Skoda Superb Scout: the SUV you have when you don’t want an SUV
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Skoda Superb Scout
- Smooth and fast
- Extra character of Scout styling
- Bigger boot than a Kodiaq SUV
- Only a small increase in ride height
- DSG can be niggly in town
- Cabin short on design verve
I think we’re all now wise to the fact that traditional station wagons offer all of the space and practicality of an equivalent SUV, while also being nicer to drive. In most instances, what the wildly popular SUV concept brings is really just a higher driving position and a more rugged visual style.
Skoda can offer you some of the former and a lot of the latter in the new Superb Scout.
If you don’t want an actual Skoda SUV (it has three now, so plenty to choose from), the Superb is a truly vast wagon with 660l of luggage space – 30l more than the brand’s largest SUV, the Kodiaq, at least when it’s in five-seat configuration. The Kodiaq still offers seven seats and the luggage bay is bigger when everything’s folded down, but not by much: 2005l versus 1950l for the Superb.
And that off-roady thing? Skoda has always offered what it calls a “Rough Road” package for its all-wheel drive wagons that raises the ride height by 15mm, but this is the first time the Superb has been available with the full Scout package: SUV-like styling addenda including new bumpers, underbody cladding and plastic trim on the wheel arches and side sills.
Actually, the Superb wagon can now go up or down. Our Scout test car is 15mm higher than normal, but the flagship Sportline is 15mm lower than standard. You have the choice.
Don’t get too excited about the Scout’s elevation. It’s hardly hard-core and the Scout still has some long overhang at the back, so it’s a soft-roader at best; or a rough-roader as Skoda would argue. It still feels car-like in the cabin rather than having a “command” seating position like you’d get in an SUV.
But it is a great thing to drive. The Scout gets Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous 2.0l turbo-petrol TSI engine in a high state of tune: with 200kW/350Nm, the Scout can sprint to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and the new model gets a seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), compared with the six-speed transmission of the previous high-power Superb.
Canterbury | Christchurch
$225.87 p/w $903.48 p/m
Canterbury | Christchurch
$540.48 p/w $2,161.90 p/m
Straight-line speed aside, it’s not a road-warrior by any stretch.
The Superb has always been about a pseudo-luxury experience and the Scout is no different: cushy ride, relaxed handling gait and typically Skoda attention to detail inside in terms of ergonomics and minor storage.
It’s a hugely likeable thing, not least because it’s huge. And, well, because it’s a Skoda station wagon. This is a type of vehicle with a bit of a cult following: think Subaru Outback, Volvo Cross Country and even another Volkswagen Group product, the Audi Allroad. It makes you feel good.
SKODA SUPERB SCOUT
ENGINE: 2.0l turbo-petrol four
GEARBOX: 7-speed automated dual-clutch gearbox, AWD
PROS: Smooth and fast, extra character of Scout styling, bigger boot than a Kodiaq SUV.
CONS: Modest increase in ride height, DSG can be niggly in town, cabin short on design verve.