Performance – Despite badging the Scout as an off-roader, Skoda has shied away from offering a more powerful engine on this one. Hence, it runs on the same 2.0-litre diesel unit that cranks 150 PS of power and 340 Nm of torque. The SUV is heavy, weighs 1820 kgs (kerb weight), does not get Superb’s 180 PS unit but still doesn’t feel underpowered. The engine is mostly quiet for an oil-burner but growls when you grind the throttle to overtake or reach the 2500 RPM mark. Mated to a 7-speed DSG, the SUV offers very smooth gear shifts. What’s new is the addition of an all-exclusive off-road mode in addition to the other 5 driving modes – Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow. Functional under a speed of 30 km/hr, the new mode alters the engine, traction and electronics of the car to get you out of tricky situations or surprising leopard sightings at Pench.
Driving Dynamics – The plush, broad seats come in handy when the Scout wobbles over speed-breakers and broken roads because the suspension is a little on the stiffer side. Does the suspension handle well? Oh, absolutely yes. Could it have been a little better? Ah, yes to that too. You get some body-roll while cornering but the steering! The steering brought a smile on my face if I already wasn’t smirking. I was greeted by unfazed cattle on the road and the Scout’s precise steering and handling made it fell like a walk in the park. Kind of where they belong. The brakes bite hard and will bring you to a neck-breaking halt if not applied with caution.