In a similar vein to its exterior, the supposedly new-age design of the Scala’s cabin doesn’t represent a big departure from what we’ve come to expect from Skoda.

Functionality and utilitarian appeal continue to be prioritised, however, and they are epitomised by familiar ‘Simply Clever’ features such as the umbrella holster in the door and the ticket holder on the driver’s side A-pillar. This focus on convenience has long been a big draw for the brand, and no doubt it will be for the Scala too.

Richard Lane

Road tester
Spacious cockpit hits all the right notes in terms of ergonomics but doesn’t feel quite as plush as Skoda would have set out to achieve with the new design.

The 8in touchscreen of our test car’s Bolero infotainment system is the standout attraction in what is an otherwise minimally populated cabin. It stands freely towards the front of a central recess in the dash fascia, within easy reach of the driver. The fascia itself is finished in textured silver panelling, which extends to the door panels and helps to inject a degree of colour into what is an otherwise decidedly monochrome driving environment.

Ambient lighting in various shades of colour are offered as optional extras and would be well worth having for the additional aesthetic lift they’d introduce. Elsewhere, simple dial controls for the manual air conditioning system sit towards the base of the centre stack, above a decently sized storage cubby that’s also home to two USB-C ports.

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The touchscreen comes as standard on Scala SE models, and is used to operate a modest roster of standard features that includes DAB and Bluetooth connectivity. Satellite navigation is not part of the package, but the ability to connect your smartphone via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay means you can still access navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze – provided you have a compatible USB-C cable to hand.

Annoyingly, for anyone who hasn’t yet upgraded to this latest form of cabling or isn’t in possession of a suitable adapter, the Scala does not feature any regular USB ports.

This minor complaint aside, the system itself is perfectly intuitive and responds to your inputs in a relatively slick fashion. Its graphics don’t exactly stand out as being market leading in terms of their sophistication, but the screen is certainly clear and easy to read.

That extended MQB-A0 platform pays dividends when it comes to interior space, too. Although the Scala’s 2.65m wheelbase is shorter than that of the Ford Focus, Skoda has nonetheless been able to liberate an impressive 770mm of rear leg room – a figure that trumps the Focus by 70mm while bettering the shorter Golf by some 80mm.

In a testament to Skoda’s nous for smart interior packaging, the Scala also offers superior boot space: with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats in place, this stands at 467 litres, extending to 1410 litres with the seats folded down. By comparison, the Golf and the Focus come up short, with respective seats-up storage capacities of 380 litres and 375 litres.

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