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In-depth reviews

Skoda Scala review - Interior, design and technology

It’s not the most exciting car to look at or travel in, but practicality and quality have been given top priority

Form has followed function in most aspects of the Skoda Scala’s design – it’s a large hatchback for the class that doesn’t skimp on interior space by using a sloping roofline. The exterior looks sharp and modern, but rivals like the Mazda 3 highlight its relative plainness. This could be construed as a good thing, though – it’s an unpretentious car that doesn’t try to stand out.

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Inside, the sensible no-frills approach continues with a fairly drab dashboard that’s functional rather than pleasing to the eye. Everything is very well put together and the materials used are of good quality, with lots of soft-touch plastics in all the right places – it happily stands up to that found in the Kia Ceed and Ford Focus, but is just shy of the Golf’s more premium feel.

It’s easy to find an acceptable driving position in the comfortable seats and the cabin’s ergonomics are easy to get to grips with very quickly. Much like the rest of the Scala’s agreeable traits, this further helps its case as a no-fuss, easy-to-own family car.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Scala features an eight-inch screen even in entry-level SE trim, with DAB, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. It’s an excellent system that keeps things simple, and even though there’s no sat-nav as standard, most buyers will be able to use their smartphone for that. If you don’t have one, navigation is £1,150 as part of an upgrade that increases the screen size to 9.2 inches, and this also includes a digital instrument cluster as well.

The Skoda system uses a neat user interface and a responsive screen, so it’s good to use, and smartphone integration works well. There’s a pair of USB-C ports in the centre console – perfect for those with the latest smartphones – but an adapter means any USB device will work.

The screen is sharp and looks modern, but we would prefer some more physical buttons to access menus more easily. At least the air-conditioning controls are all buttons below the screen.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 95 S 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,105

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 95 S 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,105

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,815
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