New Skoda Scala Is Your Affordable Audi A3 Sportback

The teasing days are over as Skoda has finally lifted the veils of its all-new Scala, a vehicle that embodies the Czech brand’s ambitions.

The Scala is not just an indirect replacement for the Rapid Spaceback, it’s also Skoda’s first real shot at the highly-competitive C-segment. We’re talking about a car that’s almost as big the VW Golf. It’s 4,362 mm (171.7 in) long and 1,793 mm wide (70.6 in), making it a little shorter and narrower than the German compact segment benchmark.

However, it rides on a longer wheelbase of 2,649 mm (104.3 in) and is a little taller at 1,471 mm (56 in). That results in similar interior dimensions to the larger Skoda Octavia, including one of the biggest luggage compartments in the segment. The Scala’s cargo capacity is 467 liters (16.5 cu ft) with all seats in place and 1,410 liters (50 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down.

More sophisticated both on the outside and especially inside

As the first Skoda model based on VW Group’s MQB A0 platform, the Scala completely repositions the brand in the compact segment. It’s also the first model to showcase the next development stage of the brand’s design language. The new styling direction will be rolled out on future models as well.

Previewed by the Vision RS study earlier this year, the Skoda Scala visually bridges the gap between a traditional five-door hatchback and a wagon — much like the Audi A3 Sportback. Highlights include the triangular partial LED headlights (standard), sizable third lateral windows, and the extended rear screen that blends with the wraparound LED taillights with dynamic turn indicators (optional).

Over-the-air updates for the infotainment system software and navigation maps

The interior adopts a fresh approach as well thanks to a sleek dashboard dominated by a freestanding touchscreen display available in sizes ranging from 6.5 inches to 9.2 inches. There’s also a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit available which works with the third generation of the MIB modular infotainment matrix.

Interestingly, the infotainment system software or maps can be updated over the air via Skoda Connect mobile online services, since the SCALA is always online thanks to a built-in eSIM with an LTE connection. Skoda Connect also allows users to lock and unlock the car via a mobile phone.

The cabin brings a new concept with soft materials, including a soft-foam surface with a texture resembling crystalline structures that covers the dashboard and optional microfiber Suedia upholstery. It also offers LED ambient lighting — albeit with only two available colors.

Five engine options with outputs ranging from 90 PS to 150 PS

At launch, the Scala will offer five turbocharged engine variants, ranging from 90 PS (89 hp) to 150 PS (148 hp). There are three gasoline units: an entry-level 1.0-liter TSI three-cylinder producing 95 PS (94 hp), a mid-range 1.0-liter TSI with 115 PS (113 hp) and a top-of-the-line 1.5-liter TSI four-cylinder that makes 150 PS (148 hp).

The lineup also includes a 1.6-liter TDI four-cylinder turbodiesel rated at 115 PS (113 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. Finally, customers can choose a 90PS (89hp) 1.0-liter G-Tec unit that runs on natural gas (CNG). Transmission options include five- and six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch units. The Sport Chassis Control with Normal or Sport driving modes is optional.

Safety-wise, the Scala offers standard Lane Assist and Front Assist with City Emergency Brake systems. Available driving assistance tech includes the Side Assist function, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Park Assist.

As for the proverbial “Simply Clever” features, the new compact hatchback brings an electric tailgate with “Tip-To-Close” function and a retractable tow bar. The all-new Skoda Scala will arrive in European dealerships in the first half of 2019.

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  • charlie bear

    The interior and the back of the cars looks awesome. It looks also very spacious. The front and the headlights are fine I guess.

  • disqus_83g6mJmr6l

    pretty pretty pretty good!

  • matrem

    The back end looks like a Ford Focus.

    • KalorienTierchen

      But much better…

      • matrem

        This. It’s like a mix of the current focus with the Volvo V40

    • Toss

      Focus and Tipo with a Fabia front

  • NoMan2015

    Seriously Skoda/VW, have you not learned from EVERY automaker that has replaced the volume knob with touch-capacitive buttons? Buyers want volume knobs! Ugh.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      They are there as wheels on the steering wheel. I don’t miss them on the radio.
      I’m glad that the heater controls are real though.

      • NoMan2015

        Others, namely passengers, will. There’s a reason the substitute on the steering wheel wasn’t enough and why every other automaker has backtracked from this approach.

  • Some ol’ bloke

    8/10 – good job

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    There’s an awful lot of Audi A3 in the side profile.

    • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

      I see alittle Q5 in the design

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    In that blue the front end could almost be mistaken for a BMW.

  • parsecus

    Uhm, whats that? ( It’s on the last two virtual cockpit pictures)

    It kinda has this Vision C Concept vibe, but the details doesn’t really match up. Official spoiler/teaser for the next Octavia/other new sedan or what? I simply can’t imagine that it isn’t intentional.

    • Jason Panamera

      Next Octavia/Superb.

      • محمد علي

        Could be a Scala sedan to replace the Rapid sedan basing on a Jetta platform?

  • erly5

    Not great but a vast improvement on the hideous Rapid. Should sell a whole lot better too!

  • Sébastien

    Finally USB-C plugs in cars, yes!!!
    Also great job at giving the automated trailer hitch

  • alexxx

    Much b

  • alexxx

    Much better then I thought it would be

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Looks dated already. Nice Hitler moustached front end…ugh

  • Nana

    Looks like a short stationwagon. But oh my goodness, this interior is so much cooler than the Golf’s one.

  • Mike anonymous

    Is this supposed to replace the Fabia?. You know, I don’t currently live in a market where you can buy one of these, but… this looks an awful lot like the 2019 Fabia (shown below).

    Either way it’s an improvement,.. I like it.

  • This is really nice.

  • designer_dick

    The use of a rear quarter window on the door with another one directly behind looks a little clumsy, but that aside, it’s a fairly inoffensive looking car with sharp front and rear ends. I do wonder how good basic models that do without the LED headlights, fancy pulsing indicators and extended, darkened glass on the hatch are going to look. If the Rapid Spaceback is any indication, the answer is not that good.

  • vas

    The headlights should be flat down and point upwards as in the concept and not downwards – what a pity !!! …

  • Rafael

    Sorry, but this looks EXACTLY like a Focus.

    Look at both rear ends, my friends! Rejoice with the new Skoda Focus // Ford Scala 😀

    Oh well…

  • StrangerGP

    It’s funny how both the new Focus and the Scala look very much like the Fiat Tipo. Scala is definitely the best looking one, but I’d like to see it in one of the lower trim levels.

    • Richard Taylor

      I was thinking just the same the other day – was in italy where there are lot of neat-looking higher-spec Tipo’s around. I’d argue the Tipo is a better looking vehicle than the latest Focus. This Scala is… handsome and refined, if not exactly beautiful. Hope it does well, and indeed, I’d also like to see it in a lower trim to get a better feel for it.

  • Richard Taylor

    Definitely shades of Focus and Tipo, but even V40 and the newest BMWs at the back. None of these are terrible references to have, and it has the typical sense of VW flair to its refinement. I think it’ll do pretty well.

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