profile! Certainly better than a Subaru Outback (Scout doesn’t look like THAT and it’s cheaper and better-equipped) which is it’s only true rival (Volvo XC70/Audi Allroad are too, but the Volvo is $20k more and the Audi is $70k more).

    Jeremy Clarkson put the Scout in his Top 10 for 2009. Amazing huh? Suprised me!

    CA just a nibble, the rivals mentioned in the article are soft-roaders but later the only rival is the Outback (which is just a 4WD Wagon like the Scout). Just a mistake?

    • Goffa

      Hate the size and shape of the HUGE Skoda badge.

      Other than that looks the business, and really no more coin than a Falcodore wagon

    • NotTheStig

      Yes, the Volvo XC70 is $20k more but remember that includes:

      A MUCH more powerful motor

      Leather standard ($2500 ?)
      Electric Drivers Seat ($1400)
      iPod connection ($240)

      Plus the unavailable Auto Trans ($2500 ?)

      So, if you were thinking of those options, as well as wanting a Auto, the “expensive” choices start to look more reasonable. Buying a demo wouldn’t be much different in cost to a Scout with a few extras…

      • peter

        Havent tried the Skoda, though it looks far better to me than the sedans. Not fussed on the front end though, that cheesecutter grill is pretty 80′s IMO, but then other people might love it. I did try the XC70 in the petrol, and thought it was a brilliant car, it was very hard to give back after the test. Not quick enough for me (should have had a T6), and too much like a wagon for she who must be appeased, but still practicality nearly won over.

      • Jake02

        I’m sorry but did I not mention that the XC70 isn’t a price-rival for the Scout? Come on guys, a little reading is kinda necessary before arguing!

        Actually nah I’m gonna argue. The Diesel XC70 (because, remember a petrol I6 vs Diesel 4C is unfair) has 151kW from a 2.4litre engine. Counter in the extra weight of the XC70 and the Scout goes better, and uses much less diesel. Also, I might add the fact that the Scout drives a hell of alot better than the XC70 (I know this from personal experience and that Wheels magazine praises the Octavia range for the way it drives, but the XC70 is far from the same).

        So yep, the XC70 includes more stuff, but TBH I’d hope so. Suggesting that the XC70 is better because it has a few more items of equipment as standard is just crap, because the Scout is $20k less (not to mention the $8k worth of on-roads…) as well as the Auto argument. What if someone wants a manual? Manuals are better off-road (although they’ll hardly be used off-road) and are a much more engaging drive. You have to actually think about the driving situation. The Skoda is for someone who likes to drive!

        iPod AUX is standard equipment, with the USB Connection the optional extra. I’m not wholly defending the Scout, because I do like the XC70. It’s just that if I had $60k to play with I’d buy a Scout over an XC70 because you get more for your money. MUCH better value for the same quality and engineering.

        • Callous Aussie

          Quote from Jake

          Subaru Outback (Scout doesn’t look like THAT and it’s cheaper and better-equipped) which is it’s only true rival (Volvo XC70/Audi Allroad are too, but the Volvo is $20k more and the Audi is $70k more).

          Reads to me that you said they are rivals. So I think your arguement is with yourself. ;)

          • Shak

            he hasnt had any sleep waiting for articles to appear on which he can start an argument, so forgive him for having no real point at all.

  • TSI

    In wheel mag., long team test, the octavia had the transmission failure in only aabout 7000 kms… that’s scare me

    • Richie

      Comment Moderated – Please do not pose as two different people

      • TSI

        yes,i’m. Maybe manual is a good choice..

      • Will

        Ritchie, it would seem that a few Mk6 Golfs with the 7 DSG had CPU problems. This has been addressed. Subaru has some major issues with it’s turbo motors in the Forester, the DSG issues fade in comparison.

        I am brand allied. I owned three Subarus (the first two being a serious 1, then serious 2 Outback), the last being a MY00 Forester GT., fine machine however when looking for a replacement I was of the opinion that Subaru had not done anything significant since. Now I own a Skoda Octavia TDI DSG, an altogether superior machine.

        I will be looking very closely at the DSG variant of the Scout that should come out later next year, just before my current machine runs out of warranty.
        Given the correct marketing, the Scout will take over where the old Subaru Touring Wagon left off, but better.

        • Richie

          Comment Moderated – Please do not pose as two different people

        • Will sells Skodas

          Will says “I am brand allied”
          translated means
          “I sell Skodas for a (very modest) living”

    • jojo

      TSI
      Wheels mag has had ongoing problems with their long term test Skoda Octavia:

      1) Electrical Problems in the ignition wiring loom causing intermitent shut down of the car, leaving the journalist wife roadside, stressed and stranded.

