When it comes to the family hatch market, the Volkswagen Group brands have quite the monopoly. Volkswagen’s Golf has been the go-to choice in the segment for decades now, while Audi’s A3 continues to be as impressive as ever — plus there’s the stylish Seat Leon for those seeking a bit of an alternative.
There’s a clear absence in that list though — And Skoda are hoping to fill the gap and crack the market with this — the Scala. Can it succeed? We’ve got behind the wheel to find out…
Here we’ve driven the Scala in 1.0-litre TSI form, producing 113bhp and 200Nm of torque which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The result is 0-60mph in 9.6 seconds with a 125mph top speed possible. As for efficiency, Skoda claims it can return 56.6mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions coming in at 113g/km.
Despite its seemingly modest output, power delivery is decent and ensure the car isn’t a challenge to drive around town, on the motorway or even when pressing on a B road. Its gearbox is slick too, although the package is let down slightly in terms of refinement — with a lot of harsh noise coming into the cabin under heavy acceleration.
Ride & Handling
Looking for a comfortable cruiser? The Scala certainly ticks that box. It delivers one of the most accommodating rides in its class — even on larger alloy wheels — and has steering light enough to make it a breeze to drive in most situations.
Although it’s not quite as entertaining as rivals, it is improved slightly with the optional addition of VW’s Dynamic Chassis Control, although we suspect most buyers won’t feel the need to spec that when ordering.See Available Skoda deals
Interior & Equipment
Skoda may be pitched as the budget offering in VW Group’s vast umbrella, but it rarely feels that way in the quality of its products — and that’s no different for the Scala.
Inside the cabin is typically VW, with plenty of soft-touch materials to be found and it looks premium too — although upon closer inspection some of the switchgear begins to show where savings have been made.
It’s a seriously practical machine, too. With 467 litres of boot space, it comes in at the very high-end of the market — while an adjustable floor makes it that little bit easier to live with. Better still, rear legroom is in abundance and will even give some saloons a run for their money.
As for equipment, standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, LED headlights and autonomous emergency braking. Step up to SE L grade as tested here, and such treats as rear parking sensors, cruise control, Virtual Cockpit and a larger 9.2-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation are added.
One thing Skoda has always been great at is offering very good cars at a low price, and the Scala continues that trend. Prices for the hatchback start at £16,595 — putting it in the same bracket as some smaller superminis — while the high-spec SE L model tested here comes in at £20,385.
With its aforementioned 56.6mpg claim it should be pretty cost-effective to run too, while 113g/km means VED will be low as well.
The Skoda Scala is everything we’ve come to expect of the brand — good looking, impressively practical and comfortable, with value remaining at the forefront of its appeal.
Sure, it may not be as good to drive as rivals but it’s priced attractively low and as a result, should be a sales hit for Skoda. We see no reason why the car-buying public won’t lap it up.