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Skoda Scala Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI

Report 4

It’s funny how you get attached to certain cars. Month four with the Scala has led me to contemplating life without it. That should happen around Christmastime, unless I can persuade Skoda to let me have it for longer. It isn’t that I am in love with the car, so much as it does everything I want it to and more. I could uncork a few adjectival phrases, get all flowery and poetic, but really, more than anything, what I like most about the Scala is that it is competent. I am absolutely, categorically, ‘in like’ with the Skoda. I have bonded with it in a way that surprises me, even though I am an established fan of the marque; certainly more so than with the SEAT Arona that preceded it.

I am a middle-aged bloke who spends quite a lot of time living his best life on motorways. The rest of the time I am navigating Shropshire countryside, often via ex-roads and farm tracks. The Skoda takes everything in its stride. It is the vehicular definition of dependable. The rear seats seem to spend most of their time in the horizontal position these days, the Scala having effectively become a removal van. I realise I am covering old ground here, but it never ceases to amaze me how much stuff it will accommodate, and having such a nice, square shape for a boot floor is a boon. More than anything, though, I continue to be impressed – astounded – by the fuel economy.

Forgive me for banging on about this again, but I routinely trounce the manufacturer’s own figures. I recently drove from my home in the sticks to Middlesex. The following day I enjoyed the delights of central London, and later on I headed back to the shires. The journey encompassed country B-roads, motorways, congested cityscapes; just about everything that could be thrown at it. I recorded just shy of 57mpg. I remember being elated when I took my Fabia 1.0 TSI Monte Carlo on a 450-mile journey and managed 60mpg without having to drive like a saint. The Scala is a considerably bigger car, but packs a variation of the same triple cylinder powerplant and mid- to high-50s mpg figures are the norm.

 Flaws? That rather depends on your definition of what constitutes a flaw. The Scala isn’t a fun ‘steer’ to use motoring journalism parlance du jour, but there is nothing bad about it either; at least there isn’t once you have become accustomed to the steering’s lightness. Only minor things annoy me. I cannot believe I am going to mention beverage holders, but there is only space for one normal-sized cup or bottle, with a small opening behind it. Otherwise, you’re either holding them or stuffing them into the door pocket. That is less than ideal if you and your passengers have recently stopped at a drive-thru coffee shop for a pitstop and you’re keen to get back on the move again.

Secondly, I noticed early on that the seat fabric marks the moment you look at it. Seriously, it is all the time. They come off with fabric cleaner, but I am surprised at how much I am buying because I don’t think of myself as being a messy pup. Overall, though, these are minor irritations. I really like the Scala. I expect I will like it in next months’ report, too. 

Arrived 6th June 2022
Price when new £23,995
Price as tested £25,940
Economy 52.2mpg (combined) 53.6mpg (on test)
Costs None Faults None

What's Hot

The 1.0-litre engine has sufficient power, but also doesn’t lack torque for the most part.

What's Not

The shape of the beverage holders isn’t very helpful. Nor is their positioning.

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