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This is the new Skoda Scala

Hold that Golf order - VW's better value cousin has a new rival

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Say ‘ahoj’ to the Skoda Scala, the company’s new Golf and Focus rival. It’s first properly focused one, too. Pun partially intended.

That’s because it’s more closely aligned in size and proportions than the ginormous Octavia, and more premium than the minicabbing-favourite Rapid. Its styling has stuck impressively closely to the Vision RS concept, too, though it does without that car’s 242bhp hybrid powertrain. For now, at least.

Instead, a mix of petrol and diesel engines offer between 94 and 148bhp, with a seven-speed DSG paddleshift gearbox optional. You can spec 15mm-lower sports suspension, too.

It’s the tech Skoda’s shouting about though, claiming that the Scala’s the safest car of its ilk, with a blind spot monitoring system that looks 70 metres behind the car to help predict if someone’s planning an overtake. Which if you’ve got the 94bhp version, they might well be.

If you prefer your tech to be shiny and connected, then inside the car you can option the VW Group’s 10in virtual cockpit dials and a 9in media touchscreen. Skoda describes it as ‘always online’, too, presumably any #o2isdown-style disasters notwithstanding. That means it’s always ready to make an emergency call if you crash, or always ready to stream whichever song’s just popped into your head.

Skoda’s not forgotten how to do the practical stuff, either, with a 467-litre boot among the biggest in the class (a Civic’s still bigger) and all sorts of Easter eggs tucked away in the car. Umbrellas in doors, tray tables on the back of seats, an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap… not to mention a USB port for every passenger, the real secret to family car harmony nowadays.

No prices yet, but given there are entry-level version with steel wheels (remember those?) expect an appealing, circa £16,000 starting point.

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