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Spotlight on the ŠKODA Scala 2019

Can ŠKODA’s hatchback rival the Golf?

The all-new ŠKODA Scala.

The all-new ŠKODA Scala.

The all-new ŠKODA Scala has arrived. This five-door hatchback fits into ŠKODA’s range between the Fabia supermini and the larger Octavia saloon. The new kid on the block has some stiff competition, as it aims to conquer the market traditionally dominated by the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. And given ŠKODA is part of the Volkswagen Group, you would expect the Scala to offer all of the solid reliability of its VW stablemate, but with better value for money.

Trim levels and cost

There are three trim levels available – the entry-level S, the mid-range SE and the range-topping SE L.

The Scala S

While the S may be entry level, the basic spec has plenty to offer, with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights. As well as that, you get heated, electronically adjustable door mirrors and you’ll also find a handy ice scraper in the petrol cap. There are a number of safety features available, with Lane Keep Assist to keep you in line and Front Assist working to avoid potential collisions. Inside there’s a DAB radio with 6.5-inch colour display, along with two USB ports to keep your device charged, and even more connectivity thanks to Bluetooth and the options of Apply CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Scala S is available from £ 16,595

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The Scala SE

The Scala SE may look similar on the outside but it has plenty of great tech additions on the inside. The interior has an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen putting the media controls at your fingertips, and with full smartphone connectivity, you’ll always be able to access your entertainment apps. There’s also the option of a virtual cockpit with a huge high definition screen acting as an instrument display, with customisable graphics replacing the old-fashioned dials. That means that you can prioritise what you want to see to suit your drive. You also get the addition of cruise control and the option of a rear-view camera. And just in case it rains, you’ll find an umbrella stored in one of the back seats.

The Scala SE is available from £17,785

The Scala SE L

There are plenty of upgrades available on this top-of-the-line model with bigger 17-inch alloys, front fog lights with corner function and full LED rear lights with dynamic indicators. And if you want a more distinct look, you can opt for the tailgate design pack. On the inside you’ll find exquisite, Microsuede material covering the seats, perfectly in keeping with the steering wheel and gear lever. You also get an upgrade in tech, with keyless entry and start-stop technology, climate control, a satellite navigation system with 9.2-inch touchscreen, and the virtual cockpit as standard. There’s even the option of an electrically operated boot, just in case you have your hands full.

The Scala SE L is available from £ 19,585

Start your engines

At launch there are three 1.0-litre petrol engines available starting with an efficient five-speed manual powertrain offering 95ps and a top speed of 117mph. Move up the range and you’ll get more power from a 115ps version with a top speed of 125mph available as either a six-speed manual or automatic.

The Scala is also available as a 1.6-litre diesel, offering 115ps and producing a top speed of 125mph, with either six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Safety first

The independent European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) has awarded the ŠKODA Scala five stars – the highest safety rating available. The Scala scored a particularly high mark for Adult Occupant Protection test – 97% of possible points – one of the highest ratings in the history of this test. This is in part thanks to the Scala’s stiff body and large deformation zones and robust occupant cells. It was also awarded the full six points for cyclist protection, reflecting the importance of driver assistance systems that alert the driver to potential pedestrians or cyclists, which works with an emergency braking system to ensure the car is as safe on the outside as well as the inside.

Want to know more about safety ratings? Read our guide to Euro NCAP.

Room to relax

There’s plenty of legroom for passengers, meaning long journeys can be enjoyed in comfort. And there’s no need to worry about storage space either with a generous boot capacity of 467 litres, and an incredible 1,410 litres with the rear seats down. You can also opt for a double-sided boot floor so you can keep your boot clean and tidy no matter what you’re carrying.

About the Author

Andrew Moir