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Skoda Scala interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

It's a cliche, but getting behind the wheel of a Skoda Scala feels like slipping on an old cosy cardigan. It's easy to get comfy behind the wheel, and the view out is decent all-round. Nervous parkers might want to add the optional convenience pack, which includes a reversing camera, but all Scala models have rear parking sensors as standard.

Night-time visibility has been improved for the 2024 model, because all Scalas get bright LED headlights as standard, with matrix LED headlights as an option. These can automatically mask out oncoming cars from the main beam, allowing you to leave your high beam on without dazzling others.

Seat comfort is also impressive in the Scala – we didn't experience any aches or pains on long drives, and the sports seats in Monte Carlo models are still lined with cloth and aren't too tight for comfort, even if you're on the larger side.

Standard equipment

The Skoda Scala comes in three versions following the 2024 facelift.

Your common or garden Scala is the SE model. This trim level gives you 16-inch wheels, full LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lights and rear LED lights. Inside you get black/grey cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the smaller 8.25-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone mirroring, an 8-inch digital dashboard, cruise control, keyless ignition, dual-zone air-con and traffic sign recognition. Hardly basic, is it?

If you do want a bit more icing on your Scala cake, check out the SE L trim. This adds bigger 17-inch wheels, scrolling indicators, chrome window surrounds, tinted rear windows, a partial-suede interior upholstery option, red and white ambient lighting and a rear-seat armrest. The infotainment screen grows to 9.2 inches and gets built-in sat-nav and voice control, while the virtual cockpit goes up a size to 10.25 inches. You also get light and rain sensors, and electric folding door mirrors.

Top-spec Monte Carlo versions get an altogether sportier look, by way of a black grille surround, black door mirror caps, a black roof with a panoramic sunroof and Monte Carlo badges on the front wings. Matrix LED headlights are included as standard, as are bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, black cloth sports seats with red stripes, and a reversing camera. You also get Skoda's sport chassis control, which lets you firm up or soften the suspension at the touch of a button.

Infotainment and audio

The Scala comes with two screens in its cabin – a digital dashboard for the driver, and an infotainment screen plonked in the middle of the dash. Entry-level SE models get smaller screens (eight inches for the digital dashboard, 8.25 inches for the infotainment display), while SE L and Monte Carlo up the dashboard to 10.25 inches and the infotainment grows to 9.2 inches. 

We'll get the whinge out of the way first. The larger infotainment system doesn't have a physical volume knob, instead you have to prod at virtual buttons at the edge of the screen, which is quite tricky to do on the move. That said, you can also use the controls on the steering wheel. 

Otherwise we rather like the infotainment system in the updated Scala. It's reasonably quick to respond to touches and the graphics are clear and sharp. Best of all is the fact Skoda's brought back physical climate controls underneath the screen, so you're not left fumbling with a touchscreen to turn your heated seat on, or to adjust the temperature.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included in all models, so you can use your phone's apps for playing music, podcasts and navigating to your destination.

The Scala's standard-fit audio system is pretty decent for such an affordable car, and that's a good thing too, because there's no option to upgrade it.

Rear seat space

We love the amount of space you get in the back of the Scala – it's a great car for carrying passengers, and it's also a handy hatchback if you have to fit bulky child seats, which can slot in without squishing up against the seats in front. Fellow parents will rejoice in the easily accessible Isofix hooks, which don't have annoying plastic covers on them.

The Scala's rear-seat backs are nicely reclined, the window line is low so your passengers won't feel claustrophobic, and there's a pair of USB-C ports to charge your passengers' devices, which can then be tucked away in the soft pockets on the back of the front seats. The rear door bins are big enough to hold small drinks bottles, but they aren't felt lined so any objects put in them will rattle around over bumps.

Boot space

The Scala's boot is huge, and there's now an option to have it open electrically. Skoda's making a song and dance about the 'virtual pedal' system added for the 2024-onward model, but this just means you can frantically wave a foot under the rear bumper while nothing happens. It's supposed to open the boot when you do that, but we've rarely found a system like this that actually works.

Luckily boot space is excellent – 467 litres makes it substantially bigger than the boot on a VW Golf, and it's bigger than any of its hatchback rivals at this price point.

Other features include a 12-volt socket in the boot so you can run a coolbox if you're camping, and there are sturdy hooks to keep your Rogan Josh from making you say "oh gosh that's fallen over and made a mess".

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