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Seat Leon X-Perience, Skoda Octavia Scout: all-wheel-drive station wagons in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Seat Leon ST X-Perience and Skoda Octavia Scout
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E s there is Days when the weather just doesn't play along. The sun is shining, the roads are dry, and at a spring-like 15 degrees there is no snow even in the alpine Allgäu. It doesn't matter whether it's January or not. It's a shame for us, because the robust compact station wagons Seat Leon X-Perience and the new Octavia Scout are ideal for such moments - especially if they are equipped with the bearish two-liter diesel. It does not matter anyway. What is the Swabian Alb with all the winding climbs and well-soaked leaves for?

VW EA288 engine makes both steam a lot

The currently most powerful two-liter TDI (intern : EA288) from Volkswagen, also known from the Golf GTD. 184 PS or, more importantly, 380 Newton meters are available from 1,750 tours. The diesel is injected at 2,000 bar. NOX storage catalytic converter and particle filter ensure Euro 6 classification, two balancer shafts ensure smooth running. Coupled to it: a mostly problem-free and fast-moving six-speed DSG, which on the Seat even changes gears using rockers on the steering wheel.

So let's go. The Octavia pulls away without hesitation, the subjectively more willing to grasp Leon in the rear. Overtake? No chance. The two don't give each other anything. The station wagons do zero hundred in a sporty 7.4 seconds, and the readings are the same up to 180 km /h. Also in the intermediate sprint there were no differences, hardly any in the appropriate consumption values ​​(6.3 to 9.6 l /100 km). If you listen more closely, you will notice that the TDI of the Seat sounds a bit louder and grumpier than the obviously more carefully encapsulated diesel of the Skoda. Both of them are robust types. After all: the sound goes perfectly with the robust appearance. Together with the six-speed DSG, the result is a powerful drive that you hardly want to give up anymore.

And best of all: Despite the powerful thrust, nothing and nobody scrapes. Long arrived in the sharp bends of the Alb, Haldex couplings of the fifth generation ensure traction on all axles with no noticeable delay. In addition, electronic differential locks and mandatory starting aids support undisturbed progress.

Seat Leon ST X-Perience despite being raised a curve-friendly station wagon

Great off-road mobility is still not to be reported. The X-Perience Leon ST is now 27 millimeters higher, the Skoda Octavia Scout 31 millimeters higher.This results in a ground clearance of 171 millimeters for both. For comparison: A Skoda Yeti has a size of 180 millimeters, a Range Rover 292 millimeters. In addition to gray planking, simulated undercarriage elements and matching emblems, the station wagons at least offer additional covers in the underbody to protect the brake and fuel lines on wild trips.

So it is better to stay on the road. Here, the Leon presents itself as a curve-friendly station wagon, despite being raised, which, thanks to direct steering and a stiff chassis, can be moved agile and with little body tilt as usual. Later in the year, Seat expanded its chassis with adaptive dampers.

The much more comfortably tuned Scout leaves it with a classic chassis and steers precisely, but by no means as nimble. Anyone who suspects the Skoda is more comfortable in return is wrong. Similar to the Seat Leon ST X-Perience on transverse joints and short waves, the Skoda Octavia Scout destroys its actually comfortable appearance. While the Leon ST comes up with well-designed sports seats and classy space, the high-quality, 14-centimeter-longer Scout attracts with an attractive cockpit, comfortable seats, more storage space and the well-known outstanding legroom in the rear.

Also great: its ample cargo space. 1,740 liters of maximum volume easily stand out from the 1,470 liters of the Seat. On the other hand, there are hardly any differences in the design of the cargo holds. Here and there, angularly cut, they come up with large underfloor compartments, additional through-loading and a practical remote release for the rear seat backrests.

More equipment in the Skoda Octavia Scout

Despite all the advantages, the Octavia is included at a price of 32,650 euros but still cheaper and better equipped than the 33,060 euros expensive Leon ST. For extras such as seat heating, rear parking beeper and light and rain sensors, Skoda does not charge a cent. And if you want to go a little further, you will find useful options such as a foldable passenger seat, a sliding shelf under the trunk cover, a waste bin and much more. Safety-relevant systems such as ACC, city emergency brakes or lane departure warning systems offer both.

The sun has long since set on the Alb, and the last driver change makes it clear: Well-made adaptive bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering lights (1.115 Euros) are hard to beat. Because while we are driving down the winding streets into the valley, the Seat with its very bright LED headlights (1,090 euros) only scares the animals in the dark bushes, while the Skoda illuminates every curve perfectly.

Otherwise there is a lot of light and little shadow in the Octavia Scout: Although it is not an athlete, it offers more space and an equal performance. Together with the robust look, it could for somebe the sexiest Octavia ever.


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