SKODA

SKODA SCALA HATCHBACK 1.5 TSI SE Technology 5dr

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionManual

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.2s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2125 g/km

In many ways, the Scala is Skoda's strongest-ever offering in the family hatchback sector, even though its engineering isn't strictly family hatchback-based. It offers value, efficiency and more interior space than almost anything in the segment. If you're out for something sensible in this class, there's a lot to like. We tried the 1.5 TSI petrol version.

MOVING INTO CZECH

Skoda's Scala is the brand's most competitive family hatchback offering yet. Jonathan Crouch drives the 1.5 TSI petrol version.

Ten Second Review

In many ways, the Scala is Skoda's strongest-ever offering in the family hatchback sector, even though its engineering isn't strictly family hatchback-based. It offers value, efficiency and more interior space than almost anything in the segment. If you're out for something sensible in this class, there's a lot to like. We tried the 1.5 TSI petrol version.

Background

Skoda's family hatch models aim to bring you something a little extra. Here's another of them, the Scala. You get engineering - and a price - that's very supermini-like. But more interior space than the pricier Golf or Focus-sized family hatch models the Czech brand is pitching this car against. The Scala is based on the more compact MQB A0 chassis used by superminis like the Volkswagen Polo and the SEAT Ibiza. And its name comes from the Latin meaning 'stairs' or 'ladder', reflecting this model's claim to be 'a leap forward in design and technology' - at least for a Skoda. Plus as usual with its offerings, the brand is offering it at slightly lower prices than the opposition and includes a range of 'Simply Clever' design features intended to make everyday life with this car just that little bit easier. It all adds up to a contender that aims to bring something a little different to the family hatchback class. Time to put it to the test in 1.5 TSI 150PS petrol form.

Driving Experience

Given that whole 'big car feel' ethos that Skoda's so keen to talk about with this model, we thought we'd try a Scala fitted with the largest petrol engine it's ever likely to get, the 1.5 TSI 150PS unit that you'll also find fitted to every model bigger than this one in the current Skoda catalogue. It can be had with manual transmission, but here we've elected to test it with that DSG auto 'box, in which form it dispatches 62mph in 8.2s on the way to a maximum (that no Scala owner will ever approach) of 136mph. This dual-clutch gearbox is predictably slick in the mid-range, but we're not sure we'd choose it in this car unless we really were urban-bound. Apart from the fact that when wedded to the 1.5-litre engine, it pushes the price of this car beyond the level most prospective owners will want to pay, we've found this transmission a bit hesitant when pulling away from junctions. And it can be found hunting around for the right ratio with a touch of indecision when rapid bursts of acceleration are needed. If you occasionally undertake longer trips in a car of this kind though, this package is still worth a look.

Design and Build

Give a family hatchback-class car a platform designed for a smaller supermini and you'd expect it would be more cramped inside. Skoda claims to have reversed that logic here. And done so with a sensibly stylish twist. It's all rather impressive. At the wheel, it's certainly a step up in quality from the previous model, helped by the installation of a large freestanding centre-dash screen, which will be 8-inches in size with typical mid-level trim. This smart glass-frontage appendage deals effectively with the usual DAB stereo, Bluetooth 'phone and car informational functions and is embellished with Skoda's 'SmartLink' smartphone-mirroring set-up. More unusual though, are the so-called 'Simply Clever' features, little touches to make everyday life just that little bit easier. Things like the little pockets in the sides of the seats, which also have stowage areas beneath; the chilled glovebox that keeps drinks and chocolate cool; and our favourite touch, this pull-out umbrella built into the driver's door, an idea borrowed from Rolls-Royce. None of which would really matter much if cabin ergonomics hadn't been spot on. But Volkswagen Group products don't tend to get that kind of thing wrong these days and this one certainly hasn't. It's easy to get a really comfortable driving position thanks to plenty of seat and wheel adjustment. And in the rear? Well despite its supermini-derived platform, the Scala out-shines all its most obvious family hatch-segment rivals in terms of leg and headroom. There's a big 467-litre boot too.

