Both drive through a Haldex electronic four-wheel drive system that’s usually front-biased and punts power to the rear when you need it.
There’s no petrol option, which is the kind of sensible decision Skoda makes.
If you don’t want to tool around a bit on unmade roads or you don’t need to tow, a regular Octavia is available. If you do want to do those things, you’ll be wanting a larger-capacity diesel, right?
Right. Most of the time, though, the Scout feels like a marginally taller, slightly lazier-responding regular Octavia, which is no bad thing.
It’s a relaxing car to drive, with easy, steady control weights, a slick gearshift and steering that’s smooth and uncorrupted, as long as you switch off the over-sensitive lane departure assist.
The ride is compliant, thanks to the suspension’s extra height and 50-profile rubber on the 17-inch wheels, but handling remains composed and secure.
The latest-generation 4WD system doesn’t necessitate the front wheels completely losing grip before power is diverted rearwards, so traction is strong, even on lock out of junctions from a standing start.
All of which makes the Octavia Scout a more conventionally rewarding steer than most full-size SUVs, in a slightly old-fashioned, loping way. You can make a big SUV keener to drive than this, but usually that involves ruining the ride. The Scout strikes a good compromise.
Elsewhere, noise levels are low, interior refinement high and straight-line stability strong. Although its extra weight over a regular Octavia blunts the performance a little, the Scout feels quite fast enough. It’s the sort of car that’s remarkably easy to recommend.