Škoda raises the bar with the all-new Scala

by Petrol Mum

How many practical features can you pack into a hatchback? If that hatchback happens to be a Škoda Scala 110TSI Launch Edition, the answer is quite a lot! From the technology on offer to the many storage solutions, the Scala has you covered.

The 110TSI is powered by a 4-cyclinder, 1.5 litre, turbocharged petrol engine with 110kW and 250Nm of torque. The official combined fuel economy is 5.5L/100km and for my week I used 7.9L/100km. The engine is paired with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and you can use the plastic paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel to manually change gears if desired.

The front-wheel driven Scala can accelerate rom 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds, but the front tyres do lose traction under hard acceleration off the line even in the dry and it was worse in the wet. I found that the ride even in Sport mode was nice, but you can adjust the firmness in Individual mode, along with the Steering, Drive, Adaptive Cruise Control and Air Conditioning. The other drive modes available are Eco and Normal.

But what of this practicality I mentioned? It starts as you approach the Scala, with the key still in your handbag, and the doors unlocking as you near the vehicle. You can then press the Start button, located on the steering column where you would normally insert a key, without having to take the key out of your handbag. Škoda even have a cute name for this feature, they call it KESSY.

The driver’s seat has powered adjustment for height, recline, and forward/back plus 4-way lumbar adjustment, so you are sure to find that ‘just right’ position. The seats are firm, but still comfortable and I really liked the dual use of materials on the seats with the leather/leatherette and suedia upholstery. Both front seats are heated and this works very well, but the passenger seat only has manual adjustment for height, recline, forward/back and lumbar.

The materials used on the top of the doors and across the dash are also really nice and go really well with the sporty looking steering wheel. Something I always take note of is the image used on the voice control button and in the Škoda’s it is an androgynous-looking silhouette. The voice control can’t be used for setting a destination on the sat nav in Australia though, but it does work well for making calls or changing the media source or radio station.

Behind the steering wheel is a digital driver’s dash that changes depending on the drive mode selected and can also be configured to your liking. The virtual cockpit pairs well with the central 9.2″ Amundsen high resolution ‘Glass design’ infotainment system. This has satellite navigation including SmartLink and smartphone connectivity with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. The Scala Launch Edition has dual mode climate control, but to adjust the mode and fan speed you need to push the Menu button on the centre console and then adjust on the touchscreen.

For charging your devices there is a wireless charging pad in a storage cubby at the front of the centre console, along with two USB-C ports. This cubby also has a removable rubber mat for easy cleaning. In front of the arm rest there is a 12V outlet as well.

Being this is a small car doesn’t mean that it is lacking in storage options, quite the opposite really. You get a large drink bottle storage area in the front door cubby and enough room here also for a small laptop or tablet. There is a ticket holder clip on the driver’s side of the windscreen to display your parking ticket, a sunglass storage area at the front of the roof liner and a good-sized storage pocket to the right-hand side of the steering wheel. Under the arm rest is a small storage cubby and in front of the arm rest there are three rigid cup holders with the centre one being the perfect size for an espresso cup.

The safety technology on offer in the Scala Launch Edition is another noteworthy feature for a small hatchback. It has Front Assist with city Emergency Braking, Lane Assist, Side Assist – Blind Spot Detection, Rear Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control. The Adaptive Cruise Control is set and adjusted using a stalk behind the steering wheel.

ANCAP tests of the Autonomous Emergency Braking system showed GOOD performance in highway speed scenarios with collisions avoided or mitigated in most scenarios. ANCAP tests of Lane Support System functionality showed some GOOD performance, including several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios, and overall performance was classified as GOOD. The Lane Support System ANCAP score is 76% (9.98 out of 13).

The Scala Launch Edition has a standard rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors and all Scala models come with seven air bags protecting front and rear passengers. These include driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, curtain airbags – front and rear and a driver’s knee airbag. All Škoda Scala variants have a 5-star (2019) ANCAP safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 97% (34.17 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 87% (43.09 out of 49).

The rear seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to fit comfortably back there. For small children there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seats to be fitted. The two outer seats are heated and my children agreed that these also worked very well. The children were also happy that they had central air vents in the back with direction and open/close functionality. Rear air vents are the number one feature my children can’t live without and they complain when I have a car that doesn’t have them.

Below the air vents there are two USB-C ports for rear seat passengers to charge their devices. The rear seat does not have a fold down central arm rest, but does have drink bottle storage in the door cubbies for a 0.5 litre sized drink bottle. There are mats on the floor of the rear seat area, but no mat over the transmission tunnel, so this carpet may get worn over time from children climbing over it.

For a hatchback the boot of the Scala is a considerable size and would fit a stroller and the weekly shop or a pram and a small shop. Like previous Škodas I have driven the boot has many handy storage options including three cargo nets, four hooks – two of which are located on the rear tether points in the boot and can be moved/removed as required. There is even a net under the parcel shelf so that light items can be kept up and out of the way.

The boot is power operated and can be opened and closed from the button under the boot lid, from the key fob -only when the car is off, or opened only from the button in the cabin. There is a reversable mat on the boot floor that is carpet on one side and plastic on the other, a light, four tie down points and a space saver spare wheel under the boot floor. The rear seats have 40:60 split folding functionality if greater space is required for larger items.

All new Škoda vehicles come with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a one-year complimentary roadside assistance membership, from the warranty start date. The roadside assistance will remain complimentary if your vehicle is returned to an authorised Škoda dealer for scheduled maintenance, as per the Škoda Service Schedule milestones and is in a roadworthy condition. The service interval for the Škoda Scala is 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first and using the Škoda website I calculated the first five services would cost $2,447. Or you can purchase a five-year service pack upfront at a cost of just $1,400.

The Škoda Scala 110TSI Launch Edition has one final important feature, the price. Starting at $34,690 plus on-road costs and as tested with the optional Race Blue metallic paint the Scala I drove was $35,240 plus on-roads. So, if you are looking for a vehicle with the size and practicality of a hatchback without compromising on the technology available then the Scala could be the car for you. Visit your preferred Škoda dealer for more information or browse the on-line stock that is currently available.

So many practical featuresYou need to use the infotainment screen to adjust fan speed of climate control
The level of technology includedThe adaptive cruise is set using a stalk behind the steering wheel
The heated seatsVoice control can not be used to set a destination on the sat nav

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine

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