Market and Model

Pricing for the 1.5 TSI DSG auto model we tried is pitched at just over £21,000, which means you'll need a budget of just under £20,000 for the manual version. There are two trim levels with this engine, mid-range 'SE' or top-spec 'SE L'. At 'SE' level, you get cruise control, rear parking sensors, a 'Bolero' infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, an integrated umbrella and a height adjustable passenger seat. If you're happy to spend more on your Scala, then your dealer will direct you to the plushest 'SE L' model, which includes the brand's top 'Amundsen' infotainment system with a 9.2-inch glass touchscreen, plus there's a hi-tech digital cockpit, climate control air conditioning, keyless entry with start/stop and a colour multifunction trip computer. The exterior design features 17-inch alloy wheels, full LED rear lights, dynamic indicators and privacy glass on the rear windows.

Cost of Ownership

It's interesting to note that the penalty for switching to the gutsier four cylinder TSI petrol engine, the 1.5-litre 150PS unit we're trying here, is also quite minor over the alternative three cylinder 1.0 TSI unit. Even if you saddle it with the DSG auto gearbox that featured in our test car. In this form, the Scala returns up to 45.6mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and 113g/km of NEDC-rated CO2. That's thanks to cylinder deactivation technology that sees two of this powerplant's four cylinders deactivated under light to medium throttle loads. The DSG set-up also helps with a 'coasting' function that at cruising speeds, will disconnect the gearbox from the powertrain, leaving the engine to idle until you next need it. Plus all the petrol engines get the usual industry efficiency aids like brake energy regeneration and an engine stop-start system to help them meet the current Euro 6d-TEMP emission standards. Finally, while it's certainly true that other rivals better the three year 60,000 mile warranty that Skoda provides, you can extend your cover to four or five years by paying extra. Not that you really need to. The brand regularly tops independent consumer satisfaction surveys: according to real people, there are few more satisfying cars to own.

Summary

Will buyers previously foreign to the Skoda brand be won over by this car? Possibly. It won't suit those always yearning for a spirited drive but otherwise, its list of attributes ought to be enough to earn a place on your family hatchback shortlist. After all, this model is more affordable than most of its rivals - and more spacious too. In addition, it's well built, acceptably efficient - and to some eyes really quite stylish. We'd probably only choose this 1.5 TSI 150PS version over the alternative 1.0 TSI variant if we habitually engaged in longer trips though. Either way, there are more exciting class choices to be sure. But, by and large, you don't buy a family hatchback for excitement. All the reasons you would want such a thing are covered off here with typical Skoda thoroughness. And with enough style and quality to make brand loyalists feel rather smug. This probably won't have been the car you started out wanting in this class. But there's just a chance that it may be the one, you actually need.

  • Tinted windows
  • Front and rear electric windows

  • Hill hold control

  • Bluetooth system

  • Speed limiter
  • Lane assist
  • Easy light assist
  • Power assisted steering
  • Rain and light assist with auto dimming rear view mirror
  • Front assist system

  • Amundsen satellite navigation with 9.2" glass colour touchscreen with web radio and traffic sign recognition

  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors

  • 8 loudspeakers
  • 2 USB - C ports
  • DAB Digital radio

  • Body colour door mirrors and handles
  • Chrome grille surround
  • Chrome window surround

  • Leather gearknob and handbrake lever
  • Umbrella
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Chrome inner door handles
  • 12V socket in centre console
  • Front centre armrest with stitching
  • Instrument cluster with chrome painted decor ring
  • Decor strip on dashboard and door panel
  • Glasses storage in roof liner

  • Reading lights for driver and front passenger

  • One tone horn
  • Seat belt reminder for all seats
  • Emergency call and proactive services
  • Front head and side airbags
  • Passenger airbag switch off function
  • Curtain airbags
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts

  • Height adjustable passenger seat
  • Third rear headrest
  • Front head restraints
  • Manual lumbar support for front seats
  • ISOFIX for rear passenger seat

  • SAFE function for remote central locking
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Alarm
  • Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys

