Skoda Scout makes a load of sense

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

■ If to­day’s sports util­ity ve­hi­cles are the win­kle-pick­ers (Google it) of the automotive world, all-wheeldrive wag­ons are the lace-up brogues; what your mother might call “sen­si­ble shoes”.

For those with a lit­tle history, think Sean Con­nery, rather than Johnny Depp; ruggedly hand­some, against off-beat and quirky. The Skoda Oc­tavia Scout is a per­fect ex­am­ple of the for­mer.

When it first came out in Aus­tralia Skoda trod lightly with the all­wheel-drive wagon, bring­ing in only a 2.0-litre diesel man­ual ver­sion.

Now the Czech com­pany, part of the Volk­swa­gen Group, has de­cided to stride out and add a petrol vari­ant, as well as an au­to­matic diesel, Down Un­der.

The new Scout comes at greatly re­duced prices. Start­ing at $32,990, plus on-road costs for the 110TDI, the 132TSI is $38,590 and the range­top­ping 135TDI $41,390.

New Oc­tavia Scout main­tains the ro­bust char­ac­ter of its pre­de­ces­sor. There’s no miss­ing the bold Scout-only bumpers and added body pro­tec­tion. The ra­di­a­tor grille now car­ries the Scout badge.

The ve­hi­cle is 4685mm long, mak­ing it 101mm longer than its pre­de­ces­sor.

The 100mm longer wheel­base (2679mm against 2577mm) em­pha­sises the new Scout’s filled-out pro­por­tions.

Front over­hang, now 899mm as op­posed to 925mm, gives it a more rough-road abil­ity.

Im­por­tantly, ground clear­ance has been raised to 171mm — 31mm more than the stan­dard Oc­tavia.

The pro­file of the 225/50 R17 tyres on the 17-inch al­loy wheels is higher too.

There are pro­tec­tive plas­tic cov­ers for un­der body com­po­nents as well as the brakes and fuel lines.

In­creased ex­te­rior di­men­sions leave more space in­side the cabin.

Com­pared with the pre­vi­ous Scout, boot vol­ume has grown by eight litres to 588 litres.

Fold­ing down the rear seats boosts boot ca­pac­ity to a re­mark­able 1718 litres, from 1620 litres.

Us­ing a draw­bar, the rear back­seats can be con­ve­niently folded down from the boot.

For the first time, the cargo com­part­ment is fit­ted with a dou­blesided floor mat. For nor­mal use, a high-qual­ity car­pet pro­vides a look of pres­tige. Flip­ping the mat ex­poses a dirt and wa­ter re­pel­lent sur­face to carry muddy sports equip­ment or pot­ted plants.

A cargo fas­tener is a new op­tional fea­ture.

The 135TDI test car, over the base 110TDI, ben­e­fits from an eight­inch touch screen and Colum­bus satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem with in­te­grated au­dio in­clud­ing Blue­tooth and stream­ing, USB, aux and SD card slots and eight speak­ers.

On of­fer is an 110kW diesel en­gine com­bined with a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion and a choice of ei­ther a 135kW diesel or 132kW petrol en­gine cou­pled with a sixspeed au­to­matic dual-clutch DSG trans­mis­sion. The new Scout 4x4 has ad­vanced all-wheel-drive tech­nol­ogy based on a fifth-gen­er­a­tion Haldex clutch and elec­tronic dif­fer­en­tial lock. Nine airbags in in­ter­ac­tion with three-point seat belts pro­tect the oc­cu­pants from in­juries. The 135TDI fea­tures as­sis­tance sys­tems such as Multi-Col­li­sion Brake and Fa­tigue De­tec­tion.

The Multi-Col­li­sion Brake au­to­mat­i­cally slows the ve­hi­cle af­ter a col­li­sion is de­tected, even if the driver no longer presses the brake pedal, to avoid a fur­ther col­li­sion, or the speed at which any other col­li­sion may take place is re­duced.

Road noise was kept to a min­i­mum, adding to a feel­ing of well­be­ing for up to five oc­cu­pants.

In­stru­ments were clear and con­cise and po­si­tioned to give the front seat pas­sen­ger a share of the info avail­able to the driver. The com­pre­hen­sive range of con­trols, with a nod to Audi/VW, was in­tu­itive.

Skoda claims fuel con­sump­tion of 5.3 litres per 100km. Weight sav­ings and the use of stronger steel have given the wagon an even more solid ride and im­proved han­dling.

Pic­tures: Mark Bean

Skoda’s Oc­tavia Scout main­tains the ro­bust char­ac­ter of its pre­de­ces­sor and is more af­ford­able.

The Scout’s in­stru­ments are clear and con­cise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.