Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Scala represents one of the cheapest ways into a good family hatchback; even an equivalently equipped Ford Focus will cost you thousands more. However, there's a 'but'. It's predicted to depreciate at a faster rate than most of its rivals, including the Focus. That means it'll lose more of its value over three years if you're a cash buyer, although Skoda's generous PCP finance deals usually keep monthly payments very competitive.
Fuel economy is a strength, though. You can expect to see more than 40mpg in the real world from the 1.0 TSI 110 (that's better than a 1.0 Kia Ceed). Even the 1.5 TSI 150 shouldn't break the bank. And with its low P11D price and sensible CO2 emissions, the Scala is also a good choice if you're looking for reasonable company car tax payments.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level S trim gets the basics – 16in alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, air conditioning and suchlike – but we recommend upgrading to SE trim. This gains you a front centre armrest, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, as well as the infotainment upgrades and rear parking sensors we've already talked about.
SE trim also brings Skoda's ‘Simply Clever’ features, which aim to make life easier. These are a parking ticket holder mounted on the windscreen pillar, an umbrella stowed away in a compartment in the front door, an ice scraper/tyre tread depth gauge inside the fuel filler cap, and a cap for the screen wash bottle that unfolds and turns into a funnel.
SE Technology is aimed at company car drivers, and both it and SE L trim are worth considering. They still represent good value and the latter adds micro-suede seat inserts, bigger (17in) wheels, LED rear lights, dynamic indicators, privacy glass, climate control, electrically folding door mirrors and keyless entry/start. Monte Carlo also has a high spec, including a panoramic sunroof, sports seats and extra styling details inside and out.
The Scala is too new to have featured in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Skoda as a brand finished in a very respectable fifth place out of 31 manufacturers. That result places it above Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Seat and Volkswagen, as well as the premium brands, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Toyota is the only obvious rival that beat it.
Any mechanical faults are covered for three years, with unlimited mileage for the first two and up to 60,000 miles in the third. This is comparable with most rivals but is beaten soundly by the five-year warranties offered by Renault, Hyundai and Toyota and the seven years' cover that Kia provides.
Safety and security
All models come with twin front and side airbags and curtain airbags (front and rear). Active safety aids include lane-keeping assistance, a speed limiter and automatic emergency braking. You can add blindspot monitoring as an option, along with rear side airbags and a driver's knee bag.
Euro NCAP rates the Scala well. It gets five stars overall, but its individual category scores aren't quite up there with the best in class, such as the Mazda 3, with NCAP noting a slightly higher risk to adult and child occupants, as well as pedestrians.
All versions get an anti-theft alarm.
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