Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Octavia Scout - 5th Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Octavia Scout - 5th Report

Date: 18 December 2008   |   Author: Alisdair Suttie

Scout on water

If you ever wondered why I chose a Skoda Octavia Scout over a standard estate version, the local roads that have doubled as aqueducts recently are a more than sufficient answer.

The Scout's extra height may not make it a serious off-roader, but then I'm not fussed about that. What I do need, however, is a car that can cope with deep puddles and small rivers that form over many of the country roads surrounding where I live. For this, the Scout is ideally adapted, especially when you have to use these roads to get to the more major routes for my frequent airport trips.

This is not to say the Scout cannot cope with occasional forays onto forest tracks. The Haldex four-wheel drive system sends power to the rear wheels when the fronts begin to falter and it's proved very handy a couple of times when pulling out of more remote car parks. On a more practical note, the four-wheel drive has also given me plenty of confidence now that the roads are turning icy.

An audible buzzer in the Scout lets me know when the temperature has dropped into the ice-forming zone and a warning flashes up in the on-board computer screen between the two main dials. This is a welcome aid, but one buzz that made itself known recently was greeted much less enthusiastically. The small speaker in the driver's door that sits behind the door handle reminded me of its presence when it began to crackle and distort the silky tones of Radio 4's Jim Naughtie one morning.

As I was on another long drive, this was especially annoying as I had to endure the crackle all day or go without the radio or iPod, and there was no way of having it fixed immediately. On my return trip the following day, I was planning to call the local Skoda dealer as soon as I returned home, but the crackle had gone and the speaker has been fine ever since.

Other than that, the Octavia Scout has soldiered on through the worsening weather with ease. I only wish it had heated seats now that I've had to start scraping the windscreen of ice.