Car review: Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Julie Marshall finds the Skoda Scala Monte Carlo five-door hatchback is a joy to drive
Skoda ScalaSkoda Scala
Skoda Scala

I last drove the Skoda Scala two years ago and was mightily impressed by this compact estate masquerading as a five-door family hatchback.

First time around it was powered with the diminutive one-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with DSG transmission which returned around 48mpg.

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This week’s test car is the range-topping Monte Carlo with a racy 1.5 TSI four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox - and it’s even better.

Skoda ScalaSkoda Scala
Skoda Scala

Highlights on the Scala Monte Carlo are 18in black alloys, upgraded satellite navigation system with 9.2in touchscreen and a panoramic glass roof.

The Scala sits between the Fabia and the Ocatvia and was first introduced in 2019.

It’s stylish and is easily recognisable as a member of the Skoda family with the upright slatted radiator grille and triangular headlights which merge seamlessly together.

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The rest of the exterior is equally impressive with sculptured panels that nip in the waist - the back has stretched Skoda lettering across the tailgate. It has bright LED lights all round.

Skoda ScalaSkoda Scala
Skoda Scala
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The cockpit is functional and easy to navigate around. Our Monte Carlo had sporty red trim on the seat and red stitches on the steering wheel and carbon effect trim on the dash.

Monte Carlo gets a DAB radio, speed limiter, electric windows, remote central locking and air conditioning, as found in the entry model, with the addition of cruise control, rear parking sensors and rear view camera.

All models get two of the more versatile USB-C ports in the front cabin so an adaptor will be needed if you want to plug in a conventional USB cable.

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More devices, especially phones are being supplied with USB-C cables these days though so you may already have one.

The Scala is equipped with Smartlink which includes Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Android Auto, so all bases are covered.

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It also comes with Skoda’s handily integrated signature umbrella in the driver's door.

As with the majority of new cars these days the infotainment system is largely controlled via the touchscreen but there are enough ‘old school' buttons and switches to keep frustration to a minimum when accessing functions on the move.

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The Scala with this 148bhp engine is a joy to drive. It reaches 62mph in a smooth 8.2 seconds.

And works well with the manual transmission

Seats are comfortable with height and lumbar control for driver and front seat passenger. Heated seats are a £285 extra cost.

The interior is roomy, particularly in the rear and the boot a practical size - even with the space-saver spare wheel.

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Skoda claims it is one of the largest in the segment at 467 litres with 1,410 with the split rear seats folded down

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Our test car was fitted with the optional electrically operated boot (£465) A useful storage compartment is located under the front seats.

On the road price for the Monte Carlo is £27,425. Our test car had a few extras, as mentioned, plus metallic paint (£660) and front parking sensors (£460) to bring the final tally to £29,295.

Specifications

Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Price: £27,425 (£29,295 as tested)

Engine: 1.5-litre, TSI

Power: 148bhp

Torque: 184lb/ft

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Top speed: 139mph

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Economy: 50.4mpg

CO2 emissions: 133-135g/km