Four-wheel drive as standard means that both versions get all-independent suspension, although there’s no greater ground clearance here and no heavy-duty shock absorbers. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Dueler SUV-intended tyres do come as standard, as does Skoda’s ‘rough road’ package (which gets you some protective panelling for the car’s engine, underbody and wheel arches – although it, too, can be had as an option on other Karoq derivatives).
You can augment the specification of your Scout if you choose to, meanwhile, with either ‘dynamic chassis control’ adaptive damping, variable-ratio ‘progressive’ steering, or both (although our test car had neither).
What's it like?
Surprisingly practical and functional; pretty comfortable and easy to use; and more than respectable to drive – although it’s not the most rugged, go-anywhere device for the money, nor is it particularly enticing on the road. That’s the short answer.
The Karoq Scout squeezes plenty of usable space into one of the crossover class’s smaller overall footprints. It gets Skoda’s ‘varioflex’ back seats as standard, which slide forward and backwards to trade boot space for passenger room, or can be removed entirely for maximum loading capacity.
Adults will find decent accommodation in the second row, with plenty of footspace under the front seats, reasonable leg room and good under-thigh seat support. There are air vents and a 12V power supply for those in the back seats, too, as well as usable picnic tables that fold out from the front seatbacks and are solid enough to support a laptop or tablet computer without depositing the same abruptly onto your groin when the car hits a bump. As far as second-row folding tray tables can be, they’re good ones.
In the boot, the Karoq Scout forgoes the option of a variable-height boot floor. It has got useful storage cubbies on both sides of the loading area, however, and very handy load-securing hooks on both sides also which slide fore and aft and can be used to keep shopping bags upright or to stop them from moving around. Take the back seats out entirely and you can accommodate up to 1810 litres of cargo in this car – more than you get in some SUVs that are considerably larger and more expensive – so it’d certainly make your monthly recycling centre visits more productive.
Just like the Karoq’s otherwise slightly dowdy and derivative exterior, the Karoq Scout’s cabin ambience is certainly the better for the addition of some extra decoration. Scout trim brings with it two-tone upholstery for the car’s comfortable and fairly widely adjustable front seats, and some slightly unconvincing though not unpleasant wood veneer for the door cards. You can pay extra for fully digital instruments and a 9.2in ‘Columbus’ touchscreen infotainment system if you want to, but our test car had neither and didn’t seem much the poorer for the omissions. The standard 8.0in infotainment set-up looks great and is easy to navigate, particularly so since it retains physical knobs for volume and navigation map scale, while the car’s analogue instruments are well-presented and readable. Perceived quality is mostly good, although there are some harder mouldings on the car’s lower transmission tunnel and door consoles that aren’t as pleasant on the eye or to touch as they might be.