By on 2024-02-05 -
Skoda Scala - Used
THE Skoda Scala is an excellent not so small family car - one I and my family would be happy to live with.
It is a comfortable and refined five seater that's quick and economical and it has plenty of interior space front and rear plus a good boot.
It's also very reasonable considering that it's as big as a Golf or Focus but costs far less new and therefore also less second time around.
The range of engines includes three petrols and one diesel, with power ranging from 95 to 147bhp.
And even the lowest 95bhp petrol reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in a decently quick 10.6 seconds.
It and the next most powerful 115bhp model have a 1.0-litre, three cylinder turbo engine identical to those also used by VW, Audi and SEAT, and both are rated at over 50 miles per gallon. The 115 reaches 60 in 9.4 seconds.
Top of the range models get a 1.5 TSI turbo with 147bhp and this one reaches 60 from rest in a very quick 7.8 seconds while still rated at 50mpg.
The diesel option is the well-known VW Group 1.6 TDI, which in this guise produces 113bhp. It gets to the benchmark in 9.8 seconds and is rated at 60mpg.
All the engines are smooth and quiet, only becoming audible as the revs rise and even then, they remain remarkably muted.
Drive is to the front wheels through a slick and easy five or six speed manual gearbox and a very light clutch. There is also the option in most models of VW's excellent DSG auto.
In the lower manual gears, they will pull happily and without fuss from just above tickover, and will pull hard by just 1500 revs.
Fourth is a marvellous gear for hustling on. It gives excellent acceleration from 2,000 revs making it perfect for overtaking or losing one of the thousands of tailgaters who have no idea how dangerous they are!
The whole car has a composed safe feel on the road, with brilliant steering that's full of feedback, and tenacious roadholding allied to marvellous balance.
It tracks through corners at high speed on dry roads - when it can be done safely - without any sign of losing grip.
And it's comfortable and stable on the worst of surfaces, when the great suspension soaks up the worst that fractured tarmac can come up with.
Upper models get Skoda's Drive Mode Selector, which encompasses Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual settings.
These can be used to change engine output, accelerator sensitivity, firm up the steering, and alter gearchange points in the DSG automatics.
But I found the normal setting was the one for me, giving the best combination of all those things for everyday driving.
The Scala is a complete delight to drive, hugely capable, decently fast, spacious, comfortable and very refined.
Mid-range SE trim comes with loads of airbags, heated mirrors, alarm, cruise control, audio remote control, excellent seat adjustment and parking sensors.
Pay about Â£9,400 for a '19 19-reg SE 1.0 TSI 115bhp, or Â£14,700 for a ‘21 21-reg 1.6TDI SE-L diesel.
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