Skoda Scala review

Category: Family car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Skoda Scala 2019 RHD infotainment
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  • Skoda Scala front cornering - awards pic
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear cornering shot
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front wide cornering
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD side panning
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front studio
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front cornering shot
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear studio
  • Skoda Scala 2019 LHD boot open
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front seats
  • Skoda Scala front cornering - awards pic
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear cornering shot
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front wide cornering
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD side panning
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front studio
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front cornering shot
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD rear studio
  • Skoda Scala 2019 LHD boot open
  • Skoda Scala 2019 RHD front seats
RRP £17,265What Car? Target Price from£16,156
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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 isn't predicted to hold its value as well as most rivals, including the Focus. That means that 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 115 (that's better than a 1.0 Kia Ceed), and mid-50s for the 1.6 TDI 115. Even the 1.5 TSI 150 shouldn't break the bank. Only buy the 1.6 TDI 115 if you calculate that the extra MPG will make up for its higher list price, though; you'll need to do a lot of miles to make that happen. And even though the diesel has the lowest CO2 emissions in the range, it ends up more expensive on company car tax than the 1.0 TSI engines because of its higher P11D value and the 4% diesel surcharge. 

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level S trim gets the basics – 16in alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearlever, air conditioning and suchlike – but we'd recommend upgrading to SE trim. This gains a front centre armrest, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers, 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 L trim is worth considering. It still represents good value and 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. 

 

Skoda Scala 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

The Scala is too new to have featured in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Skoda as a brand finished a very respectable ninth out of 31 manufacturers. That result places it above Volkswagen and Seat, as well as premium brands that include Mercedes and Porsche. Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki and Toyota are the only key contenders that do any better.

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 (AEB). 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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Overview

Don't discount the Scala on the basis that it's cheap. It ticks many of the boxes that some more expensive family cars fail to, with its supple ride, decent handling, good infotainment system, amazing rear seat space and vast boot. Only its cheap-looking interior and weaker-than-average resale values mark it down.

  • Comfortable ride and tidy handling
  • Spacious rear seats and a big boot
  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Not as dynamic as a Focus
  • Poorer resale values than its main rivals
  • Interior feels a little cheap

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