Skoda has this week announced an all-new addition to its mid-sized Octavia family hatchback range, and this is it – the beefed-up, ruggedised, no-nonsense Octavia Scout. Arriving in the UK this April, the Scout will add an extra layer of light offroad ability to the Octavia range over and above that of the standard Octavia 4x4 estate, and will be priced from £17,725.
The Scout's biggest external identifier will be the protective plastic body mouldings running around its bumpers, in the style of the Volvo XC70 and Audi Allroad. It's not just a styling exercise though; the Octavia Scout rides 17mm higher even than the Octavia 4x4, and features protective undertrays front and rear, electronic stability control with a hill hold function and the latest version of Haldex' multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system which can apportion up to 98 per cent of engine power to either the front or rear wheels. It will be powered by a choice of a 150bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 140bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel.
The Scout gets a better kit count too. Standard equipment will include twin chrome exhausts, 17in alloy wheels, a cargo net in the boot, tinted windows, dual zone air conditioning, headlight washers, parking sensors, a cruise control and aluminium pedals.