Skoda Scala Style 1.5 TSI Review
On A Scala To New Heights

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
18 Mar 2021
 

For first-time car buyers who would like to get more out of their very first car, the Scala marries versatility with chic styling

Skoda is well known for producing cars which are value for money. From their two flagships, the Superb sedan and Kodiaq SUV, to the compact Octavia, there has always been a common theme; one that is practical and sensible.

In Singapore, the Czech brand has just launched two new compacts, the Kamiq SUV, and this, the all-new Scala.

Squint a little and you cannot help to think that their new hatchback resembles the Audi A3 Sportback. But there are some parallels here. Both cars are built as compacts, with a little bit of versatility thrown in, with the tail end of the Scala, like the A3 resembling that of a shortened estate, or an extended hatchback if you may… estate -0.5 or hatch+0.5...

While the larger A3 sits on the group’s widely proven MQB architecture, the Scala utilises the related MQB A0, intended for smaller cars. 

With the Scala, Skoda has also introduced a milder face through a newly-styled front grille, flanked by angular LED headlights. If you choose the Monte Carlo trim, you also get a super-sized panoramic glass roof, and sports seats. Our ‘Style’ trim test car loses the super-sized glass roof and makes do with regular front seats.

Together with the large integrated wing on the tailgate, and rear windshield that is pushed out to the far edges, the Scala presents itself as a neatly-designed B-Segment hatchback, that is arguably one of the prettiest out there. 

One of the features that we were looking forward to was the customisation of the ‘Skoda’ wordmark on the rear windshield, to make it your own (but probably limited to 5-6 letters); but sadly this cool feature would not be coming to our shores.

Inside

As with most Skoda cars we have driven, there is no adventurous use of materials, and in-fact it is unapologetically plastic; but quality, fit and finish, while not at Volkswagen standards is pretty close, while the dash design is pleasing to the eye. I appreciate that Skoda has also ensured that there is a good amount of soft touch materials included into the door cards. The simply-designed interior looks purposeful, and leaves an impression of space.

Being a car brand that has practicality high up on its list of USPs, Skoda had ensured that door compartments are large enough for bottles, and between the driver and front passenger, a shared jumbo-sized box for the many other things you might bring along with you for an activity-packed day.

The Scala comes equipped with a Virtual Cockpit, for a better display of data. The 10.25” screen also features 5 different layouts to suit your preferences, and visually complements the free-standing 9.2” infotainment screen. The infotainment supports both Apple and Android devices, and to keep your device alive, a wireless charging pad is also included.

One of the things that I did not find intuitive about the air-conditioning controls was the fact that the fan speed adjuster is buried within the menu on the infotainment screen.

Rear passengers have access to two USB-C connectors to charge their devices. I would have hoped that a USB-A would be included somewhere for better connectivity, but this really is a small issue.

With a wheelbase of 2,649mm, rear passengers are treated to 73mm of rear knee room, for someone of my 171cm frame, there is heaps of space, and I like that the roofline also does not slope too much at the rear.

Where the small Skoda shines, is in its boot space, where a class-leading 467 litre boot, features an adjustable and double-sided false boot floor, for added versatility, while its reversed rubberised surface is washable, just in-case you need to throw in some dirty sporting gear, or even transport wet groceries. Fold the rear seats, and the Scala gives you 1,410 litres, allowing you to carry items in excess of 2.5 meters; and I can easily see two bicycles fit into that crevice. 

The Drive

For Singapore, the Scala is equipped with the range-topping 1.5 litre turbocharged engine, which is also found in the Karoq SUV. The turbocharged engine is good for 150hp, and delivers 250Nm from between a stretch of 1,500rpm to 3,500rpm. Mated to a 7-speed DSG and driving the front wheels, the small hatchback does 100km/h in quite a spritey 8.3 seconds, enough to put a smile on most would-be owners I believe.

One of the key features I must highlight is the transmission’s ability to coast whenever you lift off the throttle; essentially the car disengages the transmission. This allows you to make the most of gliding down a slope, or “freewheel” on some longer straight stretches of our highways when there is lesser traffic; saving you a few hard-earned bucks in fuel as you make your way to your destination. We managed 17.1km/l with ease (close enough to its lab-tested 18.2km/l,) along a mix of start-stop and city driving.

I truly enjoy how the Scala is able to roll over most road surfaces without issue, though due to the nature of the rear torsion rear axle, it does skip a little over more uneven roads. With most cars increasing their rim sizes to look visually more appealing, those 18” rims do not help with the occasional judders, and at times, I would prefer them to be an inch smaller, like in the base car. The wheelbase, which is slightly longer than that of the related Polo, coupled with a suspension that feels a little softer too, means that the Scala has a more relaxed character; and it will be more at home soaking up the miles, than being pitched around some tight lefts and rights.

Our Thoughts

For first-time car buyers who would like to get more out of their very first car, the Scala marries versatility with chic styling and some pretty good fuel economy to boot.

The all-new Scala starts at a special launch price of $115,900 for the Ambition, $120,900 for the mid-tier Style variant, and the range topping Monte Carlo goes for $124,900.

In Summary

We Like

Punchy engine. Hard-to-beat versatility. Unique, chic styling. Decently good handling.

We Don't

Air-Conditioning fan controls are buried in the menu.

Verdict

The Scala offers estate-like versatility in a compact footprint, a car ideal for that aspiring first-time car owner… who might want to feed in a bike or two occasionally.

Car Loan Calculator - Skoda Scala Style 1.5 TSI

SGD 129,900 (7 Oct 2021)

This car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Very fast and reliable! Thank you so much!

Tutywani Bte Juman - 3 days ago

Yazz is very professional. He advised me on when to sell the car and checked in with me later. His dealer, Sam, was awesome. An understanding and kind man. He went the extra mile and accommodated our timing.

Oh Ling Fang - 4 days ago

Excellent service. I don't get a lot of nuisance calls and car is sold with no hassle. I would recommend this service to anyone looking to sell their precious "asset".

Bay Lim Kee - 5 days ago

Excellent service from the people at Oneshift. Sold my car within a few days at the best possible price. I am very satisfied with the service and would strongly recommend the service to anyone.

Derek Cheah - 1 week ago

Well done, & good price for scrap car.

Sheng Yong - 1 week ago

Fast response, very helpful and knowledgeable, able to provide good advice. Thanks and I will recommend your service to others .

Mr Leow - 2 weeks ago

Very fast & responsive! Buyer/agent are thorough explaining the deal. Manage to get better deal.

Rashdi Zulkifli - 2 weeks ago

Oneshift provided a higher quote than I could source for and the dealer they recommended was professional, efficient and prompt in action. The staff at Oneshift was responsive, friendly and helpful. Will recommend Oneshift!

Ang Hee Peng - 3 weeks ago

Oneshift made everything easy. Found the right purchaser looking for French cars. Was happy with service and price. Thank you to Renai at swift for all the follow up.

Gary Swee Ann Khoo - 3 weeks ago

fast and fuss free service. was a fair deal for both the parties.

SENTHIL NATHAN - 3 weeks ago

Engine

Engine Capacity 1498cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore x Stroke (74.5 ◊ 85.9)mm
Power 150bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 118.6 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 212 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 18.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4362 x 1793 x 1499) mm
Wheelbase 2649 mm
Turning Circle 10.2 metres
Kerb Weight 1265 kg
Boot Capacity 467 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1410 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs