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Skoda Scala 2019: prices, specifications and on-sale date

All-new Skoda Scala replaces the Rapid with a focus on practicality; on sale in 2019

Skoda has revealed the price and final specifications of the new Skoda Scala, which will officially go on sale in May 2019. The Scala will offer the usual range of Skoda trim levels: S, SE and SE L from launch, with a Sportline model joining the range later in the year. Prices start from £16,595, and first deliveries are set for the summer.

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The Scala will be the Czech company’s answer to practical family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf when it arrives later in 2019. The new car is based on the same mechanical underpinnings as the Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza, but is sized to take on cars from a class above.

Carbuyer's best family cars to buy now

Despite being the entry point to the range, the S model still offers a good amount of equipment. Air-conditioning, DAB radio, all-round electric windows and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen are all offered, and the cheapest Scala also benefits from a leather steering wheel and handbrake, LED headlights and alloy wheels. In terms of safety, a speed limiter, lane-keep assist, front assist and emergency calling are all fitted as standard.

Mid-range SE spec, priced from £18,580, is likely to be most popular, as it also features cruise control, rear parking sensors, a bigger and crisper infotainment system and a handily integrated umbrella. Stepping up to top-spec SEL, you can enjoy larger 17-inch wheels, a digital cockpit (replacing analogue dials), keyless entry and start, a 9.2-inch Amundsen infotainment touchscreen, privacy glass and dynamic indicators. It costs £20,380 before options.

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The new hatchback model is understood to represent a direct alternative to the Skoda Octavia, with a sportier style that'll appeal to younger, more fashion-conscious buyers. Previewed by the Skoda Vision RS concept, the Scala takes a far more distinctive, sculpted form than the Skoda Rapid Spaceback, without significantly changing in size.

2019 Skoda Scala design

The new Skoda Scala is 10cm longer than a Volkswagen Golf, but 30cm shorter than its Skoda Octavia sibling, placing it at the larger end of the family car market. The new car gets modern Skoda styling cues but incorporates them into a large hatchback body, which features a particularly large rear hatch if the ‘glass extension’ option is selected as on the car pictured here.

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Additional safety equipment will be available as optional extras - you’ll be able to pay extra for rear cross traffic alert, a rear-view camera, an automatic parking system and blind-spot monitoring. The Scala will also be available with up to nine airbags.

The Scala will be offered with optional Sports Chassis Control. This brings lower, adjustable suspension and the option to adjust driving modes to suit the conditions at hand.

Interior

Skoda claims the Scala has one of the most spacious interiors in the family hatchback class. With a 12mm longer wheelbase (the distance between front and rear axles) than the Volkswagen Golf: there's said to be as much rear knee space in the Scala as in the larger Skoda Octavia, along with a 467-litre boot that expands to 1,410 litres if you fold the rear seats away. An optional powered tailgate will be offered.

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It’s likely that trademark thoughtful Skoda design touches will also feature across the range, including an ice-scraper under the filler cap, the aforementioned umbrella in the driver’s door and a parking ticket holder on the windscreen.

The Scala's dashboard has been designed to reflect the exterior look of the car, with the angles seen around the Skoda badge echoed by character lines at the base of the 9.2-inch touchscreen, providing a unique look as well as somewhere to rest your hand while using the infotainment system. The latter will offer over-the-air software updates – including navigation data – through the Skoda Connect smartphone app.

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Adding a further high-tech touch is a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster that can be configured to show information in five different ways. A unique, tactile dashboard texture that's new to the Skoda range will also feature. Upholstery choices will include ‘microfibre suedia’ fabric as an option.

Engines

The VW Group's latest petrol engines will appear under the Skoda Scala's bonnet. The 1.0-litre three cylinder engine will be available with either 94bhp or 114bhp, while the 1.5-litre four cylinder will boast 148bhp, using cylinder deactivation technology to improve fuel economy. A 1.6-litre diesel with 114bhp will also be offered.

2019 Skoda Scala prototype drive

Carbuyer was offered the chance to drive the car in this early state and the prototype Skoda Scala doesn’t disappoint, despite a few pre-production niggles. The familiar VW Group 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine is great, pulling well from low revs and remaining quiet at higher speeds. There’s no official word on performance or economy but a 0-62mph time of around eight seconds is likely, with fuel economy of around 55mpg expected.

The prototype Scala wasn’t particularly engaging to drive, but it was quiet and comfortable. Combine these qualities with its impressive practicality and potentially low price, and the new Skoda should be equipped to make waves in what is a hotly contested market segment.

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