Car reviews - Skoda - Octavia - Scout 5-dr wagon
Skoda's slow-selling Scout finally gets the DSG auto it's always needed
4 Apr 2011
THE all-wheel drive Skoda Octavia Scout enters the second decade of the new century on a more even footing with its rivals.
No petrol engine is on offer, but since September 2008 there has been a marked trend towards diesel power, especially in the softroader sector, so this no longer presents quite the disadvantage it seemed when the Scout was launched.
Importantly, the other major shortcoming – the absence of any automatic transmission option – has been addressed with the introduction of an advanced DSG twin-clutch automated manual gearbox.
This transmission, like others of its kind – remembering that Audi, also a company within the Volkswagen Group, was a major innovator in this field several years ago – combines most of the best elements of a three-pedal transmission with those of a conventional torque converter auto.
While technically it is not an automatic gearbox, at the interface with the driver it behaves like one. The six-speed manual is standard. A minor facelift gives the 2011 Scout a more muscular, offroad image.
Skoda Australia has also released a high-spec Premium model, which adds niceties such as polished alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a sunroof to an already generous list of standard inclusions.
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Model release date: 1 March 2011 to 1 October 2013
March 2011Family Tree: Octavia
SKODA Australia launched its Octavia Scout in September 2008. The lack of either a petrol engine or an automatic transmission, along with a highish entry point of $39,990, put the newcomer on uneven terms with one of the sector’s long-time champions, Subaru’s Outback, which was some $3500 less expensive.
Even the Volkswagen Tiguan from the same stable seemed to offer better value, undercutting the Skoda by some $4K.
Like the Outback (closely related to the Liberty wagon), the Scout rode higher (40 mm) than the Octavia wagon on which it was based.
Good handling, some offroad ability, a spacious interior and strong diesel performance with economy in the order of six litres per 100 kilometres were strong points.
The fact that the Skoda name was still little known by Australian motorists did not help the Scout’s cause and it has been consistently close to the bottom of the sales charts.
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