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Say hello to the Scala - the hatchback Skoda hopes will take down the Ford Focus and other rivals

By Paul Connolly

Skoda has unveiled full pricing and details of its new Scala family hatchback, which goes into battle against the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

It’s a roomy, feature-packed and tech-driven modern family car, with the latest Skoda looks and kit.

Priced from around the £16,500 mark, the Scala will go on sale in the New Year. It’s based on a VW Group platform used to build the Polo and Seat Ibiza models, but its significantly bigger than those cars (it’s actually 100mm longer than a Golf).

This means it will take the fight to key cars like the Focus, which is the fifth best-selling car in the UK so far this year (the Ford Fiesta is No. 1).

 A selection of five engine variants is available, with power outputs ranging from 90 PS to 150 PS.

The name comes from the Latin for ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder’, but there’s nothing ladder-like about the car’s design.

It‘s the first Skoda  production vehicle in Europe to bear ‘Skoda’ in block lettering across its tailgate instead of the Skoda  logo.

Alloy wheels measuring up to 18 inches are there to create a dynamic feel, and a unique, extended rear window is available in the higher spec .

With enhanced online connectivity, it is aimed at a target group of younger, design-focused Internet users and those with families and active lifestyles, which is presumably why Skoda gave it what it claims is the biggest boot in the segment.

Inside the cabin, the instrument panel features a central touchscreen positioned high on the dashboard, ambient lighting, warm hues and contrasting coloured stitching on the seat covers. Optional heated windscreen and heated steering wheel extras provide additional comfort.

The car’s target market will expect excellence in infotainment, connectivity and general all-round technology.

Infotainment systems from the third generation of the company’s MIB modular infotainment matrix come with a screen size ranging from 6.5 inches up to 9.2 inches. An optional Virtual Cockpit features a 10.25-inch display – the largest in the segment.

The touchscreen is positioned high on the dashboard in clear view of the driver and front passenger; an optional Skoda  Sound System features a subwoofer and ten speakers.

Using the new Skoda Connect mobile online services, the car can be locked and unlocked via a mobile phone and the infotainment system software or maps can be updated.

The Scala is always online thanks to a built-in eSIM with LTE connection.

Skoda boasts that many of the Skoda  Scala’s assistance systems have previously only been seen in higher vehicle segments.

An optional Side Assist function shows if a vehicle is approaching from behind and wants to overtake or if it is in the blind spot up to 70 m away – 50 m further than in Blind Spot Detect.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which can be used at speeds of up to 130 mph, and Park Assist are also optional. Lane Assist and Front Assist with City Emergency Brake come as standard.

LED headlights and tail lights come as standard, full‑LED versions are available as an option and – for the first time in a Skoda  – come with dynamic rear indicators.

The car features up to nine airbags, including a driver knee airbag and, for the first time in the segment, optional rear side airbags.

In the event of an impending collision, the optionally available proactive occupant protection system Crew Protect Assist automatically closes the windows and tensions the front seat belts in good time.

The  Scala comes with numerous of Skoda’s “Simply Clever” features, including – for the first time in this segment – an electric tailgate, Tip-To-Close function and a retractable tow bar, which can be electrically unlocked at the push of a button in the boot.

As mentioned earlier, the Scala, despite its Polo platform, is roomy and indeed comes close in internal space to that of the Skoda Octavia.

This is because of a long wheelbase measuring 2,649 mm, offering rear kneeroom of 73 mm. The boot capacity has of 467-litres, apparently the largest in its segment. This increases to 1,410 l with the rear seats folded down.

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