Skoda is once again investing the compact sedan segment with 2020 Skoda Scala. The Czech remains true to the brand’s philosophy, offering volume and tight prices while benefiting from the latest innovations from the Volkswagen Group. Will she finally break through? The answer behind the wheel of the TSi 116 hp version.
Finally! Skoda owns a TRUE compact sedan in its catalog. Her name is Scala and she should soon eclipse the Rapid Spaceback, which she replaces, from our collective memory. Why? Because it now enjoys treatment similar to other brands of the Volkswagen Group. Indeed, the Czech manufacturer that beats sales records on sales records in recent years (1,253,700 cars sold in 2018, + 4.4%) is no longer considered an outsider to whom we grant technologies and damped mechanics.
This change of status started with the Superb at the end of 2015 and continued with the Kodiaq and Karoq SUVs, today the Scala and tomorrow, the Kamiq, the Fabia, etc. In total, more than 30 new models are planned by 2022, which leads to a busy schedule for Mlada Boreslav’s brand.
The 2020 Skoda Scala benefits from the latest innovations (platforms, infotainment, and mechanics) of the group to finally offer a credible competition to the market references that are the Golf, the Ford Focus or the Peugeot 308. Visually, the compact gives some information on the future of the brand in terms of design. The trapezoidal optics are more worked and adopt the LED technology while at the back the flashers are scrolling. The rear part perpetuates the lengthening of the rear window on the tailgate where it now affixed the letters of the mark in chrome. The versions of “base”, they will keep a classic telescope. Skoda remains in line with its range with a compact style sober and discreet.
The Skoda Scala shares its platform (MQBA-0) with the small group, the Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo. The latter has been stretched and designed to offer one of the best living spaces of the Skoda specialty market. Successful bet. Passengers have room on all floors. Legs, elbows, and head. Baggage also since the trunk volume sets a new record in the category of compact 467 liters. It even reaches 1,410 liters once the rear seat folded. On the high-end versions, the tailgate has an electric assist at the opening.
Skoda has put the package to make the interior of its compact enhancing. 2020 Skoda Scala has a modern dashboard with a horizontal headband whose materials vary according to the finish. It is dominated by a large panoramic touch screen whose size varies from 6.5 “to 9.2”. The latter is responsive and offers neat graphics. It also includes many features, too can be. For example, we would have preferred physical buttons to adjust the ventilation or sound volume. Here everything is done via the screen.
This modernity is complemented by digital instrumentation, also reserved for high-end versions or available as a pack. The presentation is elegant, the materials neat and the ergonomics irreproachable but the cabin lacks fantasy.
Of course, the 2020 Skoda Scala incorporates a lot of practical tips that Skoda has made his specialty. You will find the umbrella installed in the driver’s door, the scraper built into the fuel filler, a funnel for the filling of windshield washer, a motorized towing hook or a boot floor adjustable in height and reversible.
2020 Skoda Scala Equipment – very competitive
Skoda Scala will be offered in 3 levels of finishes: Active, Ambition and Style, plus a reserved for professionals (Business).
The entry-level “Active” from $22,027 is aggressive and better equipped with standard manual air conditioning, the regulator/speed limiter, the automatic ignition of the lights, they help to maintain the track, automatic lights, LED front and rear headlamps, the 6.5 “multimedia touch screen system, and Lane Assist and Front Assist.
The “Ambition” finish, sold from $24,744, adds 16 “wheels, automatic climate control, rear power windows, 8 ” multimedia system, front / rear parking sensors, steering wheel multifunctional, as well as automatic windshield wipers, hill start assist, rain detector.
The top-of-the-range “Style”, from $28,264 complete the offer by 17 “wheels, full LED projectors, auto-adaptive lighting, scrolling indicators at the rear, fabric upholstery/suede, and the glass rear window to the base of optics, 9.2-inch touchscreen navigation, digital instrumentation, reversing camera, hands-free access / start.
In the well-connected car, the 2020 Skoda Scala offers connected services (Business and Style finish) including the practice Care Connect system that allows controlling certain functions such as the state of the vehicle (mileage, fuel level, location, Anti-theft alarm online, etc.) using a smartphone.
In the current context, Skoda has focused on petrol engines. The manufacturer was even ready to skip the diesel but the high volumes achieved by sales to professionals to encourage them to renew the good old 1.6 TDI 115 hp (250 Nm) of the Volkswagen Group. The heart of the range will be driven by a 3-cylinder gasoline supercharged, 1.0 TSI available in 95 and 116 hp. It will be supported by a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder 150 hp (250 Nm) cylinder deactivation on high-end finishes.
With the exception of the 95 hp, only available with a 5-speed manual transmission, all these engines will leave the choice between a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG auto.
It was at the wheel of the 1.0 TSi engine in the mechanical gearbox that we realized this test. This engine should ensure the bulk of the volumes in the hexagon. On the one hand for its adjusted rates (from € 20,540), on the other for its services. Indeed, the 3 cylinders of 116 hp and especially the 200 Nm of torque are played without difficulty the weight of the box (1350 kg). Accelerations are frank and the range of use rather generous on each report. The mechanical gearbox is well staged and pleasant to handle. With this mechanism, the Scala responds to all uses, but be careful as all 3 cylinders, it tends to overconsume if you have a heavy foot. An average of 7.1 l / 100 km was recorded during our trial. However, it has the merit of avoiding the ecological penalty with CO2 emissions of 109 g / km according to the correlated NEDC standard.
Side chassis, if we schematize this Scala is a Golf. Not funky to drive but roughly serious. Soundproofing, comfort, and safety are the best on the market today. Our test on the degraded roads has highlighted a very good level of comfort led by a flexible suspension setting and very good shock absorption, even when it is paved in 18 ” as it was the case for our test model. We bet that with a rise of 15 ” wide flanks, the Scala further strengthens the feeling of the cocoon. The Czech does not neglect for all that the maintenance remains firmly on its supports when approaching turns. Mlada Boleslav’s compact is a well-built car that deserves to be one of the best in Europe.
Note also that the 2020 Skoda Scala offers a sport chassis (not tested) lowered by 15 mm compared to normal, and that leaves the choice between 4 modes of driving more or less sharpened by playing on the suspension, the direction and the response of the accelerator. Given its platform, the Czech will not be able to benefit from an all-wheel drive that it will leave to its German and Spanish cousins, just like an electric or hybrid version. It is also full of driving aids with mixed peel, directional LED lights, fatigue detector that analyzes the driver’s movements, the system of pre-collision, automatic lights, detection of blind spots, automatic parking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Helps maintain the track.