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MOVING INTO CZECH (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Skoda's Scala is the brand's most competitive family hatchback offering yet. Jonathan Crouch drives the 1.5 TSI petrol version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 57
In many ways, the Scala is Skoda's strongest-ever offering in the family hatchback sector, even though its engineering isn't strictly family hatchback-based. It offers value, efficiency and more interior space than almost anything in the segment. If you're out for something sensible in this class, there's a lot to like. We tried the 1.5 TSI petrol version.
Backgroundword count: 175
Skoda's family hatch models aim to bring you something a little extra. Here's another of them, the Scala. You get engineering - and a price - that's very supermini-like. But more interior space than the pricier Golf or Focus-sized family hatch models the Czech brand is pitching this car against. The Scala is based on the more compact MQB A0 chassis used by superminis like the Volkswagen Polo and the SEAT Ibiza. And its name comes from the Latin meaning 'stairs' or 'ladder', reflecting this model's claim to be 'a leap forward in design and technology' - at least for a Skoda. Plus as usual with its offerings, the brand is offering it at slightly lower prices than the opposition and includes a range of 'Simply Clever' design features intended to make everyday life with this car just that little bit easier. It all adds up to a contender that aims to bring something a little different to the family hatchback class. Time to put it to the test in 1.5 TSI 150PS petrol form.
Driving Experienceword count: 205
Given that whole 'big car feel' ethos that Skoda's so keen to talk about with this model, we thought we'd try a Scala fitted with the largest petrol engine it's ever likely to get, the 1.5 TSI 150PS unit that you'll also find fitted to every model bigger than this one in the current Skoda catalogue. It can be had with manual transmission, but here we've elected to test it with that DSG auto 'box, in which form it dispatches 62mph in 8.2s on the way to a maximum (that no Scala owner will ever approach) of 136mph. This dual-clutch gearbox is predictably slick in the mid-range, but we're not sure we'd choose it in this car unless we really were urban-bound. Apart from the fact that when wedded to the 1.5-litre engine, it pushes the price of this car beyond the level most prospective owners will want to pay, we've found this transmission a bit hesitant when pulling away from junctions. And it can be found hunting around for the right ratio with a touch of indecision when rapid bursts of acceleration are needed. If you occasionally undertake longer trips in a car of this kind though, this package is still worth a look.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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