Handsome on the outside and spacious on the inside, the Skoda Scala is well worth a look at.
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay. Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay.
If you’re after a compact family hatchback for your brood, look no further than the Skoda Scala. This new car from the Czech automaker offers space and versatility as well as good looks.
Yes, the looks bit might sound a bit shallow, but why would you want something pug-ugly to drive around in? Cars are usually the second most expensive thing we buy after a house, so you may as well spend your money on a motor that’s easy on the eye.
And I can guarantee you’ll like the Scala for its aesthetics as well as its five-door, five-seat practicality. The driver and front-seat passenger have generous leg and headroom, while there’s ample space for two adults or three kids in the back. And at 467 litres the boot will swallow a lot, too.
What’s more, this cargo capacity expands to 1410 litres with the rear seats folded down. So, if you need to pick up some flat-pack furniture, or you want to take some stuff to the tip, the Skoda transforms from a compact family hatch into a virtual “van-car”.
On the move, the Scala is fun to drive, shifting gracefully around corners with hardly any body roll. The steering is pin-sharp, making the car easy to manoeuvre at all speeds, but particularly so in town. What’s more, the Skoda is easy to park, due to its rear parking sensors and excellent all-round visibility.
Impressive fuel economy
Performance is surprisingly quick in the Scala, with the 1.0 TSI 115ps engine automatic on test here, capable of 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. The fuel economy is equally impressive, with the model averaging out a frugal 40+mpg. CO2 emissions are low as well at 116g/km, meaning road tax will only set you back £145 after the car’s first birthday.
The seven-speed automatic transmission moves fluidly through the gears, making the DSG version of the Scala an effortless drive, especially if you regularly need to drive in stop-start traffic. It saves you getting that “clutch in, clutch out” ache in your left foot, which is a tick in the positive box first thing on a Monday morning, right?
In SE L trim, the Scala gets a bunch of features that sound as if they belong to a “prestige” badged car. Kit includes navigation with a 9.2-inch colour touchscreen, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, cruise control, and a leather multifunction steering wheel.
Finally, if you’re buying or leasing a family hatchback, then safety will be a priority. Well, thankfully, you can rest easy with the Scala, because it holds a top five-star rating, as awarded by crash test safety body, Euro NCAP. Furthermore, Skoda does well on the reliability side of things, so you can be assured the Scala will look after you and your clan.
Fast Facts – Skoda Scala SE L 1.0 TSI 115PS DSG as tested:
- Max speed: 123mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.9 sec
- Combined mpg: 47.1-41.5
- Engine layout: 999cc, 3-cylinder turbo petrol
- Max. power (PS): 115
- CO2: 116g/km
- Price: £22,000