First Drive: Skoda Scala

New Skoda Scala

Skoda is thinking big with the new Scala writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? As the long school year comes to an end the Skoda Rapid’s end of term report would probably say “a hard-working student, capable but not exceptional”.  The Rapid was Skoda’s simple no compromise budget hatchback that was neither rapid nor stylish and found few homes in Ireland.   Now in a bid for success in the family hatchback market, Skoda has replaced it with the all new Scala and hopes that this one will make impressive progress during the next school year.

First impressions? It looks good from the outside with a sweeping profile and LED head and tail lights.

What about the interior? The smart looks outside are complemented by a bright, airy cabin. Everything is of good quality, built to last and it is super spacious particularly for rear seat passengers. Boot space is also good with a very generous 467 litres of capacity and there is oodles of storage spaces and cubby holes. It’s also stuffed with big-car technology including VW’s latest MIB3 infotainment package which brings a clean dash and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as wireless phone charging capability.

Under the bonnet? Engine options include two petrol, a 1.0 TSI 115bhp and a 1.5 TSI 150bhp and one 1.6 TDI 115bhp diesel both manual and DSG automatic transmissions.

And on the road? The 1.0 petrol is perky and yet smooth and refined. The Scala is not going to worry rivals in terms of driving dynamics but it handles well and feels light.

Will it break the bank? You’ll get plenty of goodies with every Scala including 16” alloy wheels; Dynamic rear LED indicators, air-conditioning and a 6.5” colour touch screen unit. Trade up to the next trim the Style model for extras including 17” alloy wheels and full LED headlights as well as the Bolero 8” infotainment unit. Prices start from €23,650 for the 1.0 TSI 115bhp, so for now until the new entry-level model is launched it is actually more expensive to buy than the Octavia that starts from €22,025.

How safe is it? Designed to keep not only you and yours safe the Scala scored especially high in the Euro NCAP test assessments of adult occupant safety and cyclist safety and achieved an overall five star rating

Why you will like it? There’s something very reassuring about the new Scala. It’s a solid, practical and sturdy family car that is well equipped and seriously spacious that would make a welcome change from the gamut of urban crossovers on the school run.

What it says about you?  You are a no-nonsense girl that likes a car to not only look good but offer safe and practical transport

3 words to describe the Skoda Scala? Spacious, Smart, Practical

Geraldine Herbert

9th July 2019

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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