Skoda Scala Review logo

Skoda Scala Review

hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello
hello

1/10

hello

2/10

hello

3/10

hello

4/10

hello

5/10

hello

6/10

hello

7/10

hello

8/10

hello

9/10

hello

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Skoda's budget Ford Focus Rival”

Best bits

  • Comfortable and secure on the road
  • Roomy cabin and a big boot
  • More affordable than most of the competition

Not so great

  • Interior feels rather low on quality
  • Some items of standard kit are missing
  • Very basic infotainment on entry-level model

Read by

Skoda Scala front

Overall verdict

Skoda Scala interior dash

On the inside

Skoda Scala driving

Driving

Skoda Scala corner

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Scala boot space

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Sibling rivalry can be a powerful thing. Just look at Skoda’s range of family hatchbacks. First, you have the older sibling, the Octavia. Popular. Successful. Established. Good at everything. Then there’s the poor little Scala, the younger of the pair, who has to come along and make a name for itself in big school, while always trying to measure up to its big brother."

Skoda Scala front

Actually, it’s not like that with the Scala. This isn’t a car that’s trying to be a carbon-copy of its outstanding elder sibling. It has its own character, and it’s designed to offer something different. 


While the Octavia is - and continues to be - popular for providing limousine space for hatchback money, along with loads of luxury kit and a posh-feeling cabin, the Scala caters for different buyers. Not everyone needs as much space as the Octavia provides, and not everyone cares as much about quality and kit as they do about the pricetag. With that in mind, the Scala is a smaller, more budget-focused offering to satisfy those people who might otherwise be drawn to a Kia Ceed or Vauxhall Astra.


Of course, when we say ‘smaller’, everything is relative. The Octavia is enormous inside by class standards, and so the smaller Scala is still one of the roomiest cars in the class, both in the passenger compartment and in the boot. Yes, you will see evidence of cost-cutting in other areas: the interior is trimmed with fairly dull-looking grey plastics, and while lots of equipment is offered, not a great deal of it is standard. Still, what do you expect when the pricetag undercuts those of pretty much every rival?


Importantly, you won’t detect any signs of cost-cutting on the road. The Scala is an impressively comfortable and easy-going car to drive, with a compliant ride, controlled handling and perky and efficient engines. 


You’ll also enjoy the fantastic all-round visibility it gives you, the user-friendly nature of all the various controls and the peace-of-mind you get from its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. In fact, quality and kit-list aside, the Scala is an exceptionally good all-rounder. And off for a bargain-basement price. If you like the finer things in life, it might not be for you, but when you stand to save thousands, surely it’s worth a look, right?

Is the Skoda Scala right for you?

Are you looking for as much car as you can possibly get for as little cash as possible? That’s always been where Skoda has been able to trump most rivals, and so it continues with the Scala. This is one of the roomiest cars in the class, and also one of the most affordable. However, Skoda is already covered in this area of the market by the excellent Octavia, so why have the Scala as well? 


Well, while the Octavia is an even roomier, slightly pricier and more upmarket offering, the Scala is designed for those people who don’t need quite so much space, and are operating on a rather tighter budget. And on that score, it does a fantastic job. You might have to forgive a few iffy interior plastics, and forego some items of luxury kit, but the Scala is a really well-rounded performer in every other area.

What's the best Skoda Scala model/engine to choose?

For our money, the Scala makes most sense as a petrol (badged TSI), and it’s the 115PS version of the 1.0-litre that has impressed us most so far. It’s actually more efficient than the entry-level 95PS option, but it still keeps purchase prices down, and it’s impressively smooth and punchy.


When it comes to your choice of trim level, none of them are ideal to be honest. The ones at the bottom of the range are rather spartan, and while the ones at the top of the range are much better, there’s still quite a bit of stuff you’d expect as standard that buyers are required to pay extra for. For us, the best compromise is the second-rung SE version, which gives you most of what you really need without taking purchase prices too high.

What other cars are similar to the Skoda Scala?

The Scala has no shortage of competitors, as this is one of the most fiercely-fought sectors in all of motoring. Sitting at the more affordable end of the family hatchback scale, the main competition comes from cars like the Ford Focus, Hyundai i30, Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra.


The Volkswagen Golf costs buyers a little bit more, and bridges the gap to more premium offerings like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. You also have dozens of small SUVs competing for the same cash.

Learn more

Skoda Scala interior dash

On the inside

Skoda Scala driving

Driving

Skoda Scala corner

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Scala boot space

Prices, versions and specification