A brand new household hatch is all the time huge information, on condition that these are among the many hottest sorts of automobile with British consumers.
UK motorists love the combination of capability that a good hatchback can present, and any automobile price its salt on this class must be sensible, good to drive, inexpensive and low-cost to run.
It’s a good stronger worth proposition than the model’s Octavia, but the Scala doesn’t compromise in the case of engineering or capability, or at the very least that’s what we’re hoping to seek out out. It’s an all-new mannequin that’s been engineered to compete with the most effective within the class, however in the case of expertise there are a variety of fashions on this sector that imply the Scala has a problem to rise to the highest.
In our take a look at we’ll discover out if the Czech newcomer can obtain this, and whether or not it may beat the automobile that has dominated the hatchback class since 2012: the Volkswagen Golf. The most recent Kia Ceed can be a robust challenger, as a result of this all-new mannequin is the most effective model but, and pushes the VW in lots of areas.
|Skoda Scala 1.Zero TSI 115 SE|
|Engine:||1.Zero-litre 3cyl petrol, 113bhp|
|Take a look at economic system:||54.7mpg/12.0mpl|
|Annual highway tax:||£145|
Skoda has a status for constructing great-value vehicles, so right here we’re testing probably the most inexpensive mannequin within the Scala vary: the 1.Zero-litre turbo petrol, with 113bhp and a handbook gearbox, in SE trim. It’s the most cost effective automobile right here, at £18,585.
Design & engineering
The Scala is an all-new mannequin, and as you’d count on of any contemporary product from a VW Group model, it’s based mostly on structure shared with loads of different vehicles. On this case it’s the MQB A0 platform. That is an evolution of the structure that underpins the VW Golf (and the Skoda Octavia), however the A0 denotation means it’s the model typically used for superminis. So the Scala is predicated on the identical platform because the Polo quite than the Golf that it rivals, however this doesn’t have an effect on its capability.
It has MacPherson struts on the entrance and a torsion beam on the again, which is similar because the Volkswagen on this specification; larger-engined Golfs have a multi-link set-up. Nevertheless, each model of the Ceed makes use of the extra advanced multi-link association.
The Scala shares its 1.Zero-litre petrol engine with the Golf right here, so each have 113bhp and 200Nm of torque, and have a six-speed handbook gearbox.
Inside, the Skoda is nice, contemplating that we’re entry-level fashions on this take a look at. Construct high quality is stable, and there’s sufficient soft-touch plastic in the proper locations to make sure it doesn’t really feel as funds as the value tag suggests. Its easy design means the Scala is straightforward to stay with, and the seats are cozy. It’s marginally much less plush than the Golf, however not by a lot, and the Kia has extra arduous plastic than its rivals right here.
An eight-inch touchscreen show with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is customary on the Scala, which is superb and provides to the Skoda’s worth for cash. SE trim additionally options lane-keep help, parking sensors, cruise management and air-conditioning.
The Scala’s supermini platform implies that the automobile’s kerbweight isn’t excessive. At 1,165kg, it’s 51kg lighter than the Golf and 132kg lower than the Ceed. That has advantages throughout many areas of the Skoda’s driving expertise, beginning with the experience.
It’s particularly snug in SE type, as a result of its 16-inch wheels have tyres with giant sidewalls that assist the Scala take in bumps and potholes. It skips over ruts within the highway higher than both of its rivals right here, which additionally implies that the Skoda retains its composure at larger speeds on bumpier roads.
These tall tyres do take some precision away from the steering, although, so it’s not a lot of a driver’s automobile. However that’s to not say the Scala can’t be enjoyable, as a result of the steering remains to be correct sufficient to put the mannequin confidently, whereas there’s loads of grip and the powertrain is efficient and comparatively refined, too.
The 1.Zero-litre engine is mostly quiet when stored to low revs, however push tougher and it’s punchy, with a typical three-cylinder thrum. Plus the six-speed handbook gearbox is slick, exact and nice to make use of, though the Scala’s rivals even have good gearboxes.
