The Skoda Scala was launched in 2019 as a replacement for the Skoda Rapid and received the Red Dot Design Award for March of that year, beating out many competitors. It's smaller than the Skoda Octavia, filling a gap in the market between it and Skoda's supermini offerings.
The Scala is also more budget friendly whilst staying in line with options like the Kia Ceed or the Vauxhall Astra in terms of room and features and it manages to outperform both in safety ratings. Skoda are an incredibly practical brand, putting their focus into how they use the space and how they work for your actual needs.
Our Skoda Scala review will give you a tour around the model and talk you through all of the various features that are available on the car to help you narrow down your choice to whichever one is right for you.
The Skoda Scala is designed with function in mind. It was the first Skoda model to use the Volkswagen Group's MQB-0 supermini platform for its build and also the first to have a constant internet connection in the car. It's not necessarily the most stylish car in its category but it's design is sharp and modern thanks to its clean lines and features that are consistent with the latest range of Skodas.
It's also designed as a large hatchback, bigger than some in its class, with no sloping roof design to make sure that there's enough headroom in the back for adult passengers. It's slightly longer than the Volkswagen Golf at 4362mm but only slightly shorter than the Ford Focus which is 4378mm.
It's a great car and has the option for sports control chassis which changes the behaviour of the car based on which driving mode you select and tends to make it feel firmer to drive. Without this it still controls well, not bumping around too much and giving you a smooth enough ride. It's not necessarily as focused on performance as models like the Volkswagen Golf.
Inside, the Skoda Scala isn't necessarily as plush as some rivals but it features a strong amount of practical features in its layouts.
It keeps the traditional buttons and knobs for climate control, which many people prefer over having it integrated with the infotainment system. It makes it much easier to use, particularly whilst driving, and does actually set it apart from rivals who are moving towards more integrated systems.
The cabin visibility is also great in the Skoda Scala. The windscreen pillars are much thinner than on some cars, meaning you've got much better vision at junctions or crossings. The rear pillars are also pretty thin and paired with a large, square rear window so you've got great visibility at al angles.
The Scala also has a robust feeling to it with the chosen materials. It uses more hard plastics than the Skoda Octavia does in the interior which makes it feel slightly less elegant than some of its competitors but it feels incredibly sturdy. There are some soft touch materials on the upper dashboard and the leather on the steering wheel which helps to balance it out.
One of the greatest features of the Skoda Scala is the amount of space that it provides. Skoda has always been proud of it's ability to maximise the amount of space that each of their models affords its passengers and their luggage and in the Scala there's been no different approach.
Passengers can relax knowing that they will easily manage to fit 5 adults into the car, although in the rear seats they may be a little closer together. The middle rear seat is wide and quite flat with a narrower central transmission tunnel at your feet, making it easier for that fifth passenger to be comfortable. There's also 3 isofix points between the back seats and front passenger seat making it easy to fit everyone in that travels with you.
The Scala affords a more generous amount of headroom than rivals such as the Ford Focus or the Volkswagen Golf too. In the Scala your front passengers will have 1031mm of headroom, compared to only 965mm in the Focus and 1018mm in the Golf.
The driver's seat is height adjustable across all models and from the SE trim onwards it adds on height adjustment for the passenger seat. There's also manually adjustable lumbar support for the front seats from the SE trim onwards too.
Similarly in the rear seats the Scala offers 982mm compared to 965mm again in the Focus and 968mm in the Golf. Enough of a difference between skimming the roof and sitting comfortably.
For everything that comes along with your passengers, the boot space is generous too at 476 litres, only two litres less than the Honda Civic offers. For comparison the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf offer 375 and 374 litres respectively with all of the seats still up. Taking the seats down will open up the boot to an enormous 1410 litres, ideal for when you need to carry more than normal.
Across the Skoda Scala range there are five different petrol engines available in both manual and automatic transmissions.
The first is the 1.0 litre TSI which is a five gear manual petrol engine. It gives a reasonable 95PS and a combined mpg of up to 54.3. If you opt for the S level trim this is the only engine available for this model and is not available as an option for the Monte Carlo.
The 1.0 litre TSI is also available with either a six speed manual or seven speed automatic gearbox with 110PS. It's available for every trim level in the Skoda Scala range and offers as much as 53.3mpg, depending on which trim you choose.
