Thursday, October 21, 2021
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2021 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo (car review)

TAKE one nice comfy hatch, and give it some get up and go. That’s the recipe for the 2021 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo, the sportier version of the Czech car maker’s newest model range.

Comfort and technology have not be forsaken for performance in the Scala either, and you still get all the creature comforts you’d expect, just with a bit more panache. That includes heated sports front seats, trimmed with red.

This has been superbly matched up with the red stitching on both the steering wheel and gear stick. The colour highlight continues its journey with red dashboard silhouette lighting and similarly coloured highlights around the car.

Choose the right add-on pack (more on those later) and even the back seats can be heated. The real pleasure of this car though is the seamless cohesion of the all the bits, everything is well placed, visible and reachable from the comfy driving position.

An 8.0-inch infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or you can upgrade to either the tech pack or travel pack, which will include a 9.2-inch Amundsen high res system. This adds satellite navigation and wireless smartphone connectivity.

Wireless charging is standard though, and there’s a couple of USB-C ports, front and rear, for charging. It’s a bold move by Skoda, given not everyone has moved across to the goodness of C yet.

The sound system that comes as standard if you take up the add-on pack, is flat out ridiculously good, and sound quality is clear, precise and very, very, very loud. The kids loved how you could “feel the music in your bones”.

They also loved the panoramic glass roof as well, which for the rear occupants of the car offers a beautiful connection to the outside world. Not so much for those in the front. Rear leg room is amazing too.

However, there is a big but, and that is the centre console. Storage is tiny and the cup holders… Seriously! Coffee is life here people.

Unless you are rocking the double espresso in those cute little cups, or you are not a real coffee drinker, then you are fresh out of Arabica satisfaction as the cup holders are tiny, like ridiculous tiny.

For such a beautifully crafted interior, it is like the cup holders were forgotten and added in as an afterthought. They’re genuinely the only real issue though. The rest of the interior styling is subtle but well done, and that continues to the exterior.

They have made the Skoda Scala Monte Carlo properly sexy. Well placed black trims frame the already highly distinctive design language on the outside and takes this meek little hatch and gives it some bite.

LED lighting front and back, LED fog lamps, and dynamic indicators at the rear all add to the sports styling. It all comes together to deliver an angrier on road presence, a look and feel that’s further enhanced by the drive train.

Some 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque emit from the 1.5-litre TSi motor, delivering excellent fuel economy of 5.9-litres/100km. It will get you to a-hunge (100km/h for the uninitiated) in 8.3 seconds too, which is not bad.

But the real satisfaction in this ride is in the 7-speed DSG gearbox. Without getting super technical think of it as two separate gearboxes and clutches working together.

The combination delivers seamless, fast gear changes, and this particular transmission comes courtesy of Skoda’s serious connections with a certain German car brand that used to make the humble Beetle.

With the gearbox supporting your every move with solid power delivery, you can stick it in sports mode and leave the Scala to do its own thing, or if you like to have some fun, you can work the gears yourself, with the steering wheel mounted paddles.

Great ride and handling is further supported by the suspension package, with MacPherson struts with lower triangular links and torsion stabilisers up front, and compound link crank-axle suspension at the rear.

The Scala’s handling is super responsive and yet feels extremely grounded in corners, with very little roll when playing on the curvy bush roads of the NSW Central Coast. It has a real goldilocks tune, not to stiff and not too soft – just right.

Your daily grind in the Skoda Scala Monte Carlo is super enjoyable, with fantastic dynamic cruise control, and all the safety stuff that you’ll need. As an added bonus, it’s genuinely not overzealous either.

So, if you are in the market for something that is practical, comfortable, fun, looks nice and has cool little Skoda details like umbrellas in the door and little hooks for your shopping in the back, then you should hook yourself up with a Scala Monte Carlo.

It hits the road at $35,990 drive away, with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and a great range of colours. We recommend checking out your local dealerships for the lowest price, or take a look at a site like PriceMyCar to get the best deal.

Our test vehicle was provided by Skoda Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo, contact your local Skoda dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
9
Exterior styling
9
Interior look and feel
7.75
Technology and connectivity
9
Family friendliness
7.75
Value for money
9

SUMMARY

Pros - great interior and exterior look; comfortable ride and handling; fun to drive.
Cons - coffee hating cup holders; complex cruise control wand; rear focused panoramic roof.
Ben Bonatesta
Ben Bonatesta is a genuine lover of nice things and quality workmanship. He also has a thing for stuff that isn't practical, but has that wow factor. A frustrated creative writer, Ben has a varied work history that has allowed him to pilot everything from top of the line sports cars to dirty old work trucks, farm equipment, and even trains.

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