2009 Skoda Octavia Scout – Car Review | CarShowroom.com.au

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Skoda Octavia Scout – Car Review | CarShowroom.com.au

2009 Skoda Octavia Scout – Car Review

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and Volkswagen’s Czech Republic brand ?koda is not on your listwell potentially you are missing some great products form one of Europe’s hottest brands. They don’t like us saying ‘Volkswagen products and quality at ?koda prices’ but that’s the truth.

What you Get

The new Skoda Octavia Scout a compact SUV wagon is a perfect example.

Priced from just $39,990, this is a contemporary European wagon with all-wheel traction thanks to Volkswagen’s superb 4Motion system, a high-tech turbo-diesel powerplant, lots of kit and interior space, and a strong safety story.

Car Showroom just spent a week in an Octavia Scout and it brought back memories of trips to Europe and long drives through The Alps and the Riviera in vehicles just like this. Those of us in this country who buy full-size SUVs or station wagons with petrol engines should seriously think about the Octavia Scout it really does the same job but is lighter on your pocket and the environment and is easier to manoeuvre and park in the city/urban streetscape.

Under the Hood

Open the Octavia Scout’s bonnet (or any ?koda model) and there is Volkswagen coming at you from every direction.

In this case it’s Volkswagen’s handy 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that is good for 103kW at 4,000 rpm and 320Nm from 1,750rpm. Driving through a delightful six-speed manual transmission, it’s a slick combination that is easy and manageable in the city crawl, cruises effortlessly on the freeway and yet – with just a slip down one cog – can sprint through an overtaking move.

A manual diesel in stop-start city traffic you may be pondering? Many of the taxis in the big cities of Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic are diesel manuals after just a few minutes you learn to use the tractability of the Octavia Scout’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and the excellent ratios of the six-speed and it all becomes second nature, ridiculously easy and returns great fuel consumption.

?koda says the Octavia Scout requires only 6.6 litres of diesel per 100 kms on the combined Australian measurement cycle very impressive and significantly better than say a Toyota Kluger or RAV 4, Ford Territory or Holden Sportwagon. It’s even better than the Nissan X-Trail diesel.

The Interior

Again prepare to be ‘Volkswagonised’.

The seats, pedals, leather steering wheel, gear lever and instrumentation are straight out of the previous generation Bora and Passat models. That means they’re excellent and very high quality. Front seats are height-adjustable and the steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach as all good cars are.

Switches and controls for cruise control, power windows and mirrors are also straight from Volkswagen.

There is a CD sound system with MP3 auxiliary input and eight speakers, rain sensing wipers plus the handy coming/leaving home function which gives the headlights and interior lights a few extra seconds illumination to help you on your way.

On the safety front, there are six airbags plus ABS anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Program and Anti-Slip Regulation plus the second-generation 4Motion all-wheel-drive system which progressively transfers drive to the wheels with the most traction.

Out back there is a massive 580 litres of trunk space (1620 litres with the rear seats folded). koda says the official payload capacity is 660 kgs and two cargo nets are standard to keep the load secure.

Giving brief regard to the Octavia Scout’s off-road ability, a grab handle is mounted on the dashboard in front of the passenger.

Exterior and Styling

Immediately noticeable is the extra size and ride height of the Scout compared to standard Octavia wagons. In fact the Scout has a 180mm ground clearance (40mm higher than the standard Octavia), it is longer at 4581mm, some 15mm wider and 17mm higher overall.

Underneath you will see bash plates near both front and rear bumpers.

On the outside, protective wheel-arch strips, meaty bumpers and moulded side protection strips equip the Octavia Scout for trips into the scrub.

Combine all of this with the traditional ?koda front grille and you get an immediate and distinctive European look and feel for this very competent compact SUV wagon.

On The Road

‘Typical Volkswagen all-round’ is the only way to describe the Octavia Scout’s driving dynamics. The 2.0-litre TDI and six-speed gearbox deliver handy performance and the braking and ride/handling is first class.

The front suspension is MacPherson Strut and the clever multi-link rear design incorporates a high-mounted longitudinal trailing arm that reduces nose-diving under braking again all of this would be very familiar to Volkswagen owners.

Rear seat accommodation is on par with other compact SUVs adequate for families with youngsters or for adults on short trips.

Challenges

Certainly the Octavia Scout doesn’t quite match the current model Volkswagen Passat wagon for refinement and material quality. But we would suggest the current Passat actually rivals the E-Class Mercedes-Benz and 5-Series BMW in that department so the Octavia – with its RRP from $39,990 – is not really losing ground there. And there is no doubt it can stand toe-to-toe with segment rivals like Kluger, RAV, Territory, Sportwagon, X-Trail, Forester, Outback and Koleos for interior quality, space, refinement, and driving dynamics.

Sure the Octavia Scout will ultimately fall short of the bigger SUVs Kluger, RAV, X-Trail and Territory in the mud-digging, soft-sand off-road tests.

Resale value is also a challenge. While ?koda is more than a century old, is now owned and run by Volkswagen and is one of the hottest brands in Europe, the nameplate has only recently returned to Australia and residual values/consumer confidence do take time to build up. Same for Renault with its excellent Koleos.

Verdict

We would buy an Octavia Scout in a heartbeat. Our young family will happily occupy the rear seat for hours, their bits and pieces will fit in the luggage compartment, and having spent considerable time in England, Italy, Germany and France we’re familiar with manual diesel passenger cars, we’re used to driving them and actually like them a lot.

Volkswagen will hate us for saying this, but the bottom line is: The ?koda Octavia Scout delivers the known Volkswagen quality traits at sensational value-for-money pricing.

The Competition

The Nissan X-Trail turbo-diesel is the most obvious competitor and pricing is almost identical. Toyota’s RAV and Kluger are in the same ball park but don’t offer a diesel. Similarly the Subaru Forester and Outback are players but not with diesel power.

Of the European brands, only the Renault Koleos can be fairly compared (the Volvo XC70 is too expensive). You would need to drive both, consider the styling differences and the deals on offer. Our point of view would be that both offer similar driving dynamics, we would rate the Renault’s interior ahead of the Octavia Scout, but in our eyes we like the Skoda’s conservative exterior just a little bit more than the Koleos.

Thumbs-up:

Clever packaging; nice to drive; excellent build quality; value-for-money

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