Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Seat Leon X-Perience vs. Skoda Octavia (Typ 5E) Scout

2015 Seat Leon X-Perience

When the third-generation Seat Leon launched two years ago and being the first for Seat to wear the groundbreaking VW Group's MQB platform, the once five-door hatchback-only Leon has grown into different body styles ranging from the three door SC, high-performance Cupra, ST estate, and now this, the X-Perience crossover.

2015 Seat Leon X-Perience interior

2015 Seat Leon X-Perience

At first glance, the X-Perience looks nothing more than the rugged version of the Leon ST, the estate version, but for this model, this was made for those who are thrill seekers and those who want to go all out to experience their outdoor lifestyles their way. To differentiate it from the ST, the X-Perience is 27mm higher than the mentioned model and unlike any other cars that focused on toughening their looks for styling purposes and not for the outdoor-minded kind of way, the X-Perience is fitted with the permanent AWD system featuring a Haldex multi-plate clutch with hydraulic actuation and electronic control.

Which means, this is unlike any other crossover variations that only comes with front-wheel drive and this is a great car to drive on a day-to-day basis, even when the weather starts to go wet or cold, or when facing against a tarmac, gravel, or snow. On the road, it's not afraid to face another road bump or pothole it face against although some thudding may occur and when taken off the road, you can really feel how its AWD system do its magic. It feels a lot mild to drive as well because this is an all-rounder that you can afford one for only 23,730 Euros in Spain. That sounds more expensive than the ST where it's based at but for an all-rounder, you can afford one than one of these I lined up...

2015 Skoda Octavia Scout

This is the brand new Octavia Scout from Skoda. Although this is priced at around 690,900 Kč or around 25,000 Euros, it still has the same all-wheel drive system as the Leon X-Perience as well as the increased height capable for a tall wagon like this. They both work well on and off the road but the differences between those two lies within their bonnets.

On the X-Perience, it's available with a turbocharged 1.8 TSi, a 1.6 TDi, and a 2.0 TDi engine with two different power outputs, where the top tier has 184PS of power output and mated with the double clutch gearbox. The Scout, on the other hand, has the same 1.8 TSi petrol and the 2.0 TDi diesel engine as the X-Perience with the high-end model has the same 184PS of power output and a 6-speed DSG gearbox as well! In terms of fuel economy, the X-Perience with the 2.0 TDi and DSG can achieve a combined fuel economy of 4.9L/100km while the Scout with the same spec as the X-Perience's can achieve a combined fuel economy of 5.1L/100km.

For the X-Perience with the said specs, 0-100kph takes about 7.1 seconds and top speed of 224kph while the Scout with the said specs can get to 100kph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 228kph. Looks like both of them can trade punches every time now, proving which one is better for a family outing during the long winter months.

2015 Skoda Octavia Scout interior

2015 Skoda Octavia Scout
So, while the bigger Scout has identical characteristics compared to the smaller X-Perience, what's like to drive the car that costs more than the X-Perience? Well, even if it's more expensive than the Seat, it still works very well either on and off the road and it has enough room for some emergency supplies in case the wind gets more briskier as well as enough room for an arctic commando to carry around with you if you need advice to set up a shelter on the snow. That sounds stupid but on these conditions, this sport utility wagon does work its magic very well and unlike its chief rival, the Subaru Outback, it feels more engaging than ever and a lot more fun to drive.

If this car works well for a ski holiday, I would want to have one of these but in case when the temperatures start to improve slightly, feels like its adventurous character is slowly fading and it's reverting into a car suitable to drive at your nearest grocery but it doesn't even matter because adventurous or not, the Octavia Scout knows that every day is an adventure. It's like a young man doing wakeboarding by day and goes to the office with his coat and tie ready while getting rid of water from his head after hours of getting wiped out during wakeboarding hours.

2015 Seat Leon X-Perience

2015 Skoda Octavia Scout
Of course, both the Leon X-Perience and the Octavia Scout have the same all-wheel drive, the same heightened ground clearance fit for crossovers too many, the same luggage space that works well with winter emergency supplies, and nearly the same engine choices but when it comes to price and performance, it's hard to sum up which one is better but either way, those sport utility wagons do work well on any road surface and they're nearly capable of being weekend dads just to pass the time. Try both and you decide before you buy.

Photo: SEAT, Skoda Auto

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