New Mazda 3 & Skoda Scala vs Kia Ceed

The new Mazda 3 and Skoda Scala could shake up the family hatchback market – provided they can beat solid performers such as the Kia Ceed...

Kia Ceed driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

With discounts available on the Ceed and Scala that drop both under £20,000, that leaves the 3 as the priciest for a straight-up cash buyer. Expect some level of discounting from Mazda dealers soon, though.

If you’re looking to finance your purchase on a PCP deal (our quotes are based on a £2200 deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles per year, over 36 months), it’s the Ceed that comes out cheapest, at £261 a month. That’s £33 less than the 3 and £49 less than the Scala.

Mazda 3 driving

Why’s that, you might ask? Well, the Scala’s Achilles heel appears to be its resale values, which are predicted to be the lowest after three years, while the 3’s are highest. This also affects the Scala’s leasing cost, which again is the highest at £305 per month, compared with £230 for the 3 and £198 for the Ceed.

The situation is reversed for company car drivers, though. With the lowest P11D value and CO2 emissions, the Scala will cost you the least in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, saving you around £20 per month compared with the 3 and close to £30 over the Ceed. The Scala is also the most fuel efficient, with a Test MPG result of 42.1mpg, compared with 39.1mpg for the 3 and the Ceed’s 37.6mpg.

Each car comes equipped with climate control, alloy wheels (16in on the Mazda and 17in on the others), cruise control, power-folding door mirrors and automatic lights and wipers. The Mazda also has a head-up display, heated front seats and adaptive cruise control and, like the Scala, keyless entry. 

Skoda Scala driving

The 3 is the only one that has been crash tested by Euro NCAP and produced a great adult occupant protection score en route to gaining its five stars overall. We’ve spoken to NCAP about the Scala and it is confident of a good rating, but it doesn’t come dripping with the number of active safety features that the 3 does. While all of them have automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, the 3 goes further with blindspot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, features that are either optional or not available on the other two.

All three brands have good reliability records, but it’s Kia that comes out ahead of the other two. And don’t forget that Kia offers a standard-setting seven-year warranty on the Ceed, compared with an unexceptional three years each for the 3 and Scala. 

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