Skoda Octavia Scout 1.8 review

The Skoda Octavia Scout has received the family facelift. And with the 1.8 TSI engine, the Scout is better than ever.

"The Scout might have a silly name, but it's a smart car"

What is it?The Skoda Octavia Scout is to the Octavia what the Allroad is to the Audi A4. So if you imagine a little bit higher ride height, a bit more black plastic cladding and a tiny bit more off-road ability, you’d be right on the money. And just like the rest of the Octavia range, the Scout has had a facelift too.

What’s it like on the outside?I’m a fan of the new-look Octavia, and the transition from subtly stylish estate to pseudo-off-roader doesn’t do the Skoda any harm. Alongside the facelift’s general upgrades – new lights, grilles and bumpers - there’s aluminium scuff plates, plastic cladding and the obligatory jacked-up stance to mark the Scout out from the rest of the Octavia range. It’s pretty attractive as these pretend off-roaders go.

What’s it like on the inside?From inside, the Scout’s extra ride height is barely perceptible – don’t go expecting the Skoda to have a proper command driving position like a full-size SUV. But there nods to distinguish the Scout from the rest of the Octavia range, including a chunky grab handle above the glovebox. Redesigned seats, new-look dials, and the same superb 1,620-litre maximum load area make the Octavia perfect for life as a family workhorse.

What’s it like to drive?Aside from adding a Haldex four-wheel-drive system, to make the Octavia estate a Scout, Skoda increases the ride height by 65mm. The extra ride height might not elevate the Scout to proper SUV levels, but it does make the ride really comfortable, albeit at the cost of a little body control in the bends. The four-wheel-drive adds an extra level of surefootedness too, providing plenty of grip in all conditions. The 1.8-litre petrol TSI engine compliments the Scout well too, offering decent mpg, as well as smooth, sprightly performance. In fact, I’d rather have this over the coarser and more expensive 2.0-litre TDI.

VerdictThe Skoda Octavia Scout bridges a gap between a normal estate car and a proper SUV. And I reckon it does a good job too. The 1.8-litre engine provides decent poke, and the four-wheel-drive gives plenty of security. If you’re after a family load lugger, the Scout’s worth a look.

Car Specs - Skoda Octavia Scout 1.8 TSI

Engine:1.8-litre TSI, 160hp
0-62mph:8.4 seconds
Top speed:131mph
Economy/emissions:36.2mpg/182g/km CO2
Price/On sale £18,750/Now

We rate:Good 1.8 TSI engine Huge practicality

We slate:Rolls a bit in the bends A pretend SUV

Rating: Image removed.

By Bryce Richards

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