Ian Lamming assesses a brand new model by Skoda, the Scala.
DON’T sweat the small stuff; so I didn’t and fitted a brand new comfy chair in the boot of Skoda’s latest hatchback.
Oh ye of little faith; I didn’t imagine for a moment that our new statement chair, wrapped in bulky bubble-wrap, would fit in the back of the Scala without dropping down the asymmetrical rear seats. So I pulled and pushed and flipped and lowered before dropping the chair in the boot. Only then, when I looked at the fit, did I realise that my efforts had been in vain. This boot would swallow the furniture whole, seats in place. Wow, that is seriously impressive.
So that’s the large stuff taken care of but what about the aforementioned small stuff. I love the small stuff, me, and enjoy nothing more than hunting round Skodas in general playing spot the clever design feature.
Ooh, ooh, there’s one, in the driver’s door, an umbrella. There’s another, a grippy handle on the inside of the tailgate – why don’t all manufacturers provide one of them instead of useless recesses which end up ripping your nails off. In the boot there are a couple of cubby-holes either side of the load bay for oddments. My big lens fits in there perfectly with no fear of it rolling around smashing the glass.
Scala is a bit like that. The new hatchback fits in between Fabia and Octavia and bristles with clever designs which make day-to-day living just a tad easier. It’s quite deliberate. Skoda calls it ‘simply clever’; clever that! So there is a ticket holder on the A frame pillar, which, believe it or not, holds tickets. Then, in the fuel filler flap there is not just an ice-scraper but a tyre tread depth gauge as well. What a smarty pants.
And under the bonnet, when you come to top up your windscreen washer fluid, the lid flips up to double as a funnel – brilliant. No more spilling washer fluid on to your shoes filling that baby.
Scala moves from clever to seriously clever under that bonnet. The 1.5 litre turbo, which hurls 150PS at its front wheels, drops to just two of the four cylinders when the impressive performance isn’t required. That helped twinkle toes here see 53mpg on the trip computer on our serpentine school run. Our collective bones also enjoyed the supremely comfortable ride and body control.
Clever switches to genius inside the cabin with the latest generation infotainment. The wide, bright screen, responds well to a light touch and all the groovy tech young folk require nowadays is there in abundance, mirroring your smart phone and ready for the latest apps. What?
You can even opt for a virtual dash, though, for me, there were a refreshing number of retro knobs for the heating controls and lights.
Roomy and well equipped, capable and intelligently designed the new Scala covers the minor and the major to ensure drivers don’t get in a sweat tackling the rigours of modern life. Clever that.
Skoda Scala SE
Engine: 1.5 litre petrol turbo
Top speed: 136mph
0-62mph: 8.2 secs
Miles per gallon: 45.6 (combined)
Transmission: Seven-speed DSG auto