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Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDI 150 review

Date: 26 April 2017   |   Author: John Mahoney

Standard equipment: 17-inch alloys, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cruise control, sat-nav, full-LED front headlamps, parking sensors
Engines: Diesel: 150hp, 184hp 2.0
Trims: Standard
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed dual-clutch automatic

We all know styling is subjective and although not everyone will fall immediately in love with the new Octavia's front end, you certainly couldn't miss it in the company car park.

From its toothy front grille and widely spaced lamps, the Czech family wagon may not be the most handsome car in the world, but beyond this, the jacked-up Octavia estate is better than ever.

Those distinctive new front lamps are actually all LED, so are brighter than before, and once you're inside it doesn't matter because the Skoda's interior is excellent.

If you hadn't sat in its more expensive VW Golf cousin and seen its virtual dash, you'd swear the Skoda was more expensive than it is. Space remains class-leading, whether you're talking rear passenger leg and head room or its huge 620-litre boot that can easily swallow a family of five's baggage for a weekend away.

Many Scout owners tow and, like before, both the 150hp and 184hp versions of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel can haul up to two tonnes, with now the added security of new trailer-assist stability software.

We drove the less powerful 150hp derivative both with a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The good news is the manual offers a pleasingly light and slick shift action. However, the bad news is the seven-speed DSG auto - a better match still - won't be coming to the UK. It's smooth and quick to react, making it a joy to live with, it's a real shame it won't be coming here. Meanwhile, if you want an auto you have to pay more for the older six-speed DSG that's only available with the 184hp version.

We'd prefer a bit more pace from the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel off the line (0-62mph takes 9.1 seconds) but once it's on the move it offers enough overtaking urge for most. With a 30mm ride height increase over the regular Octavia, a little more body roll compared with the hatch is to be expected, but the Scout remains better to drive than most top-heavy SUVs and has a decent ride to boot.

We even tried it off-road where its all-wheel drive proved invaluable on rocky surfaces and deep-gravel roads. It's no Land Rover, of course, but will offer enough added traction to drag the family caravan out of a waterlogged holiday park.

Luckily, its reasonable P11D value reduces how much you'll pay each month, and the Leon X-Perience (BIK 27%) isn't appreciably better and the pricier Golf Alltrack matches the Skoda in terms of BIK.

With only two real rivals to consider, it's galling the Skoda gets pipped by its cheaper, Spanish cousin in wholelife costs, despite the Czech estate benefitting from better residual values overall.

However, many will overlook its higher running costs because they'll appreciate the Scout for what it is: a tough, capable, comfortable estate with unmatched space in its class and a really well finished interior.

Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDI 150

P11D £26,470
On sale May 2017
Residual value 30.7%
Depreciation £18,345
Fuel £5,773
Service, maintenance & repair £2,187
Cost per mile 61.3p
Fuel consumption 56.5mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 130g/km (28%)
BIK 20/40% per month £124/£247
Boot space (min/max) 610 litres
Engine size/power 1,968cc/150hp

Verdict


7/10
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • New infotainment system among the best
  • Good to drive
  • Styling not to everyone's taste
  • No seven-speed DSG
  • Spartan standard kit

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