Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • One diesel and three petrol engines available from launch
  • No hybrid or electric version as yet
  • Transmission options include seven-speed DSG

The Scala will come with a choice of four engines, including two three-cylinder petrol options and a single 1.6-litre diesel. Most will be available from launch, with a small number of configurations arriving a few weeks after.

Skoda Scala petrol engines

Of the three petrol versions on offer, the 95hp 1.0-litre TSI is the entry-level version. A three-cylinder unit, it produces 175Nm of torque and comes with a five-speed manual transmission only, delivering as yet undisclosed 0-62mph and top speed figures.

Next on the ladder is the 115hp 1.0-litre TSI. Like it’s less powerful sibling, this engine is also made up of three cylinders yet delivers more torque (200Nm) and comes with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmissions. When fitted with the former, 0-62mph takes place in 9.8 seconds, with top speed rated at 125mph. Figures for the DSG version are yet to be disclosed.

For those after the top-of-the-range engine, the 150hp 1.5-litre TSI delivers superior performance all-round. Gaining an extra cylinder over the other two petrol options, it produces 250Nm of torque and delivers a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds, hitting a top speed of 136mph. It’s also available with a choice of transmissions (six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG), although performance figures for the manual are yet to be announced.

Skoda Scala diesel engines

The sole diesel offering for the Scala is a 115hp 1.6-litre TDI unit, producing 250Nm of torque. It’s available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox and covers 0-62mph in 10.1 seconds, with top speed rated at 125mph (10.3 seconds and 124mph for the automatic).

Driven: Skoda Scala 115hp 1.0-litre TSI

Expected to be one of the best sellers in the Scala, the 115hp 1.0-litre engine provides reasonable performance that should be enough to satisfy the needs of most buyers. You’ll need to work the gearbox reasonably hard to make quicker progress as in-gear acceleration can feel sluggish even when the power starts to pick up around 2,000rpm. 

This is no hardship however, as the standard six-speed manual transmission is pleasant to use and the three-cylinder engine’s refinement levels are exceptional even when in the higher reaches of the rev range. If you’re planning to do plenty of city driving, we would recommend the DSG gearbox as – with this engine – the Scala did need plenty of revs to get off the line quickly – an issue that the automatic version manages to avoid.

Is it good to drive?

  • Not fun to drive, but hard to fault otherwise
  • Light steering makes it easy to drive around town
  • Optional Sport Chassis Control is best avoided

Like almost every other Skoda on scale, the Scala has been setup to provide a greater focus on comfort and refinement than razor-sharp handling ability. As such, it fails to provide the enjoyment of a Ford Focus, Mazda 3 or even Volkswagen Golf. This aside, however, it’s hard to fault how the Scala handles.

Turning quickly into a corner, the Scala demonstrates impressive stability and little body roll (where the body of the car leans around corners), while outright traction levels are high. The steering is fairly light and doesn’t provide much in the way of communication, yet the flipside is that it’s easy to move the car around at low speeds.

It’s worth mentioning that you will be able to spec the Scala with optional Sport Chassis Control that lowers the suspension and adds the ability to switch between Normal and Sport damper modes. So far, we’ve only driven models with Sport Chassis Control fitted and there is a noticeable firming up of the suspension when switching the car into a sportier damper setting. However, it fails to yield an improvement in handling and simply a worsens the ride – so we reckon it’s best sticking with the standard suspension.