Is Skoda’s Scala the next big C-segment hatch?

Skoda will aim to pinch sales from established fleet favourites like the VW Golf and Ford Focus when its new C-segment hatch hits the market in the first half of 2019.

The Scala will sit between Skoda’s Fabia supermini and Golf-based Octavia saloon in the Czech carmaker’s range, with prices expected to start from around £16,500.

Mechanically, it shares some elements with models such as the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo, most notably its A0 underpinnings – the smallest version of the VW Group’s MQB platform found in the Audi A3 and SEAT Leon.

Physically though, it’s considerably bigger than those superminis. Stretching for 4,362mm, the Scala is over 10cm longer than a Golf, but 30cm shorter than an Octavia.

Stylistically, its profile and curves aren’t too dissimilar to that of the Fabia while the rear bears echoes to that of the Rapid Spaceback. Indeed, this new car is a sort-of replacement to the Rapid compact saloon.

However looks-wise, it pinches some design traits from the Vision RS concept, like the nose and the angled headlights.

In terms of engines, buyers will be able to choose from three petrol engines: a single-litre three-pot unit with 94bhp or 114bhp, as well as a more powerful 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder option with cylinder deactivation to fuel return. Diesel drivers get a 1.6-litre engine developing 114bhp. The entry-level petrol unit comes linked to a five-speed manual gearbox, but all the others are offered with a six-speed version or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Skoda chief executive Bernhard Maier believes the new Scala marks the beginning of “a new chapter in Skoda’s compact car range”.

He commented: “It is an all-new model that sets benchmarks within its segment in terms of technology, safety and design. We’re convinced that the Scala has the best chance of redefining the segment for Skoda.”

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, adds: “SUVs may be the flavour of the month but us Brits still love a sensible hatchback.

“Nissan’s now-discontinued Pulsar found out the hard way that it isn’t easy to introduce a new C-segment hatch but we have high hopes for Skoda’s effort here.”

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