Skoda Scala hatchback (2019)
Our Rating 4 / 5
Skoda Scala review
Pros: Roomy interior, good amounts of standard equipment
Cons: Not as sharp to drive as others, interior quality could be better
Skoda has earned a solid reputation for producing cars with above-average levels of passenger space, while packaging them at value-for-money prices. The Octavia went up against established players like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, standing out with its saloon-like shape. Now the Skoda Scala is bringing that same approach to the segment, though with a more traditional five-door hatchback design.
We’d stop short of describing the Skoda Scala as striking, but the design does feature a lot of sharp lines, along with an angular face that is replicated across the rest of the company’s model range. In a lot of ways the Scala adopts the same profile as the older Rapid Spaceback did, most noticeably at the rear where the tailgate curves downwards and features a larger glazed area on some models.
Size-wise it matches most of the its main rivals in the segment, and does especially well when it comes to rear passenger legroom and boot space — two of Skoda ’s strong points. Wheel sizes range from 16- to 18 inches in diameter, while three different specification grades and a choice of 15 vibrant colours leave plenty of scope when it comes to personalising the car.
The interior design is modern and features good quality materials throughout. On the inside, the materials don’t look or feel particularly cheap, though we’d still expect a little better considering the price. That modern look extends to the technology inside, where the infotainment system can feature up to an eight-inch touchscreen display, and there’s the option of a digital instrument cluster, too. Wireless phone charging pads and USB-C ports ensure the latest tech to keep your smartphone connected and topped up.
The range of engines available for the Skoda Scala covers most bases, starting with a perky 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit with 95- or 115hp. It’s the latter of those two that is recommended for typical urban commuters, giving the Scala a nippy feel at slower speeds. Better still is the 1.5-litre TSI petrol option, which has more impressive performance thanks to its 150hp output. Its emissions see it classed in the same A4 category as the smaller 1.0 TSI engine, while the seven-speed DSG automatic makes for the most appealing gearbox. This engine is refined, too, and performs well at higher motorway speeds.
If you’re regularly driving longer distances, then the 1.6-litre TDI diesel in the Scala may suit you better. With 115hp it matches the 1.0-litre TDI for power and is not only cheaper to tax but also returns good fuel economy figures. Over longer runs it is possible to see 1,000 kilometres between refills. If your budget can stretch to include the DSG automatic gearbox, it’s worth spending the money.
Pricing for the Skoda Scala starts off at a competitive €20,275, though only one version is available with that basic ‘Active’ specification, and that 95hp engine isn’t one to get excited about. The 115hp 1.0-litre TSI is priced from €23,255, while the automatic version costs €25,515. There’s another jump in price to €27,315 for the better 1.5-litre TSI engine, as this is only available in the higher ‘Style’ specification. For the diesel engine the prices range from €25,950 up to €29,800 for the top-spec version with the DSG automatic transmission. In general there is a decent amount of standard equipment in the Scala , but options worth considering are the adaptive cruise control (€483), heated front seats (€267) and the electric tailgate (€429).
Carzone Verdict 4/5
On the whole we’d say that the Skoda Scala is reasonably good value for money, though it is a car that can suddenly become expensive as you move up the specification grades and add some options. It faces stiff competition, though and, while it beats many for interior space, it doesn’t match the best in the segment for driving dynamics and overall quality and refinement.
Test Car Details:
Price as tested: €30,118
Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
Annual Motor Tax: €200
0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds
Boot space: 467