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.