2015 Skoda Octavia Scout diesel road test and review.
I drove and reviewed the Skoda Octavia RS earlier in the year and I have to say it was extremely close to being a Car of the Year finalist for me.
Given how impressed I was at the mid-sized Skoda wagon, the prospect of checking out the more rugged 2015 Skoda Octavia Scout had me keen with anticipation, I wasn’t let-down.
This is a seriously enjoyable and well-executed vehicle.
The Skoda Octavia Scout differs from a regular Octavia in that it has 31mm of extra ground clearance, beefed-up underbody protection and an all-wheel drive system. Obviously not a genuine 4×4, the Scout is designed for light-duty off-road work and looks pretty capable of tackling a corrugated dirt track without too much drama.
Offered in two specification levels – Ambition (110TDI) and Premium (132TSI/132TDI), the 2015 Skoda Octavia Scout comes powered by a choice of three engines; 110kW/340Nm 2.0 litre turbo-diesel (110TDI), 1.8 litre turbo-petrol producing 132kW/280Nm (132TSI) and 132kW/380Nm 2.0 litre turbo-diesel (132TDI).
If you want an automatic transmission in your Octavia Scout then you will have to choose between the 132TSI or 132TDI, a manual transmission is only offered in the 110TDI and that’s exactly the model I was given by Skoda to review.
I’m pleased to say that the combo of turbo-diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission in the Octavia Scout is a hoot!
With plenty of lowdown grunt and sweet acceleration between 2,000 and 3,000rpm, I couldn’t believe just how well the Scout got along. The icing on the cake is great fuel economy, I used less than 7.0L/100km in my week of city/suburban driving.
You also have the choice of different drive modes, to be honest I couldn’t feel a great amount of difference between the Normal and Sports modes, while Eco mode obviously dulls get up and go a fair bit. Normal mode was my pick.
Sharp-enough steering, impressive handling (for a model equipped with some off-road ability) and better than expected ride complete what is a really enjoyable car to drive.
Inside the cabin there are a few really good things to mention and a couple of little gripes.
First off the good stuff; the driver’s seat will roll back a long way and this helps drivers who are on the taller side, the deep boot and rubber mat is a winner too, having a lip into the boot stops things rolling out if on a hill and gee it’s nice just to see an old-fashioned handbrake in a manual car!
The adjustable centre armrest and rear legroom also get a tick of approval. Visibility from the driver’s seat is very good as well.
Those couple of complaints include absolutely tiny cup holders in the centre console, the habit of switching the cabin air supply back to the fresh air setting whenever the engine is switched-off and the slightly inconsistent Bluetooth system that at times had trouble finding my phone to stream audio.
My test car was fitted with the optional Tech-Pack (a $3,990 option), this adds push-button ignition, upgraded stereo system and a number of other features.
A reverse camera is a welcome standard feature in the entry-level model Octavia Scout, though sat-nav only comes with the optional $4,400 Premium Pack. This pack adds a number of other features including a powered tail-gate.
At this stage there isn’t an ANCAP safety rating for the Skoda Octavia.
Summing it up; I am a cheapskate from way back and while the car I drove had some extra features over the base-model Octavia Scout, pricing from just $32,990 had me again thinking this is a car I could very much enjoy owning.
The Skoda Octavia Scout, even in 110TDI trim, is a lot of fun, frugal, well-priced, extremely versatile and easy to drive.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Skoda Octavia Scout 110TDI
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 110kW and 340Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual (only)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: Czech Republic
Price: from $32,990