From £12,685
Great value, good on-road and reasonable off-road too

Our Verdict

The latest Octavia is based on the VW Golf Mk5

The Skoda Octavia is a dependable, quality car which is comfortable and pleasant to drive

What is it?

It’s the facelifted-for-2009 Octavia Scout, the slightly high-rise, more overtly off-road variant of Skoda’s pleasingly honest, practical and affordable estate. Think Audi A4 Allroad, but without the badge kudos and minus nine grand or so off the asking price.

As well as cosmetic changes inside and out, the latest Scout gets the new, fourth generation Haldex clutch system also found on the Octavia 4x4 estate. It’s mated to an unchanged 2.0-litre diesel engine and a smooth six-speed manual gearbox with sensibly spaced ratios.

What’s it like?

Practical, comfortable and versatile, among other things. The familiar 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit is a respectable performer and returns decent economy, with 50-plus mpg easily achieved on a gentle motorway cruise. On top of that, 17-inch alloys and a tyre profile more at home on a farm track than a race track mean it’s a relaxing ride, too.

Externally, the Scout’s modified suspension raises both the ride height and ground clearance over the standard Octavia 4x4, while chunky but understated bodywork add-ons increase both width and overall length by a few millimetres. All this adds up to a genuine smattering of off-road ability; you wouldn’t want to enter the Dakar Rally in it, but towing a horsebox or caravan across a rutted field would be well within its remit.

Inside, you get a model of restrained, contemporary cabin design. Trim fit and finish punches well above the Scout’s asking price, with excellent seats, a clear, comprehensive dash, useful trip computer functions and a satisfyingly tactile steering wheel, albeit lacking in fingertip controls for the otherwise excellent stereo. The front seat passenger even gets a chunky handle on the dashboard to hang on to when the going gets really rough; a light peppering of neat ‘Scout’ badges completes the interior effect.

Should I buy one?

It’s certainly worth considering. Estate car practicality is common to all the Octavia estates, but the Scout’s very real, if limited, off-road potential marks it out as an option for those who need something capable of performing when the going gets rougher than a muddy country lane.

As a rugged, rural towing car that is otherwise barely compromised in everyday on-road use, the Octavia Scout is an impressive, endearing and great value piece of kit.

Tim Dickson

Join the debate

Comments
15

29 July 2009

Skoda really need to dump the PD diesel engines from their cars. Anyone who has driven one of the VW CR Diesels will tell you that they are light years ahead. The venerable old 2.0 PD engine just can't cut it in todays market.

Now, if they put a 2.0 CR engine and the DSG gearbox into the Scout, we would definately buy one. (We currently run an Octavia L&K estate and a vRS with the CR engine)

29 July 2009

More sensibly, go for the 1.8 petrol engine which has all the characteristics of a good diesel and is quieter in to the bargain. What's more it will take 80000 miles to recoup the extra capital outlay for the diesel.

29 July 2009

I also think the 170PS CR diesel would a better proposition for the scout. My son has the vRS estate with the CR engine and DSG. A very impressive car it is, but I think it would a slight problem with a rutted field.

VW may have some say in which engines go into what cars, in their rather large family.

29 July 2009

The Yeti's engines are all CRs and I expect them to filter accross to the Octavia by the beginning of next year. Went for a ride in the Yeti CR-140 on Monday, very hushed.

29 July 2009

[quote RSkoda]The Yeti's engines are all CRs and I expect them to filter accross to the Octavia by the beginning of next year. Went for a ride in the Yeti CR-140 on Monday, very hushed.[/quote] Be interesting to see what the Yeti does to Octavia 4x4 sales. The availability of the CR motor and DSG box might swing it for a lot of potential customers. By the way - is the Yeti in UK showrooms yet...I thought it was scheduled for September release.

30 July 2009

Q: How do you double the price of a Skoda?

A: Put £5 petrol in.

30 July 2009

[quote Topkat]

Q: How do you double the price of a Skoda?

A: Put £5 petrol in.

[/quote]

P r i c k. Some of us were around in the Eighties (unlike you) and remember the old Skodas where this may have been true. It's not any more and it's not even a funny joke.

Honestly, why do you bother posting? You know nothing about anything, especially cars.

30 July 2009

[quote Dan McNeil]By the way - is the Yeti in UK showrooms yet...I thought it was scheduled for September release.[/quote]

The UK launch is towards the end of September but they are touring the UK at the moment with a handful of Czech registered left hand drive models. Full details of where and when here: http://www.skoda.co.uk/ourcars/yeti/the_yeti_roadshow.aspx

31 July 2009

How do you double the price of a Skoda?

Stick an Audi grille on it, I think would be more accurate.

31 July 2009

I am planning on catching the Yeti tour next week.

I am dying to see how the fleet managers price the Yeti. I know I could afford to lease a £19300 Octavia, waiting to see how the lease rates come in for a £19300 Yeti.

Our quoting system is showing loads of 09 Octavia's with choice of CR engines but not the Scout..

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