A week with a Skoda Octavia Scout

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The Octavia estate gets Allroaded. Or, if you prefer, Streetwised.

AWWOctaviaScout1Day one: Apparently the Octavia Scout was announced in the UK back in July but I don’t think anyone noticed. Anyway, here it is. It’s the Octavia estate with arch extensions and fake skid plates. As such, it looks better in the autumn anyway. To fit in with the general atmos of outdoorsiness, the suspension has been jacked up by 33mm. You look at the bigger gap between the wheel and the arch and you think, I bet that car has an excellent ride. Not so. I think it’s actually worse than normal Octavia. Ho hum.

Day two: Scout is a strange name. It would be quite good if that was the model name. The Skoda Scout. You could imagine that working instead of Yeti. But as a trim level the name seems odd. And it doesn’t help that this car has SCOUT written on the tailgate, the grille, the steering wheel, the nav start-up screen and the seats. I suppose if you were from Dundee you could scratch off the U and claim to be extremely patriotic.

AWWOctaviaScout2Day three: It’s slashing it down. I assumed that the Scout was largely a cosmetic exercise and not actually four-wheel-drive. But it is. I checked this in two ways. One, by reading the spec sheet. And two, just to be sure, by flooring it from a standstill in the wet. It’s definitely four-wheel-drive.  I wouldn’t call it a dynamic car, but it’s comfortable, it feels well made and it has a sort of pleasant, Labradorish quality to it. Not that Labradors are particularly well made, come to think of it. They’re always getting fat and busting their hips. So in fact, the Skoda Octavia Scout is better made than a Labrador. They should use that line in the adverts.

Day four: I’m going to Homebase. The Scout feels at home going to Homebase. This car, with its diesel engine and its sensible rubbing strips and its general estateness, makes me feel like a dad. I mean, I am a dad. But the Scout makes me feel like I should put on some slippers and pad around checking the radiators.

Day five: It’s Sunday. I’m going to Homebase again. What is happening here? Haven’t been to a DIY shop in ages. Suddenly, twice in two days. It’s the Scout. The Scout is making me want to go to Homebase.

Day six: How wide do you imagine the Octavia Scout to be? That’s right, it’s just slightly wider than the gap between the metal accessory on a parked Shogun and the total bellend trying to force his way down a narrow street in his stupid Audi A4. Or, to put it another way, I have scuffed the Octavia on a Mitsubishi bullbar. Cocking buggery bollocks. There are marks on the paint which rub off easily enough but underneath the door panel itself is very faintly dented. Arsing knobflaps.

AWWOctaviaScout3Day seven: Still wracked with guilt about dinging the Scout. As such, I feel I have forfeited my right to report anything bad about it. So let me just say it is an excellent car, packed with lots of excellent things and every aspect of it is excellent, apart from the excellent ride, which isn’t as excellent as I was hoping, and the excellent price, which is 28 grand and seems a bit too high when you can have a normal 148 horsepower 4×4 Octavia estate, which is excellent, for five grand less.

Goodbye: A cheery man comes to take the Scout away. Personally I reckon the normal Octavia estate does most of what you need for less. And it doesn’t have Scout written all over it. But if you live up a damp track or you work for the National Trust or something that would demand very slightly more ground clearance, perhaps it makes sense. Or maybe you just want an Octavia that feels like it’s wearing a gilet. In which case, here’s your car.

The car talked about here is, deep breath, a Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDI 184PS 4×4 DSG. It has a 2-litre turbocharged diesel engine making 180 horsepower. Skoda says it can do 136mph and 0-62 in 7.8 seconds. As standard it costs £27,990.


  1. What do you call a Skoda with 4 wheel drive?


  2. I love your ‘A Week With’ car reviews almost more than I love the other stuff on sniff petrol (and the other stuff is very good).
    If I was in a position to buy a new car (which I am not) I would value your opinion more than any other, that was ever written, any where, in the world.
    However, the most I have ever spent on a car was about four hundred quid, so may take a leaf out of Roy Lanchester’s book.
    But, when my long lost great aunt Doris pegs it and leaves me a stash of cash, before car shopping, I will be checking the sniff archive carefully. I will also donate a few dollars a month so the sniff dude can keep his web site going.
    Can’t do it at the mo. I drive a citroen that I mend with gaffer tape and a hammer.

