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.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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