2017 Skoda Octavia Scout First Drive

Skoda has updated the off-road-ready Scout model to make it fit in with the rest of the facelifted Octavia range. We get just two variants here in the UK, which are both 2.0-litre turbodiesels: there’s a 150 horsepower car with a six-speed manual gearbox; and then a 184hp range-topper (from £29,450) that has a six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic. Both have Skoda’s all-wheel traction as standard and the Scout only comes as an estate, as befits its lifestyle aspirations.

2017 Skoda Octavia Scout First Drive
2017 Skoda Octavia Scout First Drive

There will be, in other markets, a seven-speed DSG option on the 150hp Octavia Scout, which will mark the first time in Skoda’s history that it has gained the seven-speed unit over the six-speed item it uses otherwise, but we won’t be getting that in the UK. Instead, we’ll first see the seven-speed DSG on the hotter variant of the Octavia vRS, the 245, due out later this year.

Although ‘soft-roader’ estates are proving popular, there’s not a huge amount of choice at the Octavia’s level and, as such, the Scout’s main rivals come from elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group – vehicles that use the same underpinnings and drivetrains, like the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Seat Leon X-Perience.

First impressions

Rugged and adorned with the de rigueur accoutrements of the jacked-up lifestyle estate fraternity, the Scout is easy to spot among a sea of Octavia Estates, as it has various addenda that mark it out. Note the black plastic over its wheel arches, the silver skid plates fore and aft that necessitate differe...