With the engine producing its most 200Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, it has loads of shove. The light-weight Scala was the quickest automobile of the three opponents from Zero-60mph, taking 9.7 seconds. The Golf wasn’t far behind, clocking 9.Eight seconds, and each beat the heavier Kia, which took 10.7 seconds.
The Scala was additionally quicker than its rivals in our 50-70mph in-gear exams, taking 7.Eight seconds and 10.1 seconds in fifth and sixth respectively, highlighting its flexibility. The VW matched the Skoda in fifth, however was Zero.1 seconds behind in sixth, whereas the Kia took 10.1 seconds and 12.5 seconds to finish the duties.
Wind noise is a little more intrusive on the motorway within the Scala, as a result of it isn’t fairly as effectively soundproofed because the Golf or Ceed, however it’s not by a lot. The Skoda remains to be good for lengthy journeys, nonetheless, as a result of the seats are snug and
the engine is quiet – and economical – at a cruise.
Skoda is understood for constructing sensible vehicles, and the Scala is not any exception. Its hatchback boot opening is huge and broad, so loading objects is straightforward, and its 467-litre quantity is far larger than its rivals’. The Golf has a 380-litre load bay and the Ceed affords 395 litres, so the Skoda has an enormous benefit in case you want capability.
But the Scala doesn’t sacrifice rear-seat area for this, as a result of it’s additionally the roomiest automobile for passengers within the again. There’s sufficient leg and headroom for adults within the outer seats, because of the Scala having an extended wheelbase than the VW. All three fashions have loads of room, however the Skoda is the largest.
Even in primary SE trim, the Scala comes with AEB, lane-keep help and parking sensors. You’ll be able to add blind-spot help for an inexpensive £525 (it’s £1,135 within the Golf as a part of a pack) and a reversing digicam prices £300 (it’s £345 within the Golf). A digicam is customary on the Ceed, however not sensors, and you’ll’t add blind-spot help to 2 trim. The Scala bought a full five-star Euro NCAP end result.
Skoda is a persistently excessive scorer in our Driver Energy satisfaction survey, and completed fifth within the makers’ part of our 2019 ballot. Kia beat it this 12 months, although, in third place, whereas VW trailed in 17th spot.
The Scala highlighted its weight benefit by returning a median of 54.7mpg, in opposition to the Golf’s 49mpg and the Ceed’s 42.9mpg. At present gas costs, the Skoda will price £1,273 a 12 months to run in case you do 12,000 miles, the VW £1,421 and the Kia £1,623. However the Scala prices extra to insure: our instance driver can pay £456 a 12 months, subsequent to £400 for the Golf and £391 for the Ceed.
“The Scala’s spectacular 54.7mpg economic system determine means it has a variety of 602 miles on a full tank. That leads to fewer refills than the Golf or Ceed, regardless of all three of them having a 50-litre gas tank.”
|VW Golf 1.Zero TSI 115 SE Navigation 5dr|
|Engine:||1.Zero-litre 3cyl petrol, 113bhp|
|Take a look at economic system:||49.0mpg/10.8mpl|
|Annual highway tax:||£145|
The Volkswagen Golf is among the best-selling vehicles in Britain and has led the best way within the household hatchback class for the reason that Mk7 model was launched in 2012, with a Mk7.5 facelift in 2017 protecting it contemporary. Right here we’re driving the five-door model in 1.Zero TSI handbook type. In SE Navigation trim it prices £20,815, which is cheaper than the entry-level S mannequin.
Design & engineering
This Golf is predicated on the MQB platform, however in contrast to the Scala, it makes use of the bigger model of this structure, so it shares components with shut rivals such because the SEAT Leon, however additionally very totally different fashions just like the Skoda Kodiaq.
In 1.Zero-litre petrol type, it has MacPherson struts on the entrance and a torsion beam on the again – the identical suspension set-up because the Scala. Adaptive dampers can be found for £875 and are a worthwhile choice. They are often set to Consolation or Sport mode relying on the way you wish to drive, and the Volkswagen remains to be snug and composed in every setting, though its customary passive dampers are nice, too.
