The Škoda flagship Kodiaq has been around in India for around 2 years. It has been the go-to option for many who want all the luxury and novelty that comes with vehicles from Škoda but also want the option of having 7 seats in their SUV. Now Czech car maker has gone ahead and launched the Kodiaq Scout which gets some additional features over the earlier models but also misses out on a few others. Škoda says the Kodiaq offers unique aesthetics on the outside along with providing better off road character. The company chose a fantastic route for us to sample the car as we headed to the Pench National park in Madhya Pradesh from India’s orange city Nagpur.

Looks

There are many attributes on the outside that differentiate the Scout from the Style or L&K variants of the Kodiaq. The square wheel arches now house dual-tone anthracite 18-inch trinity alloy wheels. The SUV also gets angular mud flaps with plastic edges, protective sill covers and underbody rough road package that aim to make your hill ascents and descents smoother. Silver roof railings and those matte silver wing mirror housings add the exclusivity the Scout is longing for. There’s a Scout plaque sitting on the front fenders along with ‘ŠKODA’ in block lettering on the tailgate instead of the company’s logo, a first for a Škoda car in India. The LED headlamps with illuminated “eyelashes” find their way inside the Scout too. Fog lamps are placed rather high near the grille showing the off-road ambitions of the car. At the rear, the SUV dons crystalline elements in the typical C-shape LED taillights.

 Interiors

The cabin too provides some variations; for starters the car gets brushed wooden décor on the dash as well as on the doors. Another thing that stands out is the black alcantara leather upholstery that makes the car feel really up market. The cabin also gets LED ambient lighting, in ten colour options along with an electrically-adjustable panoramic sunroof that comes with a bounce back system for safety. However, a car as big and luxurious as the Scout misses out on a virtual cockpit and a 360 degree surround view camera. The 20.32 cm capacitive touch display features a glass design and gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink as standard. The 575 watt canton sound system with 10 speakers, including subwoofer does a great job. Some more luxury features include a 3-zone climate control and electrically adjustable front seats. And don’t miss out on simply clever features like power nap package, hands-free parking and a digital voice enhancement feature, which transmits the driver’s and front passenger’s voice to the passengers in the rear via a microphone in the cockpit, thereby facilitating a smooth interaction among occupants. With the third row folded the car offers an impressive boot space of 630 litres.

Engine

Just like the other variants of the Kodiaq the Scout too gets just a diesel engine option. The 2.0 litre TDI engine generates 150 PS of maximum power and a peak torque output of 340 Nm. A 7-speed DSG gearbox does the duty on the Kodiaq and it is amongst the better performing shifts you’ll come across, especially in SUVs. All that torque really comes in handy during gear changes and sudden overtaking maneuvers. The company says the car delivers a fuel efficiency figure of 16.25 km/l and gets to a top speed of 194 km/h. There are 5 driving modes on offer namely Eco, Normal, Sport, and Individual modes as well as the Snow Mode. The settings for the steering, throttle and even the AC amongst other things change to give you desired drive feel and this is where individuality really kicks in.

Ride & Handling

The suspension works well for the broken roads as we realized driving both on the wide national highway as well narrow forest paths that were paved as well as unpaved. Stability at high speeds is very good and you really remain insulated from the exterior sounds. What really adds to the variety is the off-road mode which is designed to adjust the characteristics of the engine, electronic assistants, and stability control systems. At the press of a button the infotainment system displays activated functions like the steering wheel angle, the compass, the altimeter, and the oil and coolant temperature. The system operates at speeds of up to 30 km/h and is quite helpful in extreme terrains.

Verdict

The Kodiaq Scout is priced at Rs 33.99 lacs (ex-showroom). That makes it a little more affordable than other Kodiaq variants that start at Rs 35.36 lakh. The distinction is very clear you should go for the Scout if you’re ok with a little less bling and like to have an added dash of adventure.  And it also gets safety features like nine airbags (best in segment) and fatigue alert which detects signs of fatigue in the driver and prompts him or her to take a break. Finally if you’re concerned about the ownership experience the company says they’ve got that covered too. The Škoda shield plus incorporates insurance, 24×7 road side assistance and an extended warranty to take care of first 6 years of ownership.

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