Skoda Scala review
Skoda’s family hatch offers a class-leading combination of space, quality, comfort and value
The Skoda Scala is one of our favourite family hatchbacks, as well as one of the most practical cars in its class. It offers a huge boot and lots of passenger space, plus it gives the Volkswagen Golf a run for its money when it comes to ride, handling and build quality. Standard equipment is good across the range too, as is the fuel economy offered by the Scala's range of petrol engines.
Value is what impresses most with the Scala, though – all of this ability comes at a price that undercuts every version of the Golf and matches most of its nearest rivals. It’s hard to recommend the Volkswagen Golf over the Skoda Scala unless you really want a little extra quality, polish and prestige; the Scala is so good it’s more than just a viable alternative.
About the Skoda Scala
The Skoda Scala joined the Czech manufacturer’s range in 2019, sitting alongside the slightly larger Octavia in the hotly contested family car market as a more direct rival for the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra, among others.
While the Skoda Octavia features a saloon-like body (albeit with a large hatchback), the Scala takes a more practical shape that allows for lots of boot and passenger space. The Scala is built on the Volkswagen Group's MQB A0 platform – the same one that underpins the VW Polo, Audi A1 and SEAT Arona – and all its engines are familiar Volkswagen Group units, too.
Buyers are given the choice of a 1.0-litre TSI petrol producing either 94bhp or 108bhp, and a 1.5-litre TSI engine producing 148bhp. The 94bhp petrol unit is offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, while all other versions come with either a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.
There's hybrid or electric version of the Scala, unlike its Golf, Ceed and Astra rivals, and it's also worth noting that the 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine available at launch has since been removed from the price list.
The entry-level S trim has also been axed, with the Scala's trim structure now consisting of SE, SE Technology, SE L and top-spec Monte Carlo specifications. But whichever trim level you choose, value for money is impressive versus the Scala’s nearest rivals, with prices starting from under £21,000.
Base SE cars come with LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch central touchscreen, Skoda Smartlink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, cruise control and rear parking sensors, while SE Technology trim adds a larger 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, sat-nav and front parking sensors.
SE L versions feature 17-inch alloys, climate control, a reversing camera, wireless Apple CarPlay and a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display. Finally, top-of-the-range Monte Carlo models get a panoramic glass roof, red interior trim and accents, and a leather-trimmed gearstick and handbrake.
For an alternative review of the Skoda Scala, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingSkoda’s family hatch offers a class-leading combination of space, quality, comfort and value
- 2Engines, performance and driveA small but tried-and-tested engine range meets confident handling and a plush ride
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe lightweight Skoda Scala is an efficient car that won’t cost the earth to run, regardless of engine choice
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt’s not the most exciting car to look at or travel in, but practicality and quality have been given top priority
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Scala upholds Skoda’s reputation for practicality, with a huge boot and lots of room for occupants
- 6Reliability and SafetySkoda’s reputation for reliability bodes well and there’s lots of standard safety kit