The Golf and Scala use the identical 1.Zero-litre engine, in order that they have an identical energy and torque figures (113bhp and 200Nm), produced on the identical revs (5,000rpm and a couple of,000rpm respectively).
Materials high quality within the cabin is a robust level for the Golf, and it’s the most effective of the three vehicles right here on this space. Its neat, useful design means the VW is each sensible and engaging.
SE Navigation isn’t truly on the backside of the trim listing, however a quirk of the automobile’s pricing construction means it’s the most cost effective 1.Zero TSI 115 mannequin you should purchase though it’s £2,230 greater than the Skoda. That is nonetheless excellent news, although, as a result of this model will get sat-nav in addition to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus parking sensors, AEB, air-con, adaptive cruise management, Bluetooth and DAB radio.
The 1.Zero-litre engine within the Golf (and Scala) may sound too small for a automobile of this measurement, however the addition of a turbocharger means it’s an incredible decide. There’s sufficient torque – 200Nm at 2,000rpm – that it by no means feels unable to maintain up with site visitors.
There’s a slight delay from decrease revs whereas the turbo spools up and begins blowing, however the step change is much less extreme within the Golf and Scala right here, so that you don’t need to divert as a lot consideration to protecting the engine in the proper rev vary.
The Golf carried out greatest in our in-gear exams from 30-50mph, the place it took four.Zero and 5.6 seconds in third and fourth gear respectively. The Scala wasn’t too far off, at four.5 and 6.Three seconds, whereas the Ceed fell behind with instances of 5.1 and seven.Three seconds respectively.
The VW was a bit of slower than the Skoda from Zero-60mph and from 50-70mph in sixth gear, however the hole was so small as to make no sensible distinction. Each have been quicker than the heavier Ceed in each one among our straight-line exams, and the decrease weight additionally helped in our braking exams from 70, 60 and 30mph.
This respectable efficiency is aided by the slick and satisfying six-speed handbook gearbox, and though the Golf is the one automobile right here out there with an auto field with this engine configuration, we’d stick to the handbook gearbox, as a result of it’s so good to make use of and cheaper as effectively. There’s a great deal of grip, and the steering is exact and effectively weighted. The VW is a bit more confidence-inspiring than the Scala because of the additional grip, however all three are intently matched, as a result of the Ceed additionally delivers a stable drive.
Golfs with the non-obligatory adaptive dampers are very snug, however the passive damper set-up is nice, too, and isn’t upset by harsh bumps, even when cornering. The adaptive shocks are a dear improve however do enhance the experience, whereas refinement is sweet.
A 380-litre boot means the Golf’s load bay is the smallest right here; it’s 15 litres lower than the Ceed’s. Nevertheless, until you’re wanting very intently you gained’t discover a lot distinction between the 2, though each are dwarfed by the Skoda, which boasts 467 litres.
Fold down the seats and the VW affords 1,270 litres, once more the smallest quantity of the three. The Kia has 1,291 litres on this set-up, whereas the Skoda trumps each with an enormous 1,410 litres out there.
But inside area is powerful within the Golf, as a result of it has extra leg and headroom within the again than the Ceed, and it’s about on par with the Scala. One level to notice is that the VW’s older cabin design is shorter on storage within the entrance than its two rivals’, with an awkward-to-access cubby in entrance of the gearlever.
VW scored effectively in our Driver Energy 2018 survey, however fell to 17th place within the producers’ chart this 12 months, which put it behind Skoda (fifth) and Kia (third).
Euro NCAP gave the Golf 5 stars when it was examined in 2012, and a facelift added autonomous braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise management to the usual package listing, so security is superb. It’s a disgrace lane-keep help (£565) and a reversing digicam (£345) are non-obligatory. The Kia has each, whereas lane-keep is customary on the Scala.
