Skoda Scala long-term test review: report 4

With its all-new Skoda Scala, the Czech brand is going head to head with some of the UK's most popular cars. Does it have what it takes to win over the youngest member of our team?...

Scala and 1 Series

The car: Skoda Scala 1.0 TSI 115 SE 

Run by: Kris Culmer, sub-editor

Why it’s here: To provide a credible budget alternative to the Golf as the Volkswagen moves upmarket for its next generation

Needs to: Show that a budget family hatchback doesn’t have to feel its price

Mileage 7970 Price £18,585 Target Price £18,205 Price as tested £21,085 Test economy 54.3mpg Official economy 49.6mpg (WLTP combined)

13 November – Good news, bad news

Skoda came to take back my Scala recently in order to fix its infotainment system. An update had been required (as mine was a very early example), because the software repeatedly crashed.

This seemed to be the solution at first, but the touchscreen is back up to its old tricks again; although it does now function properly, it sometimes doesn't turn on at all when I start the car. I can still hear the radio and control the system to a limited extent with the steering wheel-mounted buttons, but the screen remains as dead as a dodo.

scala LT biking

On a positive note, I recently visited a friend for the weekend, and we went mountain biking (or hill biking, I suppose, as it was in Oxford). I had been a little worried that our bikes – each with a pair of 29in wheels – wouldn't fit in the Scala's 467-litre boot. But no worries: with the 60/40-split rear seats pushed down (easy to do, using little levers on their tops), the load bay extends to 1410 litres. That's just about enough for two bikes with their front wheels laid on top, plus all the other associated stuff, even with a 6ft-tall passenger comfortably in the front seat.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more about our long-term Skoda Scala >

See more long-term test reports >