Twin Test: 4x4 Estates

  • Find out which 4x4 estate comes out on top in our latest twin test
  • Driving, practicality and cost all considered
  • Octavia Scout and A4 Allroad both have good points

Not everyone’s a fan of high-up, bulky 4x4s. The Octavia Scout and A4 Allroad mix the nimble handling and long load space of an estate car with the extra traction of all-wheel-drive.Which is the better buy?

Skoda Octavia Scout (2007-2012) vs Audi A4 Allroad (2009 on)

The Audi A4 Allroad.

Driving

Raised suspension enables the Scout to tackle muddy ruts, snow and unmade roads even if serious off-roading is a no go. On road, it’s more agile than traditional 4x4s and there’s a choice of a thirsty 2.0-litre petrol or a more torquey 2.0-litre diesel. In 2009, a 1.8-litre petrol replaced the 2.0-litre one.

With ride height 180mm higher than the regular A4 Avant and better front and rear clearance, the Allroad is similarly well-suited to muddy tracks and wintry conditions. Engine choice includes the same 2.0-litre petrol you’ll find in the 2009 Golf GTI, an economical 2.0-litre diesel and a brawny 3.0-litre diesel.

The Octavia Scout's boot.

Practicality

Just like the regular Octavia estate, there’s a huge, easy-to-load boot and split rear seats that fold flat to accommodate flat-pack furniture, bikes and pretty much anything else you can throw at it. The boot measures 580 litres and with the seats down there’s 1,620 litres on offer. Every car has roof rails and inside there are plenty of storage areas for smaller items.

Boot space is 490 litres with the seats up and 1,430 when they’re folded down – not as good as the Scout but enough for most families’ needs. The rear seats split and fold flat and a reversible wipe-clean boot mat helps with muddy boots or pets. Braked towing weight of up to 1,900kg is a big plus point, beating the Scout’s 1,700kg best.

The Octavia Scout's diesel powerplant.

Costs

The manual 2.0 TDI CR diesel gives a claimed 47mpg average and CO2 emissions of 155g/km (£180a year in VED tax). Skoda servicing and parts are pretty affordable too. Depreciation isn’t a major concern andinsurance is good for this size of car. The Octavia also performs very well in owner satisfaction surveys.

Go for the post-2012 2.0 TDI diesel for a claimed average of 48mpg and CO2 emissions of 153g/km (also £180 VED) with manual gears. Pre-2012 models aren’t quite as good on mpg. Maintenance shouldn’t be much more expensive than a standard A4 Avant, though Audi servicing isn’t cheap. Insurance is costlier than the Scout.

  Skoda Octavia Scout Audi A4 Allroad

Engine:

Power:

0-60mph:

Economy:

Fuel capacity:

Road tax:

Insurance groups:

Boot capacity:

CO2 emissions:

Petrol and Diesel, 1.8-2.0 litres

138-157bhp

8.1-9.9 seconds

32-47mpg

55-60 litres

£180-£285

16-20

580-1620 litres

155-207g/km

Petrol and Diesel, 2.0-3.0 litres

167-241bhp

6.0-8.6 seconds

38-48mpg

61 litres

£180-£265

26-33

490-1430 litres

153-194g/km

Verdict

Skoda Octavia Scout - Winner

It may lack the Audi’s glossy premium feel but the Scout is a worthy winner. More practical, cheaper to service and insure and a car you’d be less worried about getting muddy, it’s the sensible choice.

There’s an awful lot to like about the A4 Allroad. Good to drive, well-built and with a lovely interior, it’s a real feel-good product, if less of a willing workhorse than the Scout. Problem, is you’ll have to stump up a bit more cash to buy and to run.