We drove the Skoda Scala 1.5 TSI 150 DSG: your stylish and practical friend.

Skoda has an admirable tradition of building cars which fit wonderfully in your daily motoring life. They are dependable, sturdy, practical and roomy. Last but not least, they offer a lot of value for money. Over the years, Skoda’s have also become a hallmark of elegant styling, and indeed the rakish, clean lines of this latest Scala are also quite inspiring. Needless to say that we were quite interested to take the car through its paces in a full test…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The first meters behind the wheel tell you that the level of mechanical refinement and workmanship of this Scala is top notch. Not  surprisingly, as you know that the Scala rolls on the modern MQB A0 platform, which you find also in the Seat Arona/Ibiza, VW T-Cross/Roc and  and has its drivetrain shared within the vast Volkswagen group and all elements are honed to perfection. Both the 4 cylinder 150 HP engine and the 7 speed DSG impress, and score very high in refinement, performance and economy.

Coming to the MQB platform, it has a 10 cm longer wheelbase than the Golf, and this means a lot of room for you. Legroom in the rear is nothing short of amazing in its class, and the luggage capacity is impressive with 467 liters, extendable to a whopping 1410 liters.

There is also enough headroom in the rear, even with the very nice panoramic roof, which was found in our test car. The dashboard has some familiar knobs and handles we have come to know from other VW group cars, but altogether the dashboard layout is stylish, ergonomic and above all comprehensive and practical. Again we liked the nice round instruments, and the no nonsense approach of the infotainment screens, knobs and functions. All very intuitive and geared to practical everyday use.

The Scale doesn’t have a multilink rear suspension at the rear, and a straightforward torsion beam here does the work. Yet the Scala handles fine, steers with good precision, whereby the electric power steering will give quite sufficient feedback about the road. It feels agile and unstressed when driven with spirit. The whole chassis and suspension is totally capable of handling the power and zest from the brilliant 150 HP four cylinder petrol engine. Comfort is very good, and this Scala is fit for travelling long distances without strain. We also liked the front seats very well, giving firm support and being generous in dimensions.

The performance of this compact yet roomy Scala will satisfy most of us: what to say of an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in merely 8,2 seconds, and a top speed of 220 km/h? Putting this in perspective, this is similar and even slightly better than an early 70’s 2 litre Porsche Targa…

Economy depends of course on your driving style, but it took no effort to stay in the 6-7 liter/100 km range during our test. We also loved the responsiveness and smoothness of the 7-speed DSG box, which was very well mated to the torque characteristics of the engine. Talking about torque,

Of course one has a wide choice of three and four cylinder engines for the Scala, starting from the 70 kW 1.0 TSI, and there is also a four cylinder 1.6 TDI, good for 115 HP. There is even a 90 HP 1.0 G-TEC, which runs on CNG.

In the top equipment level, one can enjoy digital instrumentation, but we still liked very much the nice round analogue instruments for speed and revs.

To conclude, we liked also the styling of this Scala. Rakish, clean, with some details reminiscent of the Porsche styling language. We also like the styling language of the new grilles of the Skoda line-up. Could be worse…

Conclusion

We can only applaud the excellent quality of workmanship, the frugality and zest of its drivetrain, the roominess and practicality. Last but not least the value for money.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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