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Skoda Fabia Scout Estate

Skoda estate is given a rugged makeover

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

WHILE the Octavia Scout comes with four-wheel drive and rides 35mm higher than the standard Octavia, the Fabia Scout adds nothing noteworthy to the package. Unless you like the more rugged-looking exterior, we’d opt for the similarly equipped Elegance Estate (which is £35 cheaper). Still, the newcomer is a decent-value family model that is fun to drive and combines the carrying ability of an SUV and running costs of a supermini.

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If you’re looking for a more rugged version of the Fabia Estate, then the Scout could be for you. Skoda says the model mates the versatility of an SUV with the running costs and price tag of a supermini.

The Scout is the Czech firm’s bid to lure 4x4 buyers away from their high-riding off-roaders, but has it been a success? We took to the road to find out.

Our car’s 90bhp 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine provides 250Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500rpm for a broad spread of urge, and strong mid-range acceleration. This means that, despite the unremarkable 0-62mph time of 12.7 seconds, the Scout feels lively around town. It’s also incredibly quiet when cruising at high speed.

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The icing on the cake is fuel economy of 67.3mpg – a figure which seems plausible given that we managed 55.6mpg on our varied route, including motorways. CO2 emissions of 109g/km result in annual road tax of only £35. The ride is comfortable enough, but our model was fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels – a £310 extra – and the low-profile rubber meant that potholes sent a crash through the cabin. We’d stick with the 16-inch alloys that come as standard.

Starting at £14,710, our car costs only £35 more than an Elegance trim Fabia Estate with the same engine, and offers a virtually identical equipment list. That means standard kit includes electric front and rear windows, heated door mirrors, cruise control and air-con.

Unlike the Octavia Scout – which gets four-wheel drive and a jacked-up ride height – the only real changes to the standard Fabia Estate are a special set of alloys, protective body mouldings and durable seat trims. Maximum boot space is a generous 1,485 litres.

While this latest Skoda is a decent family choice, it doesn’t provide the elevated driving position and 4x4 versatility that many buyers desire. Instead, it’s just a Fabia Estate with a few cosmetic tweaks and a slightly higher price tag.

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