The Skoda Kodiaq was launched in India back in 2017. It has since then made a mark for itself as a premium 7-seater SUV for those who desire European quality, combined with best in class safety. To top up the Kodiaq lineup, Skoda launched the Laurin & Klement variant towards the end of last year. The Skoda Kodiaq L&K is the top of the line SUV. Come 2019, Skoda decided to come up with an all-new variant namely the Skoda Kodiaq Scout. We drove the Kodiaq Scout all throughout the Nagpur-Pench corridor and the SUV is impressive to say the least.
Now lets find out what makes the Kodiaq Scout different from the other variants. On the outside, the Kodiaq Scout gets very subtle changes, for starters the Skoda family Butterfly grille now loses the chrome vertical slats instead gets the black ones. The front bumper now gets a silver finished faux bash plate which gives the SUV some off-road character. The adaptive LED headlights are the same with the crystalline effect and the illuminated eyelashes type DRL’s placed on it. Cornering lights are neatly placed right below the headlights on the bumper which gives the Kodiaq Scout’s face the unconventional look. Then you have the thick character line on the middle of the long bonnet with the prominently placed winged arrow Skoda logo. The side profile gets a sharp waistline along with more character lines on the doors and fenders, giving the SUV a strong muscular look. A thick black plastic cladding is placed across the running board which differentiates the Scout from other variants. You also get silver finished roof rails that enhances Scout’s look from the side. Also, the ORVM’s now gets a classy looking aluminium finished housing instead of the body coloured ones. This variant comes with special Scout plaque on either side of the front fenders which again tells the variants apart. Just like on the front, the rear bumper also gets a silver finished scuff plates. But, the most prominent change on the rear is the omission of the winged-arrow badge and instead it gets Skoda written in bold chrome lettering which boldly states that this is a Skoda!
The unique feature which the Kodiaq L&K had
is the door protector guards that mechanically popped up when the doors are opened and retract right back in when the doors are shut is sorely missed on the Kodiaq Scout. The Kodiak Scout drives on an 18-inch dual-tone multi-spokes alloys as part of the standard equipment.
On the inside, the changes include omission of the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit instrumentation which is now replaced by the conventional dial and a 4-inch MID which sits right in the middle of the analog dials. The other big omission on the Scout trim is the 360 degree surround parking camera. As opposed to the beige upholstery on the L&K the Scout comes with a sporty looking dark interiors finished with Alcantara leather seats with the Scout inscription and the doors also gets the alcantara leather inserts. The dashboard now gets faux brushed wood inserts with ‘Scout’ inscription which gives the SUV a very upmarket feel. The 8-inch infotainment system remains the same as on the other variants, with a decent sounding 10-speaker Canton audio system which also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other features such as hands-free parking, 12-way adjustable powered front seats, a panoramic sunroof, 3-zone climate control and an electric tailgate also comes on the Kodiaq Scout. Safety features include 9-airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, hands-free parking, rear parking camera with washer, fatigue alert and additionally it gets the hill descent control. Some clever features include Power Nap package with 2 blankets in the middle rows outer headrests. Wet case in both front doors with 2 Skoda branded umbrellas. 3 boot lamps of which one can be removed and used as a guide light like a torch extremely helpful in our opinion.
On the engine and transmission front, the Kodiaq Scout remains the same with the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, pushing out 150PS and is mated to the flawless 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The overall drive is typical Skoda style with a well built silent cabin, effortless drive and brilliant handling characteristics. The power delivery is good and the suspension is well tuned for Indian roads. Additionally, the Kodiaq Scout gets an underbody protective cover and the rough road package further enhancing the off-road capabilities of the Scout.
Apart from the preset drive modes – eco, normal, sport, individual, snow to play with, the Scout now gets a dedicated off-road mode which brings up the off-road information on the 8-inch display which shows
the steering angle, gearbox & coolant temperature, what altitude you’re at and the compass. What Skoda has done with the Kodiaq Scout is not made it an out and out off-roader but increased it’s versatility.
The Skoda Kodiaq Scout is around ₹2.8 Lakh cheaper than the L&K variant and at that price you get off-road additions such as the off-road package, the underbody protection and subtle cosmetic add-ons on the outside to name a few. Is it worth it? Well, if you can live without the virtual cockpit, the 360 degree camera and the airy looking beige interiors which the L&K offers. The Kodiaq Scout doesn’t miss out too much in terms of the features and at ₹33.99 Lakh it’s a steal deal in our opinion.
Words – Amit Shelar