The Skoda Scala is a small hatchback that offers a lot of value for money. It competes with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Hyundai i30 in the crowded European market. But what makes the Skoda Scala stand out from the crowd? And what can we expect from the facelifted 2024 model? Let's find out.
The Scala's History and Design
The Skoda Scala was launched in 2019 to replace the Skoda Rapid. It was based on the Skoda Vision RS concept that debuted at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. The name Scala means "ladder" or "stairs" in Latin, reflecting Skoda's ambition to climb up the ranks in the compact segment.
The Scala's sleek and modern design has a large front grille, slim LED headlights, and a sculpted body. The rear features an extended glass window with the Skoda lettering instead of a logo. The Scala also has a spacious interior, with a boot capacity of 467 liters (16.5 cubic feet), which can be expanded to 1,410 liters (49.8 cubic feet) by folding the rear seats.
The Scala is built on the MQB A0 platform, which is shared with other Volkswagen Group models, such as the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza, and Audi A1. The Scala is 4,362 mm (171.7 inches) long, 1,793 mm (70.6 inches) wide, and 1,471 mm (57.9 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,649 mm (104.3 inches). It weighs between 1,160 kg (2,557 lbs) and 1,335 kg (2,943 lbs), depending on the engine and transmission.
The Scala's Engines and Performance
The 2024 Skoda Scala offers a range of petrol engines, all featuring turbocharging and direct injection. No diesel options are available for the 2024 model year, as Skoda has decided to phase them out due to stricter emissions regulations.
The entry-level engine is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI that produces 95 hp (75 kW) and 175 Nm (129 lb-ft) of torque. It is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox and has a fuel consumption of 5.3 liters per 100 km (44.4 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 121 g/km.
The next engine is also a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI, but with more power: 115 hp (85 kW) and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft) of torque. It can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG). The fuel consumption is 5.2 liters per 100 km (45.2 mpg), and CO2 emissions are 118 g/km for the manual version, and 5.4 liters per 100 km (43.6 mpg) and CO2 emissions are 123 g/km for the DSG version.
The most powerful engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder TSI that delivers 150 hp (110 kW) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. It also comes with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG gearbox. The fuel consumption is 5.6 liters per 100 km (42 mpg), and CO2 emissions are 128 g/km for the manual version and 5.7 liters per 100 km (41.3 mpg), and CO2 emissions are 130 g/km for the DSG version.
The 1.5-liter TSI also features cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts off two cylinders when they are not needed to save fuel. All engines have a start-stop system and comply with the Euro 6d emission standard.
The Scala's performance is decent for its class, with a top speed ranging from 184 km/h (114 mph) to 219 km/h (136 mph) and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), taking from 9.8 seconds to 12 seconds.
The Scala's Features and Technology
The Scala is well-equipped with features and technology that make it comfortable, safe, and convenient to drive. Some of the highlights include:
- A digital instrument cluster with an eight-inch or optional 10.25-inch display that shows various information such as speed, rpm, navigation, media, phone, driving data, and driver assistance systems.
- An infotainment system with an eight-inch or optional 9.2-inch touchscreen that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, over-the-air software updates, online services, voice control, and Skoda's Laura assistant.
- A wireless charging pad for smartphones also boosts the signal strength.
- A sound system with eight speakers or optional 10 speakers and a subwoofer.
- A panoramic sunroof that covers 86 percent of the roof area and can be electrically opened or tilted.
- A climate control panel with physical buttons and dials, including buttons for adjusting the fan speed.
- A multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters for the DSG models.
- A keyless entry and start system with a sensor-operated electric tailgate.
- A rear-view camera and parking sensors, or optional park assist that can automatically steer the car into parallel or perpendicular spaces.
- A range of driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind spot detect, rear traffic alert, front assist with city emergency brake and pedestrian protection, driver alert, traffic sign recognition, and emergency call.
The Scala's Facelift for 2024
The Scala has received a facelift for the 2024 model year, which brings some subtle changes to its exterior and interior design. The main differences are:
- New LED headlights with optional matrix LED technology that can adjust the light beam according to the traffic situation and provide better visibility.
- A redesigned front grille with a more prominent Skoda logo and chrome strips.
- New front and rear bumpers with sportier shapes and integrated fog lights.
- New LED taillights with dynamic indicators that sweep from the inside to the outside.
- New wheel designs with sizes from 15 to 18 inches, some of which have aerodynamic inserts to reduce drag.
- New exterior colors, such as Steel Grey for the Scala and Phoenix Orange for the Kamiq (a crossover based on the same platform as the Scala).
- A two-tone option for the Kamiq, with a black roof, A-pillars, and side mirror caps.
- More recycled and natural materials for the interior, such as fabrics, plastics, hemp, and kenaf.
- New smartphone storage pockets on the front seatbacks.
The Scala's Price and Availability
The Skoda Scala is currently available in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is not sold in North America or South America. The price varies depending on the market, but it starts from around €17,000 ($20,000) in Germany and £17,000 ($23,500) in the UK.
The facelifted 2024 Skoda Scala is expected to arrive in dealerships in early 2024. The price is likely to increase slightly due to the added features and technology. Skoda has not announced the exact pricing and specifications for each market yet.
The Scala's Pros and Cons
The Scala is a hatchback that offers a lot of benefits for its customers. Some of the pros are:
- A stylish and modern design that stands out from the crowd
- A spacious and practical interior that can accommodate five passengers and their luggage
- A range of efficient and powerful petrol engines that suit different driving needs
- A high level of features and technology that make it comfortable, safe, and convenient to drive
- A competitive price that offers good value for money
However, the Skoda Scala also has some drawbacks that might deter some buyers. Some of the cons are:
- A lack of diesel options that might appeal to some customers who prefer lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
- A limited availability in some regions might limit its market potential
- A relatively low brand recognition and reputation compared to some of its rivals
The Scala's Verdict
The Skoda Scala is a hatchback that deserves more attention than it gets. It is a well-rounded car that delivers on many aspects: design, space, performance, features, technology, and price. It might not be the most exciting or premium car in its segment, but it is certainly one of the most sensible and satisfying ones.
The facelifted 2024 model improves on some areas that were already good, such as the headlights, grille, bumpers, wheels, colors, materials, and pockets. It also retains some areas that were already great, such as the digital instrument cluster, infotainment system, wireless charging pad, sound system, sunroof, climate control panel, keyless entry and start system, rear-view camera and parking sensors, park assist, driver assistance systems.
If you are looking for a small hatchback that offers style and substance without breaking the bank, you should definitely consider the Skoda Scala. It might not be a ladder to heaven, but it is certainly a step up from many of its competitors.