Regardless of the Golf being heavier than the Scala and these vehicles having the identical claimed mixed gas economic system, the VW’s decrease official CO2 determine places it in a less expensive firm automobile tax bracket. Its 25 per cent ranking for Profit-in Variety (BiK) means a lower-rate earner can pay £1,Zero31 a 12 months to run the Golf. A 26 per cent BiK ranking for the Skoda means the identical purchaser can pay £955, due to the decrease listing value. The (28 per cent) Ceed will price £1,029 a 12 months.
“Volkswagen’s Energetic Data Show choice provides a 12.Three-inch digital display screen behind the steering wheel as an alternative of conventional dials. At £525, it’s not low-cost, however it’s versatile and provides a hi-tech really feel.”
|Kia Ceed 1.Zero T-GDi 2|
|Engine:||1.Zero-litre 3cyl petrol, 118bhp|
|Take a look at economic system:||42.9mpg/9.4mpl|
|Annual highway tax:||£145|
That is the primary time we’ve examined the brand new Ceed with a 1.Zero-litre petrol engine. It’s a more in-depth match to the Skoda in the case of value, as a result of this ‘2’ mannequin (though our footage present a GT-Line S automobile) begins from £18,600, simply £15 greater than the Scala.
Design & engineering
Kia launched the all-new Ceed final 12 months. It’s designed to tackle rivals from Europe, and it has the engineering make-up to take action, with MacPherson strut entrance suspension and a multi-link set-up on the rear as a part of the brand new K2 platform. This additionally means the brand new mannequin is best to drive than earlier than, as a result of earlier Ceeds weren’t as satisfying because the likes of the VW Golf.
Its 1.Zero-litre engine has 118bhp, which is probably the most right here, however the Kia is the heaviest automobile of the three and likewise has much less torque, peaking at 172Nm (at 1,500rpm). The powertrain is in any other case much like its rivals’, with a slick six-speed handbook field driving the entrance wheels.
Inside construct high quality is superb, and whereas the general impression is sweet, there are cheaper-looking finishes on among the trim items. These are small factors, as a result of it’s nonetheless shut sufficient to its rivals on high quality, however the smaller seven-inch touchscreen on 2 trim means the infotainment is just a bit behind its rivals’. Nevertheless, it nonetheless works brilliantly effectively and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however just like the Scala, not sat-nav.
Different package included on the two model consists of 16-inch alloys, air-conditioning, a reversing digicam, lane-keep help, AEB, DAB radio and cruise management. The choices listing solely consists of paint colors, so if you’d like extra tools you’ll want to maneuver as much as a dearer trim, whereas on the Scala and Golf you may add key choices individually.
This new model of the Ceed is by far the most effective but, as a result of it has a steadiness of experience and dealing with that just about matches the Golf’s. It’s snug and soaks up lumps and bumps on tough roads, though bigger potholes are extra noticeable than in its rivals.
The seats and driving place complement the comparatively composed experience, and the Kia is enjoyable over lengthy journeys; that’s true of the passenger seats, too.
Physique roll is effectively managed and the steering is direct, so the South Korean hatch retains up with the Skoda and VW in the case of driving satisfaction, whereas even the gearshift is correct and nice to make use of. The Kia’s chassis is extra enjoyable than its predecessor’s, so it may be genuinely satisfying to throw into corners in a means that earlier fashions weren’t.
It’s a disgrace then that this automobile’s engine dampens its attraction. It’s nonetheless enjoyable to rev, as a result of it makes an entertaining noise and the gearbox is slick, however it suffers from very lengthy gearing and laggy energy supply. It’s important to watch out to not let the revs drop beneath about 1,400rpm, as a result of the Kia’s engine may be very flat when the turbocharger shouldn’t be spooled up. It builds increase rapidly, so there’s sufficient punch as soon as the revs rise, however the Kia did fall behind its rivals in our efficiency exams.
It took 10.7 seconds to achieve 60mph from a standstill, partly as a result of it couldn’t fairly get to 60mph in second gear and required a shift to 3rd, and partly as a result of the Kia is heavier than the Skoda and Volkswagen. Lengthy ratios within the larger gears meant it took greater than two seconds longer to go from 50-70mph in fifth and sixth than its rivals, but there appears to be no profit to those ratios, as a result of the Ceed was additionally much less economical. It’s a bit louder within the cabin at motorway speeds than the Golf, too.