  3. Is the Scout the best thing to upgrade to if you have had a Honda Cub for a couple of years?

  4. I like this better than last week’s Toyotexus LFA 😉
    Typical twunt in an Audi. Sniff, get yourself a dashcam and then post incidents like this on t’Youtube, so we can point and laugh.

  5. Sniff, did you disclose to the nice people at Skoda that you’d dinked their nice car?

    I’m sure they’d be nice about it if you did tell them.

    Nice company, that Skoda. Hard to believe it’s from the same group that brings us the “what are you looking at, pleb?” of car companies, Audi.

  6. Of course Paul. Bad form to dink someone else’s car, even worse form not to tell them about it.

    They were, as you’ve guessed, very nice about it.

  7. What did Audi do to get such a bad name? BMW is the “what are you looking at pleb?” car company in my experience by a country mile. Both in terms of the snobs at the dealership and the nonces that drive them.

  8. I love these car reviews, please do more. They’re the most honest unbiased reviews out there.

  9. Flappie, one must assume from your comment that you have not used a motorway in the last five years or so.

    As a regular motorway commuter (between my estates and various hunting engagements of course), I know full well that when I have some colossal bellend with his ridiculously ostentatious headlights surgically attached to my bumper, that just out of sight will be four linked rings designating him as an Audi bellend.

    The old BMW bellends have shifted brands – I am not sure why. Maybe it is just something to do with wanting a numb and uninspiring drive, or possibly they have misunderstood the Audi paint options “Fifty Shades of Grey” and think that it will help them get some.

    Nevertheless, tis true – Audi drivers top the patented wankerometer…

  10. Skid plates on this vehicle….?

    See also; kick stands on tanks, ashtrays on motorbikes, chocolate teapots, politicians, track limit rules in F1 etc

  11. Whilst doffing my cap in deference Lord Custard, the bellends on the motorways round here seem to still be driving Beemers.

    They also have the knack of being completely blind to passing places down the country lane where I live. Mind you, they don’t half put the sh*ts up the blokes in lycra on pushbikes who seem to think they own the road.

    Every cloud has a silver lining

    And no, I haven’t got an Audi

  12. Nice to see Sniff admitted his minor transgression to the good people at Skoda. Would be like punching a puppy in the face not to speak up.

    As for the “who’s the biggest tosser” debate, I reckon Audi just nudges it over BMW. It used to to be all BMW drivers that were complete knobs, but now it seems just to be the gopping GT and offensive “X” SUVs that want to fill your mirrors with kidneys these days. BMW saloon/estate drivers seem to be alright now, unlike Audi saloon/estate drivers, who always seem to be on a mission to prove their manhood. Oh, and don’t get me started on the “Q” SUV drivers!

    Full disclosure: I drive a 15-year old E39 528i Touring, so am classing myself in the “nice” BMW saloon/estate drivers’ category. If I ever get an X5, I promise faithfully that I will drive it like a complete dick.

  13. Cheap towing Service

  14. I’ve decided that Audi drivers are not dicks at all, and are in fact, excellent drivers and very nice people.

    Full disclosure: I recently bought an Audi A4 Avant S-Line V6 TDi, after some numpty in an A-Class wrote off my beloved BMW 528i Touring.

  15. doing over 600 miles per week in a skoda scout, motorways and lanes and dirt tracks to farms,this is the car for that job. Copes with all conditions well. It has pulled out a Totota Rav 4 from a muddy ditch where it had got stuck.
    As for the BMW drivers. Do they have to sign a contract when picking uo their car that states, [a] thou shalt be a prat and hog the outside lane of motorways come what may. [b] always drive in towns at 10 mph above the speed limit?

  16. 15 comments and not one risque joke about scout leaders – Disappointing.

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