Skoda Octavia Scout (2014 -) Driving & Performance

Review by Debbie Wood on
Last Updated: 09 Dec 2014
4.4
The Skoda Octavia Scout is the Czech company’s rugged alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Volvo V60 Cross Country. It uses the already-practical Octavia estate as a base, but has a slightly raised ride height, some black plastic body protection around the car and an all-wheel drive system under the skin for some genuine off-road ability.

3.8 out of 5

Performance

  • Diesel-only line-up
  • Choice of manual and auto gearboxes
  • Both engines strong and refined

Skoda Octavia Scout performance is very good, despite the limited choice of engines in the range.

Diesel is the only option

There are two diesel engines on offer in the Scout – both 2.0 litres in size and producing either 150hp or 184hp. There are no petrol options like you’ll find in the regular Octavia Estate.

Despite the lack of choice, both options are impressive. They’re smooth at cruising speeds, but powerful enough to inspire confidence in overtaking manoeuvres on the motorway.

Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox only, the 150hp option is refined and impressively quiet, the 0-62mph sprint is achieved in 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 132mph. It offers plenty of torque at 340Nm.

The more powerful 2.0-litre TDI option with 184hp and the same 340Nm of torque is only available with a DSG automatic gearbox. Despite the increase in power, it’s only marginally faster than the 150hp model. The 0-62mph sprint is achieved in 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 133mph.

Gearboxes

The DSG gearbox is well proven and features in many Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars. Gear changes are smooth responsive as you’d expect from an automatic gearbox. 

Despite the difference between the two engines when it comes to power, there are only small differences between them when it comes to the running costs. 

There is quite a hefty premium for the higher powered model though which we are not convinced is worth the money, unless you really want the automatic gearbox.

4 out of 5

Handling

  • Tidy handling
  • Strong traction from all-wheel drive system
  • Focuses more on comfort than fun

Skoda Octavia Scout handling is very good, especially when you consider its raised ride height and more comfort-focused set-up.

Overall, the Scout is a conservative drive with well-weighted and precise steering, however the body doesn’t roll too much in corners despite the raised ride height.

Traction is impressive thanks to the all-wheel drive system, and grip in the bends is also good – it takes a lot to unsettle the Scout and it rides very well indeed.

It’s also excellent on the motorway with impressive refinement and a comfortable ride, but remains agile and nimble when driving on smaller roads or in town. In normal road driving, you have four different driving modes to choose from; Normal, Eco, Individual and Sport, the Sport mode allows access to more revs which is ideal for overtaking and gaining speeds quickly on the motorway. There’s also an Off-Road mode for when you want to attempt some more tricky terrain.

Surprising off-road ability

The Octavia Scout is impressively capable off-road, proving you don’t need something with extra-high ride height and overly-complicated electronics. It can easily tackle steep inclines and rocky obstacles without too much drama. The latest all-wheel drive technology includes a new clutch system which automatically distributes the power to all four wheels dependant on the conditions, so you can be confident that you are well equipped if you wish to stray off the tarmac.

The new Octavia Scout also features a two-stage Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) which can be adjusted to suit certain driving conditions.