Quietly impressive. What's immediately noticeable is the improved degree of driver confidence the Scout offers, a result of knowing it can clear objects easily and that there are vast reserves of traction on hand.
The Skoda's 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel produces 181bhp and 280lb ft, which is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed dual clutch transmission and the aforementioned Haldex system.
Deploy the available punch fully from a standing start and the Scout's drivetrain works to rapidly make best use of what's on offer, resulting in swift, controlled and repeatable acceleration.
Skoda claims 0-62mph in 7.8sec and a top speed of 136mph, both of which feel easily attainable. The diesel engine is eager and pulls cleanly through the rev range, although it becomes quite vocal towards the top end of the scale.
The DSG transmission does a good job of delivering swift, smooth shifts. If the need arises, a manual mode can be accessed via the shifter.
Despite the increase in ride height the Octavia Scout drives in a well-judged and competent fashion too. You do notice a fraction more roll, and a tendency to edge towards understeer a little more than the standard car, but the overall experience is a pleasant and composed one.
Even during high-speed lane changes the Scout remains stable, no doubt partly thanks to the redesigned MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear axle.
The extra height hasn't compromised the Skoda's ride either; it deals with bumps in a swift and quiet fashion, with only large ruts and pot holes transmitting a minor thud into the cabin.
Only the steering lets the Scout's on-road manners down a little. It's linear and precise in its responses but, while ultimately not imperative for a car of its class and target market, a little more feedback would be useful.
Stopping power is plentiful and the pedal offers a smooth response, granting easy and accurate modulation of the brakes. A mechanical handbrake is standard, allowing for rapid and controlled application of the parking brake. This, like many of the Scout's features, serves to further improve its off-road manners.
Head well off the beaten track and Skoda's claims about the Scout's off-road ability become tangible. Steep rock-strewn slopes, sharp ledges, severe cambers and wet, muddy tracks are all traversed with ease and minimal wheelspin.
It remains comfortable inside when going literally across country too, which is no mean feat. It's equally impressive to see it dispatch challenges such as hill starts on steep gravel-covered slopes without fuss too, leading to a secure and dependable feel.