Scala SE L 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
We get it. Not everybody
wants to drive a Crossover or SUV.
Or even a saloon or estate. But if
got a family, where does that
leave you? Knocking on Skodas
its Scala provides an honest-
to-goodness five-door in a sharp-
suited hatchback bodystyle that can
satisfy all your motoring needs...
A STYLE ALL OF ITS OWN would be a fair description of its looks but
many buyers will be eyeing it up for another reason: economy. A week's hard
driving in the real world saw us record a smile-inducing 48.4mpg indicating
that driven with a tad less gusto, the happy side of 50mpg should be what most
And that wallet-friendly figure doesn't come at the expense of progress. Top
speed is 123mph with 0-62mph taking a crisp 10.3 seconds not bad at all
from a 999cc, petrol-drinking, three-pot engine that musters a feisty 108bhp.
And while its one-litre capacity might on paper appear small, it nonetheless
puts out more than enough zip whenever you pull away or overtake courtesy of
its 147lb ft of torque.
a three-cylinder unit it's not too vocal even when accelerating hard, and the
seven-speed dual-clutch autobox helps ensure there's always sufficient focus
and pace to overtake with confidence; slot it in Sport mode and it really gets
up and goes. The autobox also has a useful manual mode for whenever you want
absolute control of the shifts. It's also a real mile-eater when cruising motorways,
and you really don't notice it working away in the background, or ever think
about it having just three cylinders.
a three-cylinder unit
its not too vocal even
when accelerating hard,
and the seven-speed
dual-clutch autobox helps ensure theres
always sufficient focus
and pace to overtake
with confidence; slot it
in Sport mode and it
really gets up and goes.
Its also a real mile-eater
motorways, and you
really dont notice it
working away in the
background, or ever think
about it having just
If you're expecting to regularly drive with four seats occupied and luggage
in the boot, you might consider the 1.5 TSI 150PS which ups the power to 148bhp,
knocks a full two seconds off the 0-62 time (taking it down to 8.2 seconds),
and extends the top speed to 139mph. Officially it does all this while still
returning a combined consumption of between 47 and 51mpg!
With a whiff of lifestyle estate around the rear-threequarters and tail and
topped off by a rakish, cab-forward glasshouse, the Scala's sharp-edged bodyshell
catches the eye. Based on the same platform as Skoda's larger Octavia, the Scala
takes up the same amount of road as a Golf or Focus but trumps them for space
the first thing that comes to mind when you settle in your seat is that
old saying about 'room to swing a cat'. For lots of drivers, the Scala's USP
will be its roominess: six-footers can sit comfortably with legs stretched.
It's a welcoming cabin too; airy and with a broad, aluminium-look décor strip
either side of the large glitzy glass touchscreen at its heart. The well-padded
seats are smartly finished in fabric and microsuede, and are shapely and supportive,
particularly for your shoulders, with contrasting-coloured bolstering. And not
being leather they'll be cool in summer and cosy in winter. Both front seats
have height adjustment and large easy-to-use knurled knobs for the backrest
rake; both also get adjustable lumbar.
in the first-rate driving position behind the two-spoke multifunction wheel
feels very reassuring; with the seat set high there's still a fist+ of headroom
and the view ahead is as good as it gets courtesy of the generous glasshouse
glazing and slim windscreen pillars. Unlike many of today's hatchbacks the Scala
fields plenty of glass, particularly on the tailgate which makes over-the-shoulder
views confidence inspiring when you need to reverse judging where the
corners are is easy-peasy. There are also rear sensors and a camera to help,
should you prefer using them to traditional turn-your-head manoeuvring.
to the driver's 'toys' is a Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel. Not only
does it display a pair of stylishly digitised dials bookending a variety of
other information, but you can choose from five presentations, including active
navigation mapping whatever you decide, everything is laid out with foolproof
orderliness, and all views show the posted speed limit as well as your road
speed. Shortcut buttons either side of the central free-standing 9.2-inch touchscreen
also ensure quick menu jumps.
likeable ride doesnt
mean its not wieldy to
drive; with progressive
control and strong grip
it flows confidently
though the twisties,
all the while feeling safe
Exactly what you want
from your family
Its equally at home in
the cityscape where its
calm and tidy handling,
predictable pedal feel,
and good all-round
visibility really come into
Using the infotainment or SatNav is a walk in the park and the Scala's Amundsen
setup is without doubt one of the better systems out there even when matched
against those in more expensive cars. Along with a dedicated set of physical
buttons and switches for the efficient two-zone climate control, it make it
very easy for you to keep your eyes on the road.