Comfy rear seats imply that passengers gained’t thoughts sitting behind the Ceed, and there’s additionally sufficient head and legroom for adults. The Scala is unquestionably greater within the again, although, and there’s extra gentle in that automobile, too, however total the distinction isn’t as huge as you may suppose.
The Kia’s boot isn’t as spacious because the Skoda’s, though, at 395 litres, it’s a bit greater than the Golf’s. Storage can be a reasonably essential consider these household vehicles, so the Ceed’s huge central bin, twin cup-holders behind the gearlever, and trinket tray in entrance of it guarantee there’s loads of area. It’s on par with the Scala and a bit of higher than the Golf.
In our Driver Energy 2019 proprietor satisfaction survey, Kia completed third within the producers’ chart, which was an excellent end result. That was a bit of forward of Skoda’s fifth and means in entrance of Volkswagen’s 17th place.
The Korean model’s showrooms took a robust seventh place in our ballot this 12 months, with VW and Skoda’s sellers coming 18th and eighth respectively.
Kia’s seven-year guarantee is excellent. Skoda and Volkswagen have an industry-standard three years’ cowl by comparability. Customary-fit security package equivalent to a reversing digicam, AEB and lane-keep help imply the Ceed matches the Scala for security, and each get full five-star Euro NCAP rankings.
The Ceed was fairly far behind its rivals for gas economic system throughout our take a look at, as a result of it achieved 42.9mpg, whereas the Golf managed 49mpg and the Scala returned a really spectacular 54.7mpg.
Nonetheless, the Ceed claws some floor again in opposition to the Golf for depreciation. Our specialists predict that you just’ll lose £10,624 on the Ceed over three years, as a result of it’ll maintain on to 42.9 per cent of its listing value. The VW’s 41.four per cent estimated residual worth means a lack of £12,189 over the identical interval, and at 49.2 per cent, the Scala ought to lose simply £9,436 in that point.
“The Kia’s 1.Zero-litre triple is louder from contained in the cabin than the three-cylinder models in its rivals, however it’s straightforward sufficient to forgive the Ceed as a result of it’s motor is characterful and nonetheless pretty clean to rev.”
First place: Skoda Scala
The Scala isn’t only a winner on this take a look at, it’s additionally among the best vehicles you should purchase in 2019. It’s already an award winner,
however it proves itself right here in opposition to the Golf by being simply nearly as good to drive because the Volkswagen, but additionally extra economical, extra sensible and extra inexpensive. The Skoda retains up with its rival on tools, and in SE type with this engine it’s a superb all-rounder. It’s our favorite compact household automobile.
Second place: Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen’s Golf has been a winner on this class because it arrived in 2012, which exhibits simply how good it’s, and slipping behind the Scala after seven years on sale is not any slight on the evergreen VW. It’s nonetheless one of the crucial sensible vehicles round, with a great deal of tools and a cushty experience. It’s good to drive, low-cost to run and competitively priced on finance, so the Golf remains to be a best choice within the compact household automobile class.
Third place: Kia Ceed
That is the most effective Ceed but, and though it comes third subsequent to the most effective two vehicles on this class, the Kia remains to be a worthy contender. It’s enjoyable to drive, because of its composure, however it doesn’t sacrifice consolation. The Ceed is spacious inside, has an enormous boot, and there’s loads of package, too, though the infotainment isn’t as robust. It’s let down a bit of by poorer economic system, which suggests the Kia can be costlier to run, however not by a lot.
Additionally take into account…
Mannequin: Skoda Octavia 1.Zero TSI 115 SE
Engine: 1.Zero-litre 3cyl, 113bhp
Skoda affords a rival to the Scala with the Octavia. Some consumers might not like its saloon-like form, however it has a huge boot. Efficiency and economic system can’t match the Scala’s, and it’s dearer in the identical trim. However look out for tempting offers on these.
