Skoda Kodiaq Scout First Drive Review: A capable and comfortable SUV

Overall rating: 4.5

Does the Skoda Kodiaq Scout bring something new to the table? Is it just a visual makeover of is there more than meets the eye? We answer these and all the other question related to this new variant of Skoda flagship SUV in India in this review.

By: | Updated: October 21, 2019 7:10 AM

Skoda has recently launched a new variant of the Kodiaq in India. Called as the Scout, it comes with a number of visual updates which are aimed at giving this SUV a rugged appearance. We recently got the opportunity to test drive vehicle from the city of Nagpur to the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. In this review, I am going to be answering five key questions related to the Skoda Kodiaq Scout highlighting all the unique features and what makes it stand out from the rest of the variants. Read along!

First, let's talk about the exteriors. Are they any different from the rest of the variants?

Well, not really. The exterior design of the Scout is identical to the Style and L&K variants. That said, it does get skid plates on the front as well as the rear bumpers. In addition to this, Scout comes with 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels.

Furthermore, the roof rails, on this variant have been blacked out. Also, the front fenders come with Scout badging while the ORVMs are covered in silver finish. One of the other major changes that you will see on the Scout is the Skoda lettering on the back of the boot lid.

This replaces the Skoda logo in sync with the Czech automaker's latest design language. Thanks to the visual updates on the front and rear bumpers, the Scout is 8 mm longer than the rest of the variants.

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The Kodiaq Scout continues to come with full-LED headlamps, LED tail-lamps, a panoramic sun-roof among other exterior highlights. With the addition of the new visual updates, the Scout manages to look slightly rugged and trendy in comparison to the Style and L&K trims.

What are the major changes that you see inside the cabin?

The layout of all the panels inside the cabin remains the same as before. However, the dashboard, instead of the beige colour scheme, now gets an all-black treatment. Similarly, the seats are now wrapped in black Alcantara leather. There is Scout badging on the panel in front of the passenger as well as on the front and the rear seat headrests.

All that said, the Scout does miss out on some of the features which are available on the top-spec L&K variants. For instance, it does not get the fully-digital, virtual cockpit instrument cluster. Also, it misses out on the 360-degree surround-view camera. Furthermore, the Scout does not get

Apart from this, the Skoda Kodiaq Scout gets all the bells and whistles. The feature list includes 12-way adjustable driver and passenger seat, three-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10-speaker Canton Sound system, cruise control, hands-free park assist and the lot.

In terms of safety, the Skoda Kodiaq Scout comes with 9-airbags, electronic stability control, multi-collision braking system, an adaptive front light system with automatic headlight levelling and all the other basic equipment required to meet the new safety norms in India.

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What about the engine and transmission options? Are they any different?

Well, no! The Skoda Kodiaq Scout comes with the same 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine which is capable of churning out 150 hp of power along with 340 Nm of peak torque. This engine is paired to a 7-speed, DSG automatic gearbox. The engine is smooth and refined while the gearbox offers slick shifts.

There is a little bit of turbo-lag, below 1,400 rpm, however, once past this threshold, the engine build up speed effortlessly. Skoda hasn't changed the suspension set-up of the Kodiaq Scout. And hence, it continues to behave the same as before. Since the suspension is inclined slightly towards the stiffer side, sharper bumps filter inside the cabin at lower speeds. However, once this SUV picks up pace, almost nothing is allowed to filter inside the cabin.

Apart from the Sport, Eco, Individual, Normal and Snow mode, the Skoda Kodiaq Scout comes with an additional off-road mode. It operates at speeds of up to 30 kmph and adjusts the characteristics of the engine, electronic assistants and traction control system.

When activated, the system shows a compass alongside the dials for engine temperature, altitude as well as for the direction in which your wheels are pointing, on the infotainment screen.

The Skoda Kodiaq comes with a four-wheel-drive system as standard. And the same has been carried over to the Scout as well. Ground clearance remains the same as before. We did some mild off-roading in this SUV and it didn't bottom out once. The newly added off-road mode further makes things easier.

The hill descent control also helps the cause and is very intuitive. On the whole, the Kodiaq Scout comes across as an all-rounder. It's stable and comfortable under normal circumstances, and at the same time, performs impressively off the road as well.

What is the price difference?

The Skoda Kodiaq Scout is priced at Rs 33.99 lakh (ex-showroom). In comparison, the Style and the L&K variants cost Rs 35.36 lakh and Rs 36.78 lakh respectively. This brings me to the last and final question...

Should you buy one?

The Skoda Kodiaq Scout is priced more than a lakh lesser in comparison to the Style and L&K variants. Though it does misses out on some features, such as the virtual cockpit instrument cluster and the 360-degree surround-view camera, but it still comes across as a well-equipped offering in its segment. With the additional off-road bits, such as the skid-plates and the new alloy wheels, it manages to look unique as well. So, if you are looking for a premium SUV which is decently equipped, offers a comfortable ride and comes with a refined engine and can do mild off-roading, you should definitely consider the Skoda Kodiaq Scout.

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