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Back to Listers ŠKODA
By Steve Walker
Added 16th July, 2014
A cross between a compact 4x4 and an estate, the ŠKODA Octavia Scout will be a good option for buyers who either like the standard Octavia but want something a bit more visually exciting or who occasionally need to undertake light off-road driving. Like the standard Octavia Estate, the Scout is solidly built and very practical with a lot of thought having gone into adding value to the roomy load bay. The Scout's modifications do impact on the driving experience but not as much as you might imagine and the car is comfortable and reasonable responsive to drive.
The Octavia name - based on the latin for 'eight' - is an almost inseparable part of ŠKODA's history, dating all the way back to 1959 when it arrived to designate the eighth design produced by the Czech brand following World War II. In modern era guise, Octavias have sold prolifically, enough, if placed end-to-end, to fill all three lanes of the complete M25.
But those sales of course date back to a time when this was a slightly smaller and much less sophisticated car. This third generation Octavia was an altogether more sophisticated thing, a car you can electronically tweak to suit both your mood and the road you're on. A ŠKODA that can automatically park itself, brake itself or dip its own headlights. A ŠKODA in fact that can do everything you'd expect a comparable Audi to do - at a substantial price saving.
There's a cost for that of course: don't expect one of these to be super-cheap on the used market - in the way that family-minded ŠKODAs used to be. But you're getting a lot more for your money with this MK3 model Octavia. If you doubt that, then try one. It might surprise you.
All the things that made the old Yeti so appealing remain with this Karoq model. It's spacious, safe, drives well, has a cool but understated image and is affordable to run. In short, what we have here is a class act in a market full of try-hard rivals and a car that strikes an appealing chord between practicality, quality and fashion.
True, some of the rivals it has to face are larger, more hi-tech or more efficient. Most of them are pricier too though and it's that very affordability that'll keep this ŠKODA in the frame for customers who want a more interesting and flexible alternative to yet another Qashqai clone in this class. It's a car that transcends lifestyle snobbery. A family car that doesn't shout 'family'. And a Crossover you could be genuinely pleased to own.
ŠKODA's Karoq is targeted right into the heart of the industry's fast-growing SUV 'C'-segment. Jonathan Crouch tries a 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out what this spacious 'Qashqai-class' Crossover has to offer.
ŠKODA has replaced its popular Yeti SUV with this car, the Karoq. Jonathan Crouch looks at what this small but spacious compact Crossover has to offer.
So. How to sum up? Well, think about the reasons people buy small cars: ease of use, low running costs, practicality. This one seems to very effectively tick a lot of those boxes - but then the Fabia always has. In its first two generations of life though, this supermini lacked something of a spark - that 'want one' factor. Which meant that when it came to developing this MK3 model, ŠKODA knew they had to somehow build that into the design DNA.
To some extent, they've done this. A bit of extra effort's been made to personalise the car inside and out but you still won't be buying this model to make a fashion statement or to impress the neighbours - and you certainly won't buy it to corner on your door handles. Fabia customers tend to be beyond all that sort of thing. Instead, in this ŠKODA, they'll recognise a sensible, state-of-the-art supermini in every way fit for purpose in an increasingly demanding modern world.
Of course it ought to be. As part of the Volkswagen Group, ŠKODA has access to some of the finest vehicle technologies going, many of which are showcased here. The Fabia doesn't make a song and dance about this cleverness but look beneath the unassuming surface and there's a highly accomplished package that's only made more appealing by the price. True, the end result may not be the car you always dreamed of owning. It could though, very well be the one you actually need.
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