Finally you have the 1.5 TSI which offers a much punchier 150PS. It's also available as a six speed manual or 7 speed automatic gearbox and can give 51.4mpg depending on which trim level you choose to accompany it. This is also your quickest engine in the range; it's 0-60mph time is 8.9 seconds whilst the other engines in the Skoda Scala range are all 10 seconds or above.
The Skoda Scala has five different trim levels available: The S, The SE, The SE Technology, the SE L, and the Monte Carlo. This provides an option for everyone with varying amounts of additional tech and comfort across the range.
The S is the entry trim level and has a decent amount of features but isn't designed to blow you away with features. It gives you 16 inch alloys, basic LED headlights with automatic control, lane assist, and front assist. Inside you've got a height adjustable driver's seat with a 2 spoke leather steering wheel and gear stick, 4 speakers and a 6.5 inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. Whilst there's no cruise control on this spec you can add it for £235.
The Skoda Scala SE is the next step up and adds quite a few features. It's the first trim where cruise control is standard and you can upgrade it again to adaptive cruise control for £465. It also adds rear parking sensors, front fog lights, and light and rain sensors for support when driving. The interior adds a multifunction steering wheel, height adjustment in both front seats with manual lumbar support, upgrades to 8 speakers from 4, and an 8 inch touchscreen. There's also practical additions like an overhead glasses storage compartment too.
Upgrading again takes you to the Skoda Scala SE Technology which focuses more on, you've probably guessed, technology. It adds front parking sensors, sat nav with a 9.2 inch touchscreen, and an automatic dimming rear view mirror.
The SE L adds quite a bit more to the Scala. The alloys are 17 inches, you have basic LED rear lights and cornering front fog lights, and electrically adjustable, folding, and heated door mirrors. Additionally there's a rear view camera, which is a £450 option on models without it. The interior is upgraded too with Microsuede upholstery, Skoda's virtual cockpit, rear electric windows, dual zone climate control, privacy glass, rear centre armrest, and wireless Smartlink for Apple Carplay. As with many other models in Skoda's range, Android Auto and Mirrorlink still require a wired connection.
The top trim is the Monte Carlo and it does add some great elements to the design. The alloys become 18 inches and is paired with a roof spoiler, radiator grille, doors mirrors, and Skoda lettering in black. It also adds a panoramic glass roof, full LED headlights with adaptive front light system, and a 3 spoke leather steering wheel which really makes a difference as you drive.
As with other cars in the Skoda range, there's a solid amount of safety equipment and assistance features that come as standard across the model which contributes to the Scala's five star Euro NCAP rating.
When comparing to other small family cars it performs better in every category against the Ford Focus and the Kia Ceed (even when tested with its safety pack), and performs on par with the Volkswagen Golf and the SEAT Leon.
From the entry S trim level you can expect Skoda's front assist system, hill hold control, a visual and audio seat belt reminder, and driver and front passenger airbags (with the option to deactivate the passenger one if necessary). If you move up the trim levels you get improved headlights and fog lights too. You can pay to add on additional features like adaptive cruise control, traffic assist, and a driver fatigue sensor if you'd like additional convenience built in.
The Skoda Scala is incredibly well priced in its class and it's worth noting that the Scala costs less than the lowest spec of the Volkswagen Golf, even if you go for the Monte Carlo trim, and most trims are still cheaper than the Ford Focus too.
The entry level S trim price starts at £18,715 and is followed by the SE at £19,905. You can step up again to the SE Technology at £20,570 and then the SE L at £21885. The largest price jump comes when you choose the Monte Carlo which starts at £24,640.
Skoda have successfully managed to undercut their rivals in pricing, which sets them apart drastically, and means that you can still opt for a comfortable and well equipped car without having to break the bank.
The Skoda Scala is an excellent family car, not only due to it's price point but thanks to its sensible features and great amount of room for passengers. It makes it a great all rounder in the family car class.
Despite its cheaper price tag, there's no signs of cost cutting in the mechanics. The Skoda Scala is a remarkable car to drive and really comfortable for all of its passengers too. The Skoda Scala is an remarkably comfortable car to drive, with responsive, controlled handling and efficient engines that still have a little bit of power to them.