  • Sun visor with make up mirror for front passenger

  • Temporary space saver wheel

  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 166
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 124
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 106
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 166
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 185
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 124
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 106
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 128
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 156
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 149
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 125
  • CO2 (g/km): 110
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.017
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0002

  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 85.9
  • CC: 1498

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 44.1
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 72.4
  • EC Combined (mpg): 58.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 34.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 42.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.6

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 18E
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: 112000
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 97
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 81
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 76
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 150
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: SE Technology
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.2
  • Top Speed: 137
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/55 R16
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: True
  • Wheel Style: ALARIS

  • Width (including mirrors): 1988
  • Height: 1471
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4362
  • Width: 1793
  • Wheelbase: 2649

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1178
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1670
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 52.5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 467
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1250
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 620
  • Max. Loading Weight: 492
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1410
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.2

  • Heated windscreen: £315
  • Privacy glass: £175

  • Textile floor mats: £90

  • Wireless charging: £250
  • Voice control system: £25

  • Park assist system: £640
  • Adaptive cruise control: £430
  • Cruise control: Included
  • Rear view camera: £415
  • Front and rear parking sensors: Included
  • Drive mode selector: £135
  • Blind Spot Detection (BAS): £555

  • Electrically operated boot door: £430

  • Driver fatigue sensor: £60
  • SmartLink with Apple Carplay/Android auto and MirrorLink: Included
  • Virtual cockpit: £560
  • Multi function trip computer: Included
  • Wireless SmartLink for Apple Car Play: £80

  • Electric folding door mirrors: £225

  • Black dot decorative insert with red hot stamping: £280
  • Silver haptic decorative insert with glossy black hot stamping: Included

  • USB - C port by rear view mirror: £50

  • Panoramic glass sunroof: £1,275
  • Pearl effect paint: £595
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £595
  • Special paint: £595
  • Exclusive paint: £975

  • Front fog lights: Included
  • Basic LED headlights with LED daytime running lights: Included
  • Front fog lights with cornering function: £190
  • Headlight washer system with washer fluid level indicator: £155
  • High beam control: £240
  • Full LED headlights with adaptive front light system: £1,015
  • LED rear lights with dynamic indicators: Included

  • Dual zone climate control: £610
  • Manual air conditioning + Pollen filter: Included

  • Rear centre armrests: £145
  • Double sided boot floor: £80
  • Leather multifunction steering wheel: Included
  • Variable boot floor: £165
  • Net partition: £130
  • Front centre armrest with 2 rear USB ports: £100
  • 2 spoke heated leather multi-function steering wheel: £240

  • Copper ambient lighting: £265
  • White ambient lighting: £265
  • Red ambient lighting: £265

  • Family pack - Scala: £200
  • Simply clever pack - Scala: £190
  • Tailgate design pack - Scala: £445
  • Exterior design pack - Scala: £1,690
  • Interior pack - Scala: £130
  • Winter pack - Scala: £470
  • Boot pack - Scala: £85
  • Smoker pack - Scala: £45

  • Metallic - Quartz grey: £595
  • Metallic - Moon white: £595
  • Metallic - Titan blue: £595
  • Metallic - Race blue: £595
  • Metallic - Brilliant silver: £595

  • Pearl - Black magic: £595

  • Solid - Energy blue: £0

  • Exclusive paint - Velvet red: £975
  • Special paint - Meteor grey: £595
  • Special paint - Corrida red: £595
  • Special paint - Candy white: £595

  • Crew protect assist and rear side airbags: £450
  • Driver knee airbag: £255

  • Electrically adjustable driver seat: £550
  • Heated front seats and washer nozzles: £265
  • Height adjustable drivers seat: Included

  • Keyless entry with start/stop button: £435
  • Keyless start/stop: £210

  • Electrically folding towbar with adaptor: £980
  • Electric folding towbar: £855
  • Towbar preparation: £195

  • Cloth - Black/grey: £0
  • Cloth - Black/grey with red elements: £0

  • 17" Stratos alloy wheels: £600
  • 16" Hoedus aero alloy wheels in black with low rolling resistance tyres: £450
  • 16" Alaris alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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