Mannequin: Ford Focus 1.Zero EcoBoost 100 Fashion
Engine: 1.Zero-litre 3cyl, 99bhp
The Ford Focus is among the greatest vehicles to drive on this class, and it’s sensible, too. You don’t get as a lot package in your cash in a low-spec automobile and the engine can be a bit of down on energy in contrast with its rivals’. However the Focus’s enjoyable dealing with ought to make up for that.
|Skoda Scala 1.Zero TSI 115 SE||Volkswagen Golf 1.Zero TSI 115 5dr SE Navigation||Kia Ceed 1.Zero T-GDi 2|
|On the highway value/complete as examined||£18,585/£21,605||£20,815/£20,815||£18,600/£18,600|
|Residual worth (after 3yrs/36,000)||£9,149/49.2%||£Eight,626/41.four%||£7,976/42.9%|
|Annual tax legal responsibility std/larger price||£955/£1,909||£1,Zero31/£2,061||£1,029/£2,058|
|Annual gas price (12okay/20okay miles)||£1,273/£2,121||£1,421/£2,369||£1,623/£2,704|
|Insurance coverage group/quote/highway tax price||17/£456/£145||13/£400/£145||Eight/£391/£145|
|Servicing prices||£342 (2 years)||£297 (2 years)||£409 (Three years)|
|Engine||3cyl in-line/999cc||3cyl in-line/999cc||3cyl in-line/998cc|
|Peak energy/revs||113/5,000 bhp/rpm||113/5,000 bhp/rpm||118/6,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||200/2,000 Nm/rpm||200/2,000 Nm/rpm||172/1,500 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed man/fwd||6-speed man/fwd||6-speed man/fwd|
|Gas tank capability/spare wheel||50 litres/area saver||50 litres/area saver||50 litres/area saver|
|Boot capability (seats up/down)||467/1,410 litres||380/1,270 litres||395/1,291 litres|
|Turning circle||10.2 metres||10.9 metres||10.6 metres|
|Primary guarantee (miles)/restoration||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr||7yrs (100,000)/1yr|
|Driver Energy producer/supplier pos.||fifth/eighth||17th/18th||third/seventh|
|NCAP: Grownup/baby/ped./help/stars||97/87/81/76/5||94/89/65/71/5 (2012)||88/85/68/73/5|
|Zero-60/30-70mph||9.7/9.2 secs||9.Eight/9.Three secs||10.7/10.5 secs|
|30-50mph in third/4th||four.5/6.Three secs||four.Zero/5.6 secs||5.1/7.Three secs|
|50-70mph in fifth/sixth||7.Eight/10.1 secs||7.Eight/10.2 secs||10.1/12.5 secs|
|High pace/rpm at 70mph||125mph/2,400rpm||122mph/2,400rpm||116mph/2,500rpm|
|Auto Categorical econ. (mpg/mpl)/vary||54.7/12/602 miles||49.Zero/10.Eight/539 miles||42.9/9.four/472 miles|
|WLTP mixed mpg||44.Eight-49.6mpg||44.Eight-49.6mpg||50.4mpg|
|WLTP mixed mpl||9.9-10.9mpl||9.9-10.9mpl||11.1mpl|
|Precise/claimed CO2/tax bracket||119/113g/km/26%||133/106g/km/25%||152/122g/km/28%|
|Auto field/lane preserve/blind spot/AEB||No/sure/£525/sure||£1,415/£565=/£1,135=/y||No/sure/no/sure|
|Clim/cruise ctrl/leather-based/heated seats||Air-con/sure/no/£250||£450/adp/£2,150/£410^||Air-con/sure/no/no|
|Met paint/LEDs/keyless/pwr tailgate||£595/sure/£410/no||£595/£1,Zero25/£390/n||£570/no/no/no|
|Nav/digital sprint/DAB/linked apps||£1,150/£525*/y/sure||Sure/£525/sure/sure||No/no/sure/no|
|Wi-fi cost/CarPlay/Android Auto||No/sure/sure||No/sure/sure||No/sure/sure|