Skoda ups ante with $32,990 Octavia Scout wagon
SKODA means serious business in Australia, releasing the new Octavia Scout wagon from $32,990 plus on-roads along with an assured value program.
The new pricing is $7000 lower than the first generation Scout.
Also new are an additional two engine options, with the 2015 Skoda Scout available with a 2.0-litre 110kW or 135kW four-cylinder turbo diesel, or a 1.8-litre four-cylinder 132kW petrol.
The petrol model, expected to claim about half of all Scout sales starts from $38,590, while the up-rated diesel will retail for $41,390.
That entry-level variant undercuts the just-launched Subaru Forester 2.0D-L $35,490 - but the Forester comes with an automatic transmission at that price, whereas the self-shifter in the Scout costs an extra $5600 over the base model. The slightly larger Subaru Outback with a manual diesel also starts from $35,490, while the medium SUV segment's most popular vehicle, the Mazda CX-5, starts from $32,060 for its petrol-powered all-wheel drive with an automatic transmission.
Compared to the standard Octavia wagon, the Scout has a ride height raised by 31mm, giving a useful 171mm of ground clearance.
Giving extra credence to its rough-road capability is the Haldex 5 all-wheel-drive system, which operates mainly in front-wheel drive and calls the rear into action when wheelspin is detected on slippery surfaces.
Those keen to tackle the tough stuff regularly would need to consider upgrading from the space saver spare.
The Skoda Octavia Scout has excellent bloodlines, sharing its underpinnings with the likes of the VW Golf 7 and Audi A4. It sits on the much-lauded MQB platform with a range of components which weigh less but prove stronger (collectively it weighs 29kg less than its predecessor).
All models come with nine airbags, rear view camera with boot-mounted parking sensors and a fatigue detection system.
Base diesel specification includes a 14.7cm touch-screen with Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, CD stereo with USB/auxiliary and SD card inputs, cruise control, air con, 17-inch alloys and an air-conditioned glovebox.
Both other models are regarded as "Premium", and get 11 additional features incorporating Alcantara leather seat trim, 20.3cm touch-screen 'Columbus' unit with satellite navigation, dual zone air conditioning, tinted glass, heated front seats, dual zone air con and an automatic tailgate.
The entry level car can be optioned a Premium Pack, which gets all of the 11 extras for $4400 (which Skoda estimates is collectively worth about $7500).
Available on all three engine variants is a Tech Pack which features a range of safety extras for $3900 on 110TDI and 132TSI models, while it costs $3300 on the 135TDI variants.
The Tech Pack line-up includes radar cruise control and City Emergency Brake (available on the 110TDI and 132TSI only), bi-xenon headlights, automatic parking function with front and rear sensors, Canton sound system, advanced keyless entry with push button start, selection of drive modes and a new camera-based Lane Assist system which can automatically steer the car to stay within the lines.
Model: Skoda Octavia Scout.
Details: Five-door five-seat all-wheel drive wagon.
Engines: 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel generating maximum power of 110kW @ 3500-4000rpm and peak torque of 340Nm @ 1750-3000rpm; 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol 132kW @ 4500-6200rpm and 280Nm 1350-4500rpm; 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel 135kW @ 3500-4000rpm and 380Nm @ 1750-3250rpm.
Transmissions: Six-speed manual (TDI110 only) or six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Consumption: 110TDI - 5.3 litres/100km (combined average); 132TSI - 7.1L/100km; 135TDI - 5.3L/100km.
CO2: 110TDI - 134g/km; 132TSI - 163g/km; 135TDI - 139g/km.
Performance 0-100kmh: 110TDI - 9.1 seconds; 132TSI - 7.8 seconds; 135TDI - 7.8 seconds.
Towing: 110TDI - 1800kg (braked); 132TSI -1600kg, 135TDI -1800kg. Tow ball rating 80kg.
Bottom line plus on-roads: 110TDI $32,990, 132TSI $38,590, 135TDI $41,390.