THE new Scala is Skoda’s bid for a larger slice of a family hatchback market dominated by the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and various other contenders.
First impression is that Skoda has ticked all the boxes for family car buyers, it is a spacious, well-kitted vehicle which has easy-driving dynamics and low running costs.
Scala prices start at €19,913 (£16,940), with a choice of various-output petrol and diesel engines, manual and auto gearboxes and several trim levels. My test model was a mid-range SE version with a 1.5-litre petrol engine and seven-speed DSG auto transmission and priced at €25,391 (£21,600).
The engine has a punchy 148 hp, a nippy 0-100 kph time of 8.2 seconds and top speed of 219 kph (136 mph). Emissions are low at 113 g/km and average fuel consumption is 15.3 kpl (43.2 mpg).
Out and about, the Scala has a light effortless feel, with smooth responsive performance and slick automatic gearshifts. It rides well, absorbing most of the bumps and chatter of rougher surfaces and while it is does not quite match the nimble handling of the Ford Focus, it always feels composed when cornering.
With its sleek styling and large front grille, the Scala does catch the attention and the cabin is a nice comfortable place to be. While slightly narrower than some rivals, the Scala does have good rear head and leg room even for taller occupants, and boot space of 467 litres is among the largest in the class, bigger than even its VW Golf stable-mate. With rear seats folded, there is an impressive load space of 1,410 litres.
Standard features on this mid-range version include alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights, front and rear power windows, air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, digital radio, Bluetooth, touch-screen infotainment unit and smartphone linking.
The cabin is well-finished with good quality materials and the dashboard has a straightforward layout which is very user-friendly. Drivers can get good position thanks to adjustable steering wheel and multi-adjustable seat.
The Scala is such a good all-rounder that it seems destined set to make a notable impact in the hotly-contested family hatchback sector, scoring significant plus-points for its driving dynamics, spacious interior, excellent fuel economy and low emissions.
Facts at a glance
- Model: Skoda Scala SE
- Engine: 1.5 litre petrol
- Transmission: 7-speed DSG Auto
- Performance: 0-100 kph 8.2 seconds, top speed 219 kph (136 mph)
- Economy: 15.3 kpl (43.2 mpg)
- Emissions: 113 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.