      2) DSG gearbox failure requiring a total replacement, and 3 weeks off the road whilst the replacement gearbox was ordered from Germany

      3) Buzzing sound eminating from within the dash area and incresing in volume as speed builds. Dealer unable to rectify.

      I think the front styling of the car has definately improved but the rest is so mid 1990′s, although I’m sure it’s a fine drive.

      I actually feel sorry for dealers still sitting on 2007 stocks…Happy New Year.

  • Tim

    No competition to the Outback, the Outback is a proven, reliable great all road vehicle. And even for a Subaru, it looks much better and modern than this 90′s Skoda.

    • Will

      So the latest Liberty looks better than the Scout…a visit to the optometrist will not cost much provided you have extra’s on your insurance.

      As stated earlier, this machine is a winner and appropriately marketed will take off where the old Touring Wagon left off, only better.

      • Will the Skoda salesman

        … and my job depends on it, so lets pump it up.

        (Just kidding on the Outback looks, its actually very good side by side with the Scout, but dont tell anyone I admitted that, especially the Subaru dealer that sacked me).

    • Richie

      Comment Moderated – Please do not pose as two different people

  • Skodite

    Love my Otavia (prefacelift) 1.8tsi, 6speed with remapped ecu 165kw and 350nm,
    cost in August 09 $24k driveaway with 200klms on the clock (no trade)
    A real sleeper..

    • Kat Alenik

      Who did the remapping of your ECU, if you don’t mind? I have to do the same. Thanks.
      katalenik (at) hotmail.com

      • Skodite

        Purchased a ‘bluefin’ unit from Superchip UK. $700
        Ordered it Monday Dec 21st and received 24th Dec! I Downloaded the remap from uk server and loaded it myself via the bluefin unit.
        Simple to do. Check Superchip’s website for details.

  • Golfschwein

    great looking car. It’s the Subaru that looks odd, I reckon.

    • http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9203/fordripsoffpeugeot.jpg Martin

      I’d have to agree.

      • Callous Aussie

        I have to agree, Subaru have waved their ugly wand over their current range and the worst of the lot is the new outback.

        I am starting to think the Skoda offerings of late represent good buying and I don’t mind the styling at all.

        • Callous Aussie

          I am a former owner of an outback and to date it is the best vehicle I have ever owned (98 model). I could not live wit the styling of the new one. It looks heavy and poorly done.

          • Shak

            I think Subaru may have losy a lot of loyal customers due to their new stlying(if it can be called style). Offerings such as the Scout have all of a sudden become more attractive to the mass market. Subaru could pretty much have shot themselves in the foot with the Outback/Liberty designs.

  • Tony

    is this based on the old Octavia shell?

    and no auto kills it dead in the marketplace… merely a curio in that regard

    • Golfschwein

      Do you mean pre-facelift? The answer’s yes. Do you mean the one before the facelift that was never sold here? The answer’s no, although many people think they’re one and the same because of the evolutionary design.

      • Callous Aussie

        Not everyone wants an auto in that market. I would prefer a manual. My old outback was a manual and it gave the best from the engine.

        • Tony

          i prefer manual cars too but to say that the 15% tail should wag the dog when 85% want an auto is de rigeur is short sighted

          i don’t like paying $2K or whatever it is but the VAST majority of soccer mums and wannabe 4wd people can only drive auto.

          Just becauase the enthusiast manual driver frequents this site tends to skew the balance.

  • http://unsure italian

    I own an Octavia and have never been happier with car service and after sales assistance. It’s fantastic the levels of support the Brisbane dealer give, accessories are extremely affordable and it’s an amazing car – especially for the money.
    I’ll be repeating business with Skoda when it comes time for a new one.
    For those non-believers, while their range may not appeal to everyone, there’s a reason they’re so popular in Europe. Take one for a test drive

    • poohbear

      I smell a Skoda salesman

      • http://unsure italian

        No mate – not a salesman. (Paranoid much?) I have just had disappointing results from previous European car ownership. First time I’ve had any after sales service.

      • Jake02

        I smell something paranoid. Hmmm…

      • Skoda salesman

        He’s not but iam and it’s amazing how uneducated people can be and how they try and bring everything down to the lowest form of immature pettiness. ‘It’s Ugly’ wow that is the best arguement i have heard for someone to be compelled not to buy it. It’s immature schoolyard rubbish, the same pitty rubbish that probably led you to pick on the small kid at school, or the kid with glasses, or the kid with freckles cause he’s ugly.

