New Vauxhall Astra vs Ford Focus vs Skoda Scala: interiors

Vauxhall has upgraded its family hatchback with steering changes and new engines and infotainment. Is this boost big enough for it to rocket up and join the stars of the class?...

Ford Focus interior

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

All of our contenders have a steering wheel that moves for both height and reach, as well as adjustable lumbar support. The Astra goes a step further by adding an extendable seat base to give the long-legged better under-thigh support, but we found it to be the least comfortable on a long journey. It’s the Focus that has the best driving position, plus its seat holds you in place the tightest through corners.

Skoda Scala interior

In the range-topping SE L form we’re testing, the Scala’s speedo and rev counter are replaced by a large, configurable digital display. Not only can this show a huge range of information, but it also does so much more clearly than most cars. Although posh versions of the Astra also come with digital instrument dials, this mid-range SRi model gets regular analogue ones, just like the Focus.

Vauxhall Astra interior

Poke and prod your way around the interiors of our combatants and you’ll come away most impressed by the Astra. It has the greatest spread of squishy plastics, a reasonable feeling of solidity and buttons and knobs that feel made to last. The Scala is a little flimsier, contains more scratchy plastics and has air-con controls that just feel cheap. Even so, it’s classier and feels more robust than the Focus’s relatively low-rent interior.