2019 Skoda Scala revealed – price, specs and release date
Skoda's new budget family hatchback shares its platform with the Seat Ibiza and features advanced connected technology...
On sale: April 2019 | Price from: £16,500 (est)
New cars are largely getting better all the time. As technologies advance and the ways of packaging a car improve, so too does the car’s fitness for purpose. That also means prices continue to rise, and with Volkswagen expected to charge close to £20,000 for its next-generation Golf, there’s space below it for sister brand Skoda to bring in a low-cost family hatchback to replace the ageing Rapid and sit below the larger Octavia. That car is the new Skoda Scala.
Based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Seat Ibiza, both of which are well regarded in their respective classes, the Scala was first previewed by the Vision RS concept car in October. It will rival big-selling hatches such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra when it goes on sale early next year.
The Scala – whose name, fact fans, comes from the Latin for ‘ladder’ – marks a bit of a design revolution for Skoda, featuring a prominent, aggressive grille and the Skoda name spelt out across its boot lid. There are also standard LED lights, plus the dynamic sweeping indicators that have become a hallmark of more prestigious brands. Buyers can order alloy wheels ranging up to 18in in diameter, too.
2019 Skoda Scala interior and space
Inside, there’s a 10.3in configurable display in place of analogue instrument dials – something that is unique to the Skoda at this price point. There’s also a separate touchscreen (up to 9.2in, depending on your specification) for infotainment.
Skoda is chasing class-leading room with the Scala, and with a 467-litre boot, it will comfortably hold more than the Focus, Astra or current Golf – indeed, more than any of its premium rivals. Fold its rear seats down and the Scala does a passable impression of a van, with more than 1400 litres on offer. The gargantuan Octavia will take even more, though.
With dimensions that make the Scala marginally longer and wider than today's Golf and more space between its front and rear axles, there should be decent space inside for passengers, too.
2019 Skoda Scala engines
Four engines are on offer, with the Volkswagen Group’s familiar 1.0-litre petrol engine kicking off proceedings in both 94bhp and 113bhp forms. Then there’s the same 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol we’ve praised in the Golf, plus a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel for high-mileage drivers. The 1.5-litre petrol is notable for its cylinder deactivation technology, which can shut down two of the engine’s four cylinders when you’re cruising to save fuel. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.
For buyers wanting a sporty driving experience, the Scala is available with a sports chassis option, which lowers the car by 15mm and allows drivers to choose between Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual driving modes via the infotainment touchscreen.
Standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, while optional equipment includes a rear-view camera, blindspot monitoring, a powered boot lid and an electric towbar. Buyers can choose from S, SE and SE-L trim levels, with mid-range SE models likely to be the best pick.
Like the upcoming new Golf, the Scala is always connected to the internet, thanks to an eSIM that can, among other things, call the emergency services free of charge, show fuel prices from petrol stations or send diagnostic details from the car to nearby Skoda dealers.
2019 Skoda Scala price
Prices for the Scala haven’t been announced yet, but it’s expected to cost from around £16,500, making it comfortably cheaper than all of its key rivals. That gap will naturally close for the many buyers using PCP finance deals to buy their cars, however. Discounts should also lower the Scala’s price even further – as an example, What Car? New Car Buying can currently net you an average saving of at least £1800 on the larger Octavia.
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