The Skoda Scala is a car that deserves more attention than it gets. It's a spacious, practical, well-equipped hatchback offering great value for money and a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience. It's also one of the few cars in its class that can claim to be truly innovative, thanks to its clever design and technology features. I'll tell you why the Skoda Scala is a hidden gem in the crowded and competitive family car market and why you should consider it your next new car.
What is the Skoda Scala?
The 2023 Skoda Scala is a five-door hatchback that competes with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, Hyundai i30, and Toyota Corolla. It was launched in 2019 as a replacement for the Skoda Rapid, and it's based on the same platform as the VW Polo and the Seat Ibiza. However, the Scala is much bigger than those superminis and offers more interior space and boot capacity than most of its rivals.
The 2024 Skoda Scala is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines and a plug-in hybrid version. It also comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions and four trim levels: SE, SE L, Monte Carlo, and Sportline. The prices start from $23,000 for the base model and go up to $33,000 for the top-spec version.
What makes the Skoda Scala stand out?
The Skoda Scala has many strengths, making it an appealing choice for family car buyers. Here are some of the main ones:
- Space and practicality: The Scala has one of the largest cabins in its class, with plenty of room for five adults and their luggage. The rear seats offer generous legroom and headroom and can also be folded down to create a flat load floor. The boot has a capacity of 467 liters, which can be expanded to 1,410 liters with the seats down. That's more than what you get in the VW Golf, Ford Focus, or Kia Ceed. The Scala also has many clever storage solutions, such as an umbrella holder on the door, a ticket holder on the windscreen, and an ice scraper in the fuel cap.
- Technology and safety: The Scala is equipped with some of the latest technology features that make driving easier and safer. It has a digital instrument cluster that can be customized to show different information, such as navigation, media, or driving data. It also has a touchscreen infotainment system that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and online services such as weather, traffic, or parking information. The Scala also has a host of advanced driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and more.
- Design and style: The 2024 Skoda Scala has a sleek and modern exterior design that gives it a distinctive and refined look. It features a large grille with chrome accents, slim LED headlights and taillights, a sculpted bonnet and roofline, and a glass tailgate that extends to the bumper. The Scala also has some unique design elements that add some flair to its appearance, such as the optional extended glass roof that creates a panoramic effect or the Monte Carlo trim that adds black details to the grille, mirrors, wheels, spoiler, and badges.
- Performance and efficiency: The Skoda Scala offers a balanced and satisfying driving experience that combines performance and efficiency. The petrol engines are smooth and responsive, delivering enough power for most situations. The diesel engine is economical and torquey, ideal for long-distance driving. The plug-in hybrid engine is the best of both worlds, offering electric-only driving for short trips or city driving and hybrid mode for longer journeys or higher speeds. The transmissions are smooth and precise, whether you choose the manual or the automatic option. The suspension is comfortable and composed, absorbing bumps and potholes with ease. The steering is light and accurate, making the Scala easy maneuvering and parking.
How does the Skoda Scala compare to its rivals?
The Skoda Scala is a strong contender in the family car segment, offering a range of benefits that make it stand out from its rivals. Some of the main aspects that make the Skoda Scala superior to its competitors are:
- Value for money: The Scala is one of the most affordable cars in its class, undercutting most of its rivals by a significant margin. It also offers more standard equipment than many of its competitors, such as LED headlights and taillights, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, wireless smartphone integration, digital instrument cluster, etc. Additionally, the Scala has lower running costs than most of its rivals, thanks to its efficient engines and reduced maintenance needs.
- Innovation and quality: The 2024 Skoda Scala is one of the few cars in its class that can claim to be truly innovative, thanks to its clever design and technology features. It has a glass tailgate that creates a unique and stylish look and an extended glass roof that offers a panoramic view. It also has a digital instrument cluster that can be customized to show different information and a touchscreen infotainment system that supports online services. The Scala also has a high level of quality, with solid build quality and durable materials.
Some of the cars that the Skoda Scala competes with are:
- The Volkswagen Golf, which is the benchmark in the family car segment, offers a refined and versatile driving experience. However, the Golf is more expensive than the Scala and offers less space and practicality.
- The Ford Focus, which is one of the most popular and fun-to-drive cars in its class, offers sharp and agile handling. However, the Focus is also more expensive than the Scala and has a smaller and less user-friendly infotainment system.
- The Kia Ceed, which is another value-for-money proposition, offers a long warranty and a generous equipment list. However, the Ceed is less spacious or comfortable than the Scala and has a less refined and efficient engine range.
The Skoda Scala is a car that deserves more attention than it gets. It's a spacious, practical, well-equipped hatchback offering great value for money and a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience. It's also one of the few cars in its class that can claim to be truly innovative, thanks to its clever design and technology features. If you're looking for a family car that can do everything without breaking the bank, consider the Skoda Scala your next new car.