Road Test by Mark Slack: Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Image - Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Image - Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Road Test by Mark Slack: Skoda Scala Monte Carlo – one I’d be happy to keep in my garage

When you find the flagship model of a range is priced from just under €29k/£25k you’re looking at a manufacturer who knows how to package cars. When you find out we’re talking Skoda it comes as no surprise. The Scala sits between the Fabia and Octavia in terms of size and is a five door hatchback that looks a little bit more like an estate than traditional hatch.

My test model was the Monte Carlo finished in optional, and rather smart, Race Blue Metallic. Add the standard panoramic glass roof and extended glass of the tailgate and this is an unusual and rather stylish bargain.

The range starts at €23,210/£20,120 and comes with a good range of standard equipment, although not navigation but you can link your smart phone. The Monte Carlo comes very well equipped including 18-inch black alloys, powered, heated and folding door mirrors, privacy glass, navigation, air conditioning, rear view camera and very comfortable sports seats that look the part for a car bearing a Monte Carlo badge. It’s a very nice place to be seated.

Power comes from a choice of 1.0-itre, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine or, as in my test car, a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, with nicely slick gearchange, it’s a pleasant drive that rides well with rather decent handling too. Despite the Monte Carlo badge it’s no racer but can certainly pick its feet up when required yet returns around 50 mpg.

The interior, unlike so many VAG cars, has a pleasing number of buttons and sensible digitisation. One minor issue with the instrument panel, which has a multitude of optional views, is the speedometer and rev counter are almost identical so a quick glance can be confusing. Thankfully there is a digital speedometer and you can remove the rev counter with one of the view changes.

The build quality on the Scala is excellent and it feels and drives like a more expensive car. With superbly comfortable seats and a spacious interior for both passengers and luggage, it makes the Scala a bit of a bargain. If you don’t need the slightly larger frame of the Octavia then the Scala fits the bill perfectly.

I’m lucky to be able to drive a different car every week, and some very nice cars, but the Scala Monte Carlo is definitely one I’d be happy to keep in my garage.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Skoda Scala Monte Carlo

Prices: €30,356/£26,315

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol developing 150PS

Gears: 6-speed manual

Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 8.2 secs

Maximum Speed Petrol 223 kph (139 mph)

Economy: Petrol 5.6 l/100km (50.4 mpg) WLTP

Emissions: 133 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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