Skoda Scala (2019 on)

5

1.0 TSI 115ps SE DSG 5dr

reviewed by Anonymous on 29 November 2023
5
Overall rating
4
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
5
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
Experience at the dealership
5
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Fantastic car for the money with load space that puts the established players to shame.

After three and a half years of happy motoring, the time has come to say goodbye to my beloved Scala so I thought I’d leave a review. The Scala may not be as glamorous as other family cars, but that shouldn’t put people off. I am moving to a new focus, a car which like the current Golf etc has around 20% LESS boot space than the Scala - which is actually a smaller car based on the AO platform shared with the Polo and new Fabia! The boot is also a good shape, being almost square apart from the rear bench intrusions, and the shape of the vehicle at the back means it’s almost like a mini estate. I was genuinely shocked and disappointed when I got a brand new Golf as a hire car recently - there didn’t look to be much additional passenger space and the interior didn’t seem any better than on the Scala apart from the fancy dash layout.

The 7 speed DSG gearbox is an absolute gem and well mated to the 115ps engine IMO which has never felt underpowered, even when fully laden on the motorway. If you do need a bit of extra urgency from the engine you simply flick the stick back and you are in sport mode. Likewise unlike other boxes, you can also choose to shift manually. The only qualm I have about this combo is the fuel consumption in town. Much of my driving is in town and I have been a bit disappointed by the MPG, struggling to get mid 30’s in this scenario. Sadly, despite doing a lot of the development work for VW groups electrification plans, Skoda are skipping hybrid altogether which means this is unlikely to be rectified in the near future. The 2024 facelift appears to be using the same engine and gearbox selection as well. On the open road it’s a different story though and 50mpg is easily achievable on the motorway. Visibility is great and there are decently sized wing mirrors though VW’s usual small rear view mirror is fitted.

The touchscreen can be a bit laggy, though this seems to be a common issue with other makes too (I believe the current Golf uses the same system under the skin). I have found the satnav to be good and you can make it cover most of the instrument display if you wish too if in a particularly unfamiliar place. You can also just place the satnav between the speed and odo dials as well of course. I also found the Scala very comfortable, even on 17” alloys, though it’s not the sportiest of hatchbacks and the steering lacks the feel of something like a Focus. The positive side of this is that the Scala is a relaxing vehicle to drive, particularly when cruising, and I found the seats very comfortable. Both driver and front passenger get height and lumbar support adjustment.

Some of the options and standard kit choices seem a bit odd, no doubt a bit of VW group politics going on here to try tempt people up to one of the pricier brands. The top SEL trim lacks things like a heated windshield (this used to be available as an expensive option with heated seats but has now been dropped), wireless charging (£150 factory fit extra iirc), and adaptive cruise control for instance but comes with a big digital cockpit and a “microsuede” interior. The Skoda voice assistant is also an optional extra, but you can just use your phones Siri if you hold the voice assistant button on the steering wheel instead of pressing it. The cruise control is good despite not being adaptive and the indicator stalk based controls very intuitive. Unlike some it doesn’t seem to make fuel consumption worse than driving yourself.

The ice sc***er in the filler cap is a godsend and the ticket holder in the windscreen a heck of a lot more useful than I thought it would be. There’s also nice chunky hooks in the boot to hang your shopping bags from and a proper spare wheel too!. Don’t think I ever used the umbrella in the door though!

Skoda dealer servicing isn’t cheap at over £200 for an oil change, though service intervals are every two years.

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About this car

Price£17,560–£25,720
Road TaxB–E
MPG55.4–70.6 mpg
Real MPG95.4%

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