Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Even if you’re well over six feet tall, you won't feel your hair brushing the roof, while the seats slide far enough back to accommodate anyone long in the leg. The main difference between the Scala and many of its rivals – including the Kia Ceed and Mazda 3, as well as the in-house Octavia – is that it's narrower in the front. That means you and your passenger might feel a tad more intimate.
Storage space is good. The front door pockets are a generous size, while there’s a decent-sized glovebox, a large drawer under the front seats, a small cubby in front of the gearlever – where you can stash your phone or keys – and a sunglasses holder above the rear-view mirror.
Rear space is the Scala's par excellence. Leg and head room are exceedingly generous for the class, bettering even the spacious Ford Focus. For the cherry on top, foot space under the front seats is also bountiful and, with cushy headrests to boot, your passengers will be able to kick back happily and relax.
Although the interior is narrower than some of its rivals', none of the cars in this class is wide enough to fit three adults in the back without a modicum of shoulder rubbing. The Scala's central floor hump is tall but not very wide, so the middle passenger has room for their feet either side, and the middle seat itself isn't too perched, so it's reasonably comfortable.
There's space for odds and sods, too, with a couple of map pockets and two door bins.
Seat folding and flexibility
The Scala’s rear seatbacks fold in a decidedly conventional 60/40 split. Unlike in the Skoda Octavia, however, there are no release levers in the boot itself; instead of being able to drop the seats while you're at the boot opening, you have to walk around, open the rear doors and press the release buttons at the top of the rear seats. Okay, not a big hardship, but it's the little touches that make life more bearable, right?
SE trim and above have a height-adjustable passenger seat, but you can't get electric seat operation or a flat-folding passenger seat, to accommodate really long items.
With the rear seats in their upright position, the Scala’s boot can take considerably more luggage than a Ford Focus's or VW Golf's – up to seven carry-on suitcases, compared with five for those two rivals. That will be plenty for most people, but it’s worth noting that if boot space is above all else on your list of requirements, both the Honda Civic and Skoda’s own Octavia have even greater capacities.
The Scala’s boot is a nice, square shape and has plenty of bag hooks, while the load lip is manageably low if you put the optional (and highly recommended) adjustable boot floor in its higher setting. Doing that also smooths out the step left in floor when you fold down the rear seats.