Skoda’s new Scala family hatchback is not to be sniffed at. Not only does it deliver remarkable fuel economy, it’s also designed to help drivers and passengers avoid hay fever during the heatwave.
As the first deliveries are being made in the UK, I’ve been out driving one over a few hundred miles and was quietly impressed.
Though Skoda describes the new Scala as a hatchback, it’s length means it’s more like a compact estate.
Skoda’s new Scala family compact estate car starts from £16,595
It’s fitted with a range of frugal turbocharged 1-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines and a 1.6-litre diesel. Prices start from £16,595. It fills the space in the Skoda range left by the discontinued Rapid Spaceback.
I drove the 1-litre TSI, 115 horsepower, six-speed manual in SE L trim, which is available from the end of next month.
It’s a decent drive in a ‘Race Blue’ metallic. But what amazed me was the fuel consumption.
While it’s a decent drive, the fuel consumption was the real kicker, refusing to drop below 47 mpg even on country lanes and motorways
For no matter how energetically I drove it — on country lanes and on motorways — the average fuel consumption refused to go below 47 mpg, and was usually closer to 49mpg.
The claimed fuel economy figure is between 44.8mpg and 49.6mpg, so it’s bang on the money. Good news for families on a budget.
The basic price of the car I drove was £20,385, for which you get a good range of kit, including satnav with a 9.2in touch screen, 17in alloy wheels, cruise control, lane assist, hill-hold control, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, an umbrella and lots more. It came with nearly £6,000 of optional extras, bumping the price up to £26,510.
These extras included an electrically operated boot (£400), driver fatigue sensor (£55), park assist (£500), a rear view camera (£300), electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory (£70) and sport chasis control with drive-mode selector (£495).
A sight for sore eyes: the Scala’s ‘Climatronic’ air-con system sniffs out pollen and uses a special cabin filter to pump in fresh air instead
All Scalas (and selected Skodas) feature a ‘Climatronic’ air-conditioning system that filters pollen out of the car.
Skoda says: ‘The technology defaults to an energy-saving recirculation mode and stops pollen entering the cabin, helping reduce symptoms of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.
The Scala comes in 1 and 1.5-litre petrol engines and there’s a 1.6-litre diesel option too
‘Unlike normal systems, the Scala uses a special cabin filter and air quality sensor to filter out pollen.
Once sneeze-inducing air particles are sensed, the system automatically shuts off the outside air inlet to stop particles entering the car.’
A service station with a kick
It certainly beats a Little Chef: Ray Massey popped into the venue for Mazda’s birthday party for its MX-5; Caffeine and Machine in Warwickshire
Mazda marked the 30th anniversary of its MX-5 two-seater sports cars this week.
Although I couldn’t make it to the celebration, I popped in for a coffee at the party’s venue Caffeine And Machine (caffeineandmachine.com) in Ettington, near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.
A converted farmhouse serving coffee and meals, with eight rooms for a stop-over, it has a strong automotive theme.
It’s the perfect antidote to motorway service stations and, handily, in striking distance of the British Motor Museum, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin – all at nearby Gaydon, just off the M40.
Car companies are using it as a launch pad for their events, so it’s great for sneaky peeks at new cars.
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