Go anywhere practicality is what the Skoda Octavia Scout is all about. Like the mechanically similar Seat Leon X-Perience, the Scout matches an estate bodystyle with four-wheel drive and a raised ride height. It’s a great combination for four-season towing.
Space-wise, the Skoda is a better bet than the Seat. The boot is even bigger (although it’s a close-run thing), but it’s in the back of the car that the Octavia shows itself to be the more practical family estate. There’s a lot more legroom for rear-seat passengers.
As a tow car, though, the Skoda isn’t quite a match for the Seat. The Scout is less powerful, so it’s 2.6 seconds slower from 30-60mph than the Seat. (It’s worth noting that the Skoda is also available with the X-Perience’s more powerful engine.)
It’s also not quite a match for the stability of the very best tow cars. In still air, our drivers had no trouble all the way to 70mph, but in a crosswind the car did move around a little. It didn’t boss the caravan with the same authority as the finest tow cars in the lane-change test, either, although when the van grew wayward, the Skoda always pulled it straight again.
In the hill-start test, we wished the Scout had an electronic parking brake. It took a firm pull to hold car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope. Otherwise the engine’s low-down torque and the four-wheel-drive transmission made the rest of the manoeuvre hassle-free.