Skoda Euro Trek 2016 - Adventure Danube

A few hundred kilometers are still ahead of us

“I can already see the world”, the child in front of me shouts and presses his nose against the rather blunt pane of the old Boenig 737. As soon as the landing approach to Sibiu, the former Hermannstadt, it becomes clear why Skoda the touristic rather less respected region between Transylvania, Transylvania and Wallachia has chosen for the EuroTrek Tour 2016: forest, mountains, in short nature, in which not only Has' and Hedgehogs say "good night". And that as far as the eye can see.

The Skoda Octavia wants to conquer this nature, our route leads from Sibiu to the Black Sea. For this, the middle class has put on his adventure suit called Scout. The version, which is only available as a station wagon, is visible and typical of the genre, with a little off-road chic in the form of plastic parts. However, they alone do not help much off the paved roads - and also on some official Romanian roads. Here the three centimeters more ground clearance than the standard Octavia pay off. The associated larger embankment angles also do no harm if you dash through deep potholes and paths rinsed out by the rain, which put the spring-damper adjustment and the back muscles of the passengers to the test. To prevent the combi split, gravel and tall grass from tickling too much on the belly, the Octavia Scout also uses a rough road package as standard, which ensures better underbody protection.

The Skoda Euro Trek led 2016 from Sibiu to the Black Sea
The Skoda Euro Trek led 2016 from Sibiu to the Black Sea

But most of all, the 4,69-meter Skoda benefits from all-wheel drive as standard on the Scout, which distributes the power of the 135 kW / 184 hp two-liter diesel (from 32.950 euros) to all four wheels as required using a multi-plate clutch. Alternatively, two weaker diesel engines (81 kW / 110 PS and 110 kW / 150 PS) and a petrol engine with 132 kW / 180 PS in the Scout version are available from the dealer. The top version provides 380 Newton meters, which, managed by a six-speed dual clutch transmission, are ready at 1.750 revolutions and ensure that the 1,6-ton Czech moves its way even in rough terrain. A special off-road mode, which complements the familiar Eco, Normal and Sport driving programs, prepares the engine, transmission and, above all, the control systems for an excursion into the field.

Proving its talent, the Octavia Scout is already short of the Sibiu city limits. Founded by German settlers almost 900 years ago, the city is the cultural center of Transylvania, which stretches as far as the Carpathians and is almost enclosed by this massive mountain range. What must have been an insurmountable obstacle on the way to the Black Sea for the first Transylvanian Saxons is the perfect adventure playground for the Skoda. Numerous gravel roads and dirt roads wind their way across the mountains across the mountains, whose two-and-a-half-thousand-meter peaks still glisten snow-white in spring. The rain of the past few days has done the rest to put the Skoda to the test. Deep puddles and muddy paths mastered the station wagon but with bravery and a good deal of sovereignty. Of course, Otto Normal drivers also benefit at home, be it on the way to the ski lodge or just on wet or snowy roads.

Passing Bran Castle, where Bram Stocker's story is based on Count Dracula, we pass through the streets of Transylvanian villages, which can sometimes be repaired
Passing Bran Castle, where Bram Stocker's story is based on Count Dracula, we pass through the streets of Transylvanian villages, which can sometimes be repaired

Passing Bran Castle, where the story of Bram Stocker is said to belong to Count Dracula, the roads of Transylvanian villages, which are sometimes in need of repair, continue towards the east. Lane Keeping Assist and Abstandstempomat you need not here - if necessary, the City Emergency Brake Assistant could help, if once again one of the countless free-running dogs means to have to run in front of the car. With each meter, the high mountains disappear more and more in the rearview mirror and soft hills - and a suspension bridge, which is only slightly wider than the Skoda. With plenty of sense of proportion and even more courage, we overcome the slope on creaking wooden planks, to be shown shortly how to do it right. Whether with the old Dacia pick-up or one of the numerous horse and donkey factories, which count here to the everyday street scene: The locals board over the approximately 300 meter long bridge, as if it was a well-developed highway.

A few hundred kilometers are still ahead of us. On dusty slopes, which are also largely foreign to the Skoda navigation system, it goes to the banks of the Danube, which is here only by ferry to cross. As soon as we have solid ground under our feet again, the wide landscape of the Danube Delta opens up. A sheer endless wetland - the largest reed-covered area in the world - and home to countless mosquitoes. The area is criss-crossed by the now three arms of the longest European river: Chilia, Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe, which continue to branch and span the landscape like a net. If you did not know it better, you could almost imagine yourself in the Florida Everglades.

Most of all, the 4,69 Meter long Skoda benefits from the all-wheel drive standard on the Scout
Most of all, the 4,69 Meter long Skoda benefits from the all-wheel drive standard on the Scout

From its source east of Donaueschingen, where Brigach and Breg merge, the once mighty river has traveled over 2.800 kilometers to the widely ramified Danubian Delta. And so slowly the question germinates to us: Why did not we actually accompany the Danube on its entire journey? That would not have been a problem on the long-distance seats of the Skoda Octacia Scout. And with a consumption of only five liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, the journey would have come even more favorable.

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