SKODA’S lauded Octavia range has been complemented by a new light off-road option called the Scout.

Think of it as Europe’s answer to the Subaru Outback in size and concept.

Skoda is part of Europe’s biggest car-making group, Volkswagen, and its vehicles share much of the technology seen also in Polos, Golfs and Passats.

The Scout is based on the Octavia wagon, one of the roomiest and best-driving mid-size family cars around.

Your choice of 110Kw or 135kW diesels or a 132kW petrol engine is connected to the 4Motion on–demand four-wheel drive system also used on the Golf Type R, Passat Alltrack and others in the group stable.

Typically Skoda, it offers quality with good value for money. The 110kW diesel is $32,990 list, 132kW petrol $38,590 and 135kW diesel $41,390. You get a lot for that, including – depending on the model – nine airbags, reversing camera, fatigue monitoring, navigation and a power tailgate.

An optional Tech pack adds active cruise control, city emergency braking, auto parking, lane-keeping assistance and other features.

The Octavia Scout’s boot is massive, far bigger than its predecessor. Combine this with a strong diesel engine, all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance and you have a very capable family adventure wagon.