Engine / Transmission: 2.0 litre – 7 Speed DSG automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.1L/100km combined
Price: From $59490 plus on roads
Top Gear considers the SKODA Superb Scout “the new best car in the world”. Yeah, OK, you’ve got my interest! My first impressions of the Scout after collecting the car from SKODA is that Top Gear might actually be on to something.
This is, without a doubt, the most impressive and fit for purpose set of wheels to grace the EFTM Garage. The fact that the regular Superb is a relatively rare sight on our roads speaks volumes to the conservative nature of Australian buyers.
Available as a lift-back hatch or wagon, the Superb range has garnered critical acclaim from all quarters, yet despite being hugely popular in Europe, just hasn’t made significant headway in the local market. This is a massive disservice to the Czech brand.
The Scout is fundamentally more competent than any SUV this side of a BMW X5 and is dynamically light years ahead of, say, a Toyota Kluger. Of course, this is because the Scout isn’t really an SUV at all – it is a regular Skoda Superb that has decided to only wear ‘activewear’ now that it no longer needs to go into the office.
Everything that you would imagine being included in a flagship model is included: wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, advanced passive and active safety features, customisable dash displays and magnificent full matrix LED headlights.
Many new cars come with almost criminally poor high beam lights. The Scout constantly adjusts any one of its fourteen LED headlights in order to reduce glare while maximising illumination. It is an epic system and far better than many aftermarket spotlights.
So, what about this “best car in the world” malarky? Well, what the Scout does amazingly well is to do everything amazing well. It is spacious with clever nets and hooks to make the cargo area useful.
Passenger comfort is blissful, with ample legroom front and back, heating, rear sunblinds and sumptuous suede. For the driver, steering is sharp and accurate, the Golf R sourced 2.0 turbo four sings, driver modes increase throttle and gear response and the brakes seem immune to fade.
Together, these factors combine to create what is the most complete and cohesive package I have ever seen. I am deeply impressed.
The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the suspension composure. I have no idea how a car that can handle that sharply can ride that smoothly. This is exactly what we should have been building locally and exporting to the world. The Scout is a very, very clever car.
Not So Impressive :
Unfortunately, this much good doesn’t come cheap. You will need a touch over $60k to land a Scout on your driveway.
Although this isn’t cheap for a five seat wagon, it is a better car in every way to sister company’s Volkswagen’s much, much more expensive Touareg.
Which gets me to thinking. Why would you spend any more than the $60k needed for the Scout on a new family car? I’ve really been giving this some serious thought and I can not think of a single reason. Not one.
If you are in the market for a five seat family car and you have a, say, $80k to $90k budget, don’t. Just don’t. Buy the Scout. Just do it. Don’t be a brand snob. Don’t convince yourself that you need ‘more off-road ability’. You don’t.
Don’t talk yourself into thinking that you might need to pick little Johnny and his mate up from school so you might need seven seats one day. You don’t. Tell them to catch the bus. JUST BUY THE SCOUT! It is my new ‘go-to recommendation’ for family and friends.
WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE:
You have to arrange a night drive. Find a quiet road and give the Scout a little squirt. The whole ‘Golf R hiding inside a Subaru Outback’ thing, together with rally lights is just so, so much fun.