Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Skoda - Octavia - Scout 5-dr wagon

Our Opinion

We like
Long overdue DSG automatic, fuel economy, good ride, commodious interior, fit and finish
Room for improvement
Diesel engine is a bit tardy, steepish pricing

4 Apr 2011

UNTIL now, Skoda Australia has not been able to access a two-pedal variant of its Skoda Octavia Scout from Europe, where they still prefer manual gearboxes.

Skoda Australia boss Matthew Wiesner says it was part of the learning curve, namely which models would Australians like.

Well, more than 80 per cent of customers who rocked up to Skoda showrooms were only interested in buying one if it came with a self-shifting transmission. Few Australians, says Mr Wiesner, wanted to buy a manual wagon.

Now, the problem has been solved – the six-speed twin-clutch DSG is here to answer the call at the premium end of the Scout range.

The problem is that the new box is bolted on to one of the less impressive Volkswagen Group diesel engines.

With just 103kW on tap from the 2.0-litre engine, the Scout’s power-to-weight ratio is marginal, sometimes feeling tardy on our test drive through mountains out of Coolangatta.

The 320Nm of torque through much of the mid-range does its best to compensate, but it is difficult to see how a fully loaded Scout would satisfy any Aussie driver accustomed to, say, a Falcon wagon.

The vehicle that Skoda sees as the main rival for its Scout, the Subaru Outback, is hardly a star performer, although in diesel form it is significantly ahead of the Scout.

Subaru’s boxer diesel has 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The Outback 2.0D weighs almost exactly the same as its would-be rival. While neither of these numbers looks dramatically better than the Skoda’s, it’s the combination that counts. You don’t notice it so much on flat roads but when you climb those hills around Nimbin …

There was no opportunity to test the DSG transmission in conditions where this type often displays failings – stop-start driving where there can be a delay in take-up from a standing start.

But the shifts demonstrated no jerkiness, nor the kind of flaccid initial acceleration that goes with the worst examples of a dual-clutch automated manual gearbox (don’t mention the Alfa MiTo TCT!).

Despite a shortfall in performance, the Scout still delivers an enjoyable driving experience.

It has superior steering feel to any current Audi and probably edges out the Outback on driving dynamics. Despite the 180mm ride height, there is little body roll and the Scout feels planted on the road.

It turns into corners with aplomb and minimum understeer. Larger bumps are felt but ride quality is generally supple.

The Subaru has more rear legroom but this is an academic detail because both wagons offer generous room for five occupants. Furthermore, when used in this manner the Skoda provides 580 litres of luggage space to the Outback’s 490. Fold the rear seat and you’ll get 1620 litres into the Czech wagon and 1690 into the Subey.

The price gap between the two competitors is just $500, with the Scout Premium DSG at $43,990 and the Outback Premium in 2.0D guise $43,990. But the Subaru has full leather upholstery while the Scout blends leather and alcantara.

The skinny bottles of water handed out at the start of the drive program drew attention to a minor design fault which could loom larger on a lifestyle vehicle such as the Scout. Its cupholders are hopeless, way too shallow, and we never solved the problem of where to stow the bottles.

Many buyers will prefer the tailored European look of the Scout to the Subaru’s confused edginess.

In summary, the Scout is impressively well finished, neatly styled and offers a rewarding drive under most conditions. With its state-of-the-art VAG dual-clutch gearbox, outstanding quality and undoubted versatility, the Scout showcases the ‘affordable European’ brand values of Skoda in impressive fashion.

Shame it doesn’t have one of VW’s more powerful diesels.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Octavia

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Octavia pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here