        Skoda sold 684,226 new cars globally last year a 1.2% rise in a GFC and with the launch of the Yeti and Superb Wagon they will see these figures increasingly exceeded throughout 2010. If you think by rubbishing what is a very very good product it will remove the impact it will have on the japanese segment in this country you are delluded.

        Skoda is better built, better technology, more standard features a nicer drive and for less money.

        With all the information that is at a consumers disposal on the internet, your poor attempt at destroying this brands attributes will be dilluted into insignificance, especially once they read what the UK journo’s have to say up against you apparent ‘superior’ japanese products.

  • ManualsOnly

    I have to admit that I bought a Scout after spending the last six months trying everything else on the market. For the money there is nothing better currently available. It is a great midsize AWD wagon with a manual.(A must for me as I still like to drive and can’t stand autos – of any flavour). The dealer was a joy to deal with with unlike the Subaru/LandRover/Audi/BMW dealers – lost the plot with the new Liberty/Outback guys). The only complaint which isn’t restricted to Skoda, but all SUV/crossovers, is the fitment of low profile, high performance tyres for a car that might spend a bit of time on unsealed roads (Scout has 225/55 Pirelli zero rosso for goodness sakes !) Also there is no way anyone can call the Scout clutch heavy as the CA journo did in the article, it is light as a feather !!

  • Stevo the Devo

    And some people say that the Territory looks outdated.

    • Callous Aussie

      Only the honest ones.

  • Neo Utopia

    When I first read about the first generation Scott I thought, finally a European competitor at the same price as an Outback. Yesterday I saw a person trying to park a new silver Outback, now I like modern design but this thing looked like it had a inferiority complex expression in it’s “face”. I liked the old Outback much better, like this Scott though, like the previous Outback, is proud to be a shorter SUV which can’t go to all the places the taller more macho SUVs can.

  • Kent

    I own an 04 Outback – it’s less ugly than the preceding model, and has overall been great, including more reliable than the Golf IV it replaced (I’ll accept the two sumps holed were my fault, although the Golf’s ground clearance is awful). I’m in the market for a replacement, but who really needs the new model’s increased ground clearance and extra height? Then there’s the famous Subaru ugly stick….

    My only question with the Scout is rear legroom – I’m around 195cm (6’3″ish), and my sons will be heading that way. Maybe I’ll just need to visit one of the limited number of dealerships to check the Scout out.

    • Projet L

      Kent,
      I am 6,3\” and I tested the old trick of comfortable in the front
      then get in the back behind your set chair and there were no problems
      what so ever. It was better than my current model Passat.
      Very impressive.

  • jeff

    I am also 6’3″ and mates are too and always bounced between Kingswoods & Subarus.
    For rear leg room, totally forget the Forester. Outbacks are acceptable, but your best bet for a team of basketballers would buy yourself an old Kingswood wagon, jack it up & forget about economy, handling, luxury & style, but you will get legroom…

    • peter

      I’m a touch over 6′ and found the back of an XC90 very comfy. Cant remember if I tried the back of the XC70, but I think it looked pretty decent. Has anyone tried the new outlander?

      • Kent

        But the XC90 costs half as much again as the Skoda or Subaru – even the XC60 is at least $15k more….

        Leaving aside the looks etc of the Subaru, I went to buy one at the end of Nov, but there’s no stock of what I want (2.5 premium, manual) until Feb. Hence looking at the Skoda again.

        Kent

        • peter

          True, though volvos depreciate like you wouldnt believe, so I’d be thinking there might be some 12 month old XC70′s out there at tasty prices if you can stomach pre-loved, and plenty of few year old XC90′s, though to tell you the truth, as good as they are I think the interior of those is getting a little dated compared with the XC70/60. I had a look through the XC60 and it didnt seem to have masses of rear room. Adequate, but not basketball team adequate. I know Volvo coz I’ve had several (family just took delivery of another, in fact) and test drive plenty, and while the XC60 grew on me in the T6, I think the biggest (pleasant) surprise I’ve had was the XC70, which I think was the pick of the litter (but would have been better in the T6). Skoda looks good though.

  • NotTheStig

    Big news of the day is that a dealer has advised me a Auto will be available – but not until Feb 2011…

    Better late than never ?

  • Kent

    Had a look today, and will drive with the wife later in the week. The Skoda is certainly narrower than the Outback, but legroom seems similar to the just superseded Outback. The Skoda looks so much better, inside and out, and the salespeople are clearly ready to deal….

Skoda Octavia Specs

1.6 : 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
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
55
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
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 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, 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
8-K-6
Country of Origin
CZECHOSLOVAKIA