Naturally you get SmartLink (includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink)
so you can make full use of your smartphone's apps. There's also Infotainment
Online, giving you access to online features such as traffic and weather reports
as well as an SOS button in the roof console. On the entertainment front you
get an eight-speaker stereo and DAB radio, plus Bluetooth is also on hand. So,
all bases covered then.
storage is equally well addressed with a large chillable glovebox, generous
front door bins that hold large bottles, a decent-sized box under the sliding
centre armrest, siamesed cupholders alongside the trad-style handbrake, a tray
ahead of the selector lever served by a pair of USB-C ports, another useful
cubby in the right-hand side fascia, out-of-sight storage compartments under
the front seats, and a sunglasses holder above the rearview mirror. And you
don't even have to bring an umbrella because you'll find a compact brolly already
waiting for you, holstered in the driver's door!
Other standard equipment not already mentioned includes keyless entry and Start
(having the engine Start button on the steering column where an ordinary blade
key would go is a logical touch, and especially welcome when driving at night),
powerfolding door mirrors (on demand and automatically when locking and leaving),
auto-dimming rearview mirror, all one-shot electric windows, privacy glass,
cruise control, speed limiter, and auto lights and wipes as well as auto main/dip
beam switching for maximum night-time vision without dazzling other road users.
Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard-fit (although our Scala was fitted
with the optional eighteens).
items include Front Assist anti-collision automatic braking, Lane Assist, front
and side airbags, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, front fog
lights with cornering function, full LED rear lights with dynamic indicators,
Hill Hold Control, and Isofix child seat fittings on the front passenger as
well as the outer rear seats.
rear cabin is seriously family friendly with decent headroom and substantial
legroom and plenty of room for feet. A drop-down central armrest with built-in
cupholders, dedicated central air vents, real-word door pockets, nicely canted
backrests with comfy headrests, and large windows, together combine to create
a nice place to kick-back in.
467 litres the Scala
offers one of the largest
boots in its class;
its practical square shape
lets it swallow more
luggage than its main
rivals you can fit in up
to seven carry-on
cases with the parcel
shelf still in situ.
Folding the 60:40-split
back seats opens up
A neat touch: the
net hanging from the
underside of the
Add to that a satisfactory ride quality that even rolling on 18-inch
alloys is compliant enough to filter out the worst of the lumps and bumps
that are the norm on today's urban blacktop. Running free on A-roads, the Scala's
suspension does a fine job and, combined with the quiet cabin ambiance, takes
all the sting out of long distance trips.
likeable ride doesn't mean it's not wieldy to drive; with progressive steering
weighting, well-managed body control and strong grip, it flows confidently though
the twisties, all the while feeling safe and predictable. Exactly what you want
from your family transport. It's equally at home in the cityscape where its
calm and tidy handling, predictable pedal feel, and good all-round visibility
really come into their own.
At 467 litres the Scala offers one of the largest boots in its class; its practical
square shape lets it swallow more luggage than its main rivals with the
parcel shelf still in situ you can fit in up to seven carry-on cases. Folding
the 60:40-split back seats opens up a substantial 1,410-litre loadbay. Adding
to the versatility are strong bag hooks and a Spiderman-esque net hanging from
the underside of the parcel shelf. And while it's not the world's biggest powerplant,
the Scala's 1.0-litre three-pot is macho enough to tow a braked 1,200kg.
Especially easy to live with, Skoda's Scala serves up an appealing mix of comfort,
space and level-headed practicality topped off with some nicely laid-back driving
manners. Choosing one will save you thousands when set against some of its class
competitors buy one and you'll get a smart and versatile family hatch
plus, as they say, change! ~ MotorBar
Skoda Scala SE L 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
Maximum speed: 123mph | 0-62mph: 10.3 seconds | Test Average: 48.4mpg
Power: 108bhp | Torque: 147lb ft | CO2: 133-143g/km