Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Octavia Scout - 1st Report
11 June 2008
Author: Alisdair Suttie
 Steering wheel stereo controls
It's said moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, so taking delivery of a new car in the middle of the mayhem was a welcome distraction.
Fortunately, the Skoda Octavia Scout  2.0 TDi PD 140 also doubled as a removal van and has already proved its estate credentials with several trips to the local recycling and refuse centre.
So why choose an Octavia Scout, other than for lugging goods from one house to another? Well, living north of the border in rural Perthshire means a 4x4 is very handy, and one that's easy on fuel bills is even more appealing. The increased fuel efficiency of the diesel engine easily balances out the initial outlay compared to the petrol-powered Scout, while carbon dioxide emissions of 173g/km also compare very favourably with the 2.0-litre petrol Scout's 207g/km.
Another reason for choosing the Scout over compact 4x4 rivals is that it will spend a lot of time on country roads and the motorway, and the Skoda offers better handling and greater refinement. Both attributes have already made their mark, while the strength of the diesel engine makes it easy to pass tourist traffic out to view the scenery. So far, economy is averaging 40.4mpg against a claimed combined consumption of 44.1, helped by the car already being run-in when it arrived with some 14,000 miles on the odometer.
The Scout comes with a considerable list of standard equipment. There's climate control, six-disc CD autochanger, steering wheel stereo controls , cruise control, four electric windows, MP3 connector, rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers. The only option is metallic paint that cost £350. A sunroof would have been nice, too, but that cost £665 so we will live without it.
Mind you, a sunroof might have proved handy when transporting some of the bigger plants during the house move, but I'm not going to get stressed about this because the Octavia Scout is so far proving to be very relaxing.