Final report: Skoda Octavia Scout

3 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Final report: Skoda Octavia Scout

Been anywhere interesting?

Not me, but the Skoda Octavia Scout has made the return journey to its rightful owners. That’s right, my happy time with the Scout is up and Skoda has repatriated the keys to its Milton Keynes lair from my home in Scotland. It was a sad farewell as the Scout has served me very well over the past months and 10,000-miles or so.

Before going back, the Skoda continued its hectic schedule of long motorway journeys, airport car parks and country roads that many normal estates would baulk at.

Anything stand out.

During my time with the Scout, the one overriding factor that continued to impress me was the car’s economy. When so many ill-informed pundits are happy to spout nonsense about the consumption and world-killing evils of 4x4s, the Skoda turned in a steady 45mpg no matter how or where I drove the car. On a trip to France in early summer for the Le Mans 24-hours race, the Scout recorded 45mpg at the peage maximum of 85mph.

Trundling around rural Perthshire, it gave exactly the same economy, so all I can say is anyone who has a grudge against 4x4s has never spent time with a Skoda Scout.

It did take a couple of thousand miles before the 138bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel loosened up to give its fine economy, but even then it always delivered the goods in the performance stakes. It’s no hot hatch, but plenty of mid-rev shove (236lb.ft at 1,750rpm) is more than enough to safely overtake the dawdling holiday traffic that litters Scotland in the summer months. Four-wheel drive gave assured grip as the weather turned cold and slippery, while the heated seats were rarely turned off once the calendar moved past September.

The Skoda’s practicality also impressed on many occasions. The boot is a good size, well shaped and has sturdy hooks to tie down delicate loads, which was more than handy when moving house at the start of the summer. Another feature that came in handy was the under-floor storage in the boot that transformed into an impromptu wine cellar after a buying spree on my return from Le Mans.

Perhaps I should have used the optional tow bar with a trailer to bring back even more vino?

. and for the wrong reasons?

Only two faults reared their heads during my time with the Octavia Scout. The first was a crackly speaker in the driver’s door. It appeared during a long motorway stint, annoyed me all day and then disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

I kept an ear out for any repeat performance, but it never arrived, so a trip to the dealer was unnecessary.

A dealer visit was needed to rectify the leaky windscreen. This happened during a heavy summer storm and the dealer said it was the first time they’d experienced this fault. A new windscreen and headlining were promptly installed by my local Skoda dealer, whose customer service was first class.

My only other small gripe is with the low-speed ride of the Scout. While it delivers far better handling and poise than most rival compact SUVs, the suspension picks up on too many minor ruts when driving around town.

Where next?

If I had the cash to hand, I would be off to the nearest Skoda dealer to put in my order for an Octavia Scout 2.0 TD PD 140 in the same colour and spec as this long term one. The only thing that I might change would be to buy a used example to avoid some of the depreciation that has hit our example. The car cost the thick end of Ј20,000 new and trade guides now tell us it’s worth around Ј11,000 as a trade-in.

That’s a hefty hit for an 18-month old car with average mileage, but a bargain for used buyers.

Alisdair Suttie – 6 Feb 2009

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