Skoda and the C-segment, it turns out to be a bit like a difficult marriage. For example, the Czechs introduced the Rapid in 2012 and let’s be honest: when was the last time you saw one in the wild? At the end of 2018, they made another attempt with the Scala and despite a lower price and larger trunk than almost all its competitors, it is also quite rare on our roads. In 2023, the C-segment buyer likes to see something of a premium side to its hatchback… So premium is what they will get.
Including sports version
Skoda has proposed its facelift for the Scala, and they seem to have cheated on group colleague Audi for that. Gone are those quirky, slanted headlights of the past and instead you get sharp new viewers. They get a handsome LED daytime running light built in and speaking of LEDs: from now on you can order the Scala with matrix headlights with individually switchable LED pixels for the adaptive high beams. The grille also grows subtly and the air scoop at the bottom of the bumper is finished with chrome dots depending on the trim level. The ‘Monte Carlo’ version, on the other hand, drapes everything in a black jacket — because what good are premium ambitions without a sporty jacket.
If you opt for that Scala ‘Monte Carlo’, you get real sports seats inside, but they are not exactly new. What is new is the fact that every model, regardless of the trim level, now has a digital driver display. The standard size is 8 inches, but an extra investment adds another 2.25 inches. The same applies to the infotainment system that measures 8.25 inches in the basic version and 9.2 inches higher, but Skoda does not force you to operate everything through it. Ease of use is still paramount, so you get a control panel for the climate control underneath that has even been optimized a bit if you choose the ‘Climatronic’ automatic climate control.
Speaking of ease of use: Skoda also takes a closer look at the standard equipment of the Scala. Not only those screens from earlier, but also a number of safety functions are added. So immediately count on an emergency brake assistant with pedestrian recognition, a lane assistant and traffic sign recognition on the basic version of your Scala, which will now be known as ‘Essence’. Above that you will find the more chic ‘Selection’ and the top version is that ‘Monte Carlo’ with its sporty accents from earlier. You can also choose all kinds of packages, and they also contain more equipment than before. For example, things like adaptive cruise control and a wireless smartphone charger will soon be in the option list, just like an electrically operated tailgate that can be opened by waving your foot under the car.
On the motor level, the range remains unchanged, or at least since the diesel engines left the Scala ship. So count on a 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine with 95 hp as an entry-level model, and at an additional cost the block coughs up 110 hp. Higher up is a mild hybrid 1.5-liter engine with 150 hp and, as usual, will probably be the only engine that you can get in the sportier-looking ‘Monte Carlo’. We don’t know what that will cost at the moment.