What is it?
A cut-price, rough-and-tumble wagon sums it up nicely. Subaru pioneered the jacked-up, body-clad, all-wheel-drive estate in 1996. Audi’s A6 Allroad appeared in 1999, around the same time as Volvo’s XC70.
Today, a diesel-powered Allroad will cost £36,000 and an XC70 £30,000. When Subaru's diesel engine arrives later this year, a Legacy Outback is likely to cost nearly £23,000 equipped with it.
Which is where the new Skoda Octavia Scout steps in. Based on the Octavia 4x4 estate, it gets the required chunky bodykit and aluminium undertrays, an extra 17mm of ground clearance over the slightly less robust-looking standard 4x4 Estate (which is 40mm higher than the standard front-drive car), and a spattering of extra spec including rain-sensing wipers and parking radar.
Fitted with the obvious choice of a 140bhp 2.0-litre TDI PD motor, the Octavia Scout will sting your wallet to the tune of £19,670, with xenon lights and sat-nav left on the options list.
What's it like?
I’m a big fan of the ‘Outback’ aesthetic and the Scout wears it well, especially with its integrated skid plates and 17in wheels. Although raised suspension will take the edge off a chassis, the Scout was a satisfying place to be on fast autostrada and the winding roads of the Italian Alps.