ZIPPING along in a new car for a New Year — the Skoda Octavia Scout, this week’s drive — has
ZIPPING along in a new car for a New Year — the Skoda Octavia Scout, this week’s drive — has a powerful portfolio all of its own.
Not only can you get up to 55.4mpg on the combined cycle out of this beefy car, you also have a pretty swift 0 to 62mph timescale of 7.8 seconds and a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine that generates enough torque (pulling power) that hangs around for no one.
This most robust of engines on the test car was “mated” to the excellent DSG gearbox, more of which later.
For now, suffice to say that from the moment you get behind the wheel of the Octavia Scout it is apparent that a lot of thought has gone into its overall design. Not only that, the thought processes that came up with the car’s design included its mechanical and engineering attributes as well.
I know you would think that obvious, but not all new cars have this great “joining together” of things mechanical and visual. The Skoda Octavia Scout for me manages to fuse the two together with aplomb.
The Octavia Scout feels big and airy inside, helped no doubt by its panoramic roof. This will set you back an extra £950 but would be an essential tool for travelling around lakes and lochs which is surely where this car is destined to feel most at home.
The Scout name of course would be the clue there! This is a touring car with 4x4 attributes of some distinction and ability.
Skoda in the last month of 2014 announced that it had achieved producing half a million Octavias in just two years’ of production. This is a measure of how well the car has been received.
The Scout is for those who would like to go “a-wandering along the mountain track” if my memory proves right in reciting the old Scouting song. You may not wish exactly to tackle mountain tracks in the Scout but you would certainly be well equipped: there is a “Rough Road” package included as a standard equipment on the Scout that includes an engine guard and underbody stone guard.
Scout body styling is also robust with side mouldings in black, front and rear bumbers, sills and wheel arches.
Inside, technology includes an Amundsen touchscreen satnav system, that could take you through the most rural of routes. Yet with all this macho stuff at your fingertips, Skoda does not forget comfort.
The new Scout range is headed by this powerful 2.0 TDi 184PS engine that drives through a six-speed DSG transmission linked to a Haldex-5 four-wheel-drive system. This would be combination to go for as it is unique to the Octavia Scout, and makes the new flagship the most powerful Scout ever offered.
Unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the new Octavia Scout, despite a significant increase in size and specification, is 20 per cent cleaner and more fuel-efficient than the previous model, delivering significant running cost savings for owners.
Based on the Octavia Estate, the Scout has been an integral part of the Octavia range since its introduction in 2007. Between 2007 and the end of 2013, Skoda delivered around 53,600 Octavia Scouts to customers worldwide.
The Octavia Scout is further distinguished by a 33mm increase in ride height that gives 171mm of ground clearance. Five-arm, double-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with 225/50 R17 tyres enhance the rugged look. Further shields are fitted to the brakelines and fuel pipes to eliminate the potential for damage.
The Scout’s transmission also features Skoda’s Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) that helps deliver traction in the most challenging of conditions. Operating on both front and rear axles, it acts as an inter-wheel lock. If a wheel starts spinning on a slippery surface, driving torque is transmitted to the opposite wheel.
Braking is then applied specifically to the spinning wheel until traction is restored.
Test car: Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDi 184PS 4x4 DSG
Total price (including options fitted): £33,390
Rugged off-road look incorporated with SKODA’s new design language
Advanced all-wheel-drive technology based on fifth-generation Haldex-5 clutch
Two powerful engines available from launch
Fuel consumption reduced by an average of 20 percent