Skoda has unveiled the Scala, the Czech brand’s long-awaited rival for the Volkswagen Golf.
Despite its compact platform, the Scala is certainly not cramped or short on space. It measures in at 4362mm long, 1793mm wide and 1471mm high, with a 2649mm wheelbase – for reference, that’s 107mm longer, 6mm narrower and 19mm taller than the current Mk7.5 VW Golf. Boot space is impressive too, at 467 litres with all seats up, while rear passenger room is mere millimetres shy of the considerably larger Octavia liftback.
Five powertrains will be available at launch, all of which drive the front wheels. The entry level unit is a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, producing 70kW of power and 175Nm of torque – it’s paired exclusively to a five-speed manual. There’s an 85kW/200Nm version of the same engine available, now paired to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic. Those wanting a little more power can opt for the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, which sends 110kW and 250Nm through a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.
A 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder diesel is also available producing 85kW and 250Nm, with choice of the same six and seven speed manual and DSG transmissions. In addition, there’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder that runs on compressed natural gas, which produces 66kW and 145Nm, and is paired exclusively to a six-speed manual.
Skoda executives have previously said that a Scala RS is in the pipeline for 2020, with the 147kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo-four from the VW Polo GTI. It’ll drive the front wheels through a six-speed DSG.
Two suspension tunes will be offered: the standard comfort tune, and the ‘Sport Chassis’. The latter tune features a 15mm lower ride height over the former, and offers adaptive dampers that can get stiffer or softer depending on the drive mode selected.
Inside, the Scala’s dashboard is dominated by a 9.2-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen. In front of the driver the VW Group’s 10.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster is available as an option, while conventional analog dials are available as standard. Other interior features include multi-colour ambient LED lighting, soft-touch plastics and microfibre seat trim.
Safety kit wise, the Scala will be available with up to nine airbags, along with autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, automated parking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The new Skoda Scala goes on sale in Europe in the first half of 2019, ahead of an Australian launch next year.