2022 Skoda Scala 1.0 Style Review : Clever is as clever does
Singapore - So, you’re at that point in your life where you’re venturing into car ownership. Perhaps you’re a junior executive, a family man (or woman) with children, or a young couple with kids on the way. Or even empty nesters looking to downsize after the kids have moved out.
Maybe you’re after a staid sedan or a compact SUV, or you could be in the market for a hatchback. Specifically, a sporty, compact hatchback geared to suit most buyer profiles.
One rife with clever and intuitive features that will segue easily into the lives of every buyer. Something easy to live with on a day-to-day basis. Crucially, something affordable.
The new Skoda Scala embodies the best of the aforementioned traits, and then some. It's an A-segment hatchback with near C-segment proportions, so it's compact but spacious at the same time.
Easy to manoeuvre, immensely practical and thanks to the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine under the bonnet, it’s exempt from pricier Category B COE premiums, yet its low CO2 emissions net it an additional S$15,000 rebate under band A2 of the vehicular emissions scheme (VES).
Lower purchase cost, lower fuel bills, a small footprint on the road and an even smaller carbon footprint make it the perfect daily runabout for most drivers. Car-buyers often prioritise cost above many other metrics, but right after cost comes looks. After all, who wouldn’t want a car that’s easy on the eyes?
The Scala is modern, sporty and distinctively SKODA with the Czech brand’s customary design cues, tastefully embellished with several premium fittings. Take for instance the Scala’s Crystal lighting headlamps and tail-lamps. They’re inspired by traditional Czech Bohemian glassware and add a touch of class to the proceedings.
From the front, the sculpted hood features subtle creases, while the 18-inch rims in this Style variant and angular body lines create a sporty impression. We’re particularly fond of the tapered rear-end with that elegant panel of curved glass on the tailgate, which features the Skoda brand lettering across the rear fascia.
However, as stylish as these embellishments are, they aren’t purely cosmetic and prove to be a good blend of form and function. Some of the car's exterior features, including the sleek wing mirrors and narrow grille contribute to the car’s impressively low drag coefficient of just Cd 0.29.
These niceties aren’t just limited to the suave exterior though, as the Scala’s cabin has also been tarted-up in Skoda’s traditional minimalist aesthetic. Simple, but immaculately well-fitted and properly thought-out.
The 10.25-inch ‘virtual cockpit’ cluster ahead of the driver provides a clear and uninterrupted view of your instruments, and it also happens to be the largest digital gauge display in a car of this segment.
The Scala even has ambient lighting strips to illuminate several aspects of the interior when the sun goes down. As an added bonus, the HVAC system even has an air filter that Skoda has aptly named “AirCare”, which keeps pollutant levels to a minimum in the cabin while the air is being recirculated.
Being a Skoda, the Scala also comes with its fair share of “Simply Clever” features, including a slot in the front door for an umbrella, a windshield washer tank cap that doubles as a funnel, a slot for the seat belt buckles while you’re folding the rear seats down and a handy pull tab on the tailgate that’s within easy reach.
The interior also sports several hooks dotted about the cabin and boot. And you would be able to fit a considerable amount of luggage too because as compact as the Scala may be, it has a not-so-compact 467-litres boot. Knock the rear seats down, and the already generous rear stowage capacity increases to 1,410-litres.
While touring Singapore’s urban cityscape, the Skoda Scala’s compact proportions allowed us to navigate our way through gentrified neighbourhoods, muraled alleyways, narrow back-streets and congested city-streets, all to the accompaniment of an early 2000s Backstreet Boys number playing through the sound system to keep us entertained.
The turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine provides an abundance of torque in the low end with enough horsepower to propel us along with ease. The engine also nets us an impressively low fuel consumption figure. Throughout our drive, the Scala’s on-paper 4.7l/100km consumption figure rang true.
The engine noise hardly permeates the cabin when you’re coasting along. Get it on the highway and the NVH levels in the cabin are just as impressive.
The Scala performs admirably in all manner of road conditions and in varying weather conditions. Visibility out of the car is equally impressive, even in said weather conditions so you wouldn’t have trouble placing the car within lane markers.
All in, the Scala checks a lot of the boxes of our seasoned tastes and we’re certain buyers won’t have much trouble seeing what we’re on about. It is, for all intents and purposes, a car that can suit a multitude of buyers.
PHOTOS Jay Tee & Clifford Chow
Skoda Scala Style 1.0 TSI 81kW
Engine 999cc, inline3, turbo
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
Top Speed 202km/h
Fuel Consumption 4.7l/100km (combined)