Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Skoda keeps getting better

SKODA really is coming up trumps with its latest range, which now look and feel better than parent company VW's own cars.

I've just come back from ten days holiday in Ireland and the Octavia Scout I used for the trip was superb, with good comfort and marvellous handling and road holding.

It was powered by the latest 1.8 TSi petrol engine, with loads of urge on tap and a six-speed gearbox for best economy.

But it also has completely automatic four wheel drive, where the rear wheels only come into action when the front ones start to slip.

This is a fantastic system which works brilliantly, not only for fairly tough off-road work but on road in slippery conditions.

They launched the original Scout up above the arctic circle in winter and the snow and ice of Lapland showed just how good this system is.


The Octavia is spacious and refined, with the only a slightly unsettled ride caused by big alloys and very low profile tyres.

If you buy one, go for the smaller wheels and higher profile tyres, which give greatly improved comfort in any car, with little loss of grip or handling.


Skoda Octavia Scout

Price: £18,750

Mechanical: 158bhp, 1,798cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 131mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined mpg: 34

Insurance group: 12

CO2 emissions: 182g/km

BIK rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

Marks: 9/10

Main rival: Audi A4 Avant

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