Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Far plusher cabin than the outgoing Rapid
  • Virtual Cockpit on top-spec SE L models
  • Lumbar support not standard on entry level versions

The Scala’s cabin is a step up over the Rapid that it replaced, offering higher material quality, greater space and a more grown-up feel all-round. While not up there with the cabin of a Volkswagen Golf, it’s close to the Ford Focus and certainly on a par – if not better – than a Vauxhall Astra and Hyundai i30.

Physical buttons are kept to a minimum, with most of the car’s functionality controlled through the central infotainment screen. Depending on what spec you go for, it measures up at either 6.0-, 8.0- or 9.2-inches in size and offers the usual Skoda fare of clear, easy to understand menus and intuitive controls. There’s also a handy ledge beneath the screen for the user to rest their wrist on, making it easy to input commands on the move.

2020 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo interior

One of the Scala’s main party pieces is the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit, replacing traditional analogue dials on SE L models. This allows you to customise the instrument cluster with information from the sat-nav, media, phone and trip computer. Although not as intuitive as the Audi system it shares its name with, Skoda’s Virtual Cockpit is arguably easier to use and better laid out than the equivalent used on the Volkswagen Golf.

The Scala’s driving position is par for the course with this type of car, meaning you get enough adjustment through the wheel and seat, even if the latter could go down a little lower (headroom is generous, however, so tall drivers shouldn’t have an issue).

Lumbar support is only included on SE spec cars upwards, with the same deal applied if you want height adjustment for the passenger seat. We also felt the B-pillar (behind the driver to the right) was fairly chunky and could cause a couple of issues with visibility.

Comfort-focused family car

  • Comfort-focused chassis setup
  • Impressive all-round refinement
  • Super-supportive sport seats

As we alluded to in the handling section, the Scala is focused towards giving its occupants a comfortable all-round drive, as opposed to a firmer, sporty experience. And while it’s not the most comfortable car among its rivals, it does score well in this category thanks to good ride quality, accomplished refinement and a comfy cabin.

On the 17-inch alloy wheels (standard on SE L trim) and Sport Chassis Control (in Normal mode), the Scala gives a well-judged – if not entirely polished – ride quality. At low speeds it’s generally comfortable yet can feel a little unsettled over repeated road surface imperfections. This improves the faster you travel, with the car showing its best form at motorway cruising speed where the soft springs deliver a relaxed overall feel.

2020 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo interior

You will notice that wind noise picks up notably if you push on up to 70mph – especially from around the windscreen pillars – but otherwise refinement is impressive. Despite not having the more advanced multi-link rear suspension, the Scala doesn’t suffer from the increased suspension noise that other VW Group cars have with the same setup, only rumbling a touch over bumpy surfaces. Engine noise from the 1.0-litre variants is exceptionally low, even when worked hard. 1.5-litre cars are a little more raucous when revved out, but still extremely refined.

Completing a solid score for comfort are the black Microsuede sport seats, offering excellent support for longer journeys. The standard seats in less expensive Scalas are suitably comfortable, although lack a tad in side bolstering support if you take corners with a higher degree of vigour. Monte Carlo cars split the difference, with supportive sports seats - albeit without the grip of the Microsuede.