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Choosing between a VW Golf and a Skoda Scala

When comparing these two hatchbacks, it’s like putting the reigning champion against the younger, less experienced youth. But when it comes to driving pleasure and the price tag, what’s a smart choice these days? On the one hand, the Golf represents decades of German engineering, the Skoda Scala is literally only a few years old. But that’s not the end of the story. Here’s a closer look at how fun this new hatch really is.

Scala is the definition of cleverness

The Skoda Scala is a clever car. So clever that it takes the serious Golf by surprise. And then you realise it has to be clever in such a hotly contested market. It’s not enough to be the new face at the party. With the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, and other big wigs dancing around, there’s pressure to perform and to be cheap. The Scala does both.

Practicality contest

The Skoda Scala wins big here. The umbrella compartment in the driver’s door will make you smile. And that’s a metaphor for what this car is all over. There are compartments literally everywhere; under the seat, in the seat, you name it. But even so, nothing is out of place or not useful in some way. It’s these practical features that make driving and owning the Scala very easy. Back cup-holders for example, electric tailgate – don’t expect these on any other hatch in this price range. It’s an accumulation of little things that make the base level trim so appealing. The Golf is, of course, practical – but you’d expect that anyway, right?

Technology galore

Like the Golf, there’s tech everywhere. But in all the right places. Both cars have excellent infotainment systems, although the new Golf is superior when it comes to harmonising the display and general design. When it comes to raw practicality and fulfilling the needs of all passengers without overdoing it – the Scala has a slight edge. Wireless phone charging comes as standard, so do two rear-seat USB charging ports. The Scala surprises with things like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and rear parking sensors, and electric folding mirrors – all standard. For the same extras on the gold – be prepared to spend.

Which car drives better?

If you’re a driving enthusiast, who chases fun and horsepower, then go sort yourself out with a Golf GTI. End of story. Looking over to the top of the Scala range with the Monte Carlo and Launch edition, there’s a slighter lower chassis with a slightly more sporty feel and a sporty leather interior. Aside from the obvious lack of power, the Scala drives extremely well. It handles beautifully under normal driving conditions, with great ease and versatility. Handling does feel more refined in the Golf, but they’ve had a few extra decades to get that right.

Why would you choose a Golf?

If you want familiarity, slightly better handling, and a more refined feeling in the front cabin, you’ve already got a good reason to choose a Golf. However, it is a bit more complicated than that. The Golf happens to be less fuel-efficient, has less space in the boot, and is slightly more expensive, with optional extras running up a small fortune compared to the nifty Scala.

Why would you choose a Skoda Scala?

If you’re after a clever, intuitive car at a bargain price, the Scala is your best bet. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s actually more versatile. Thinking of taking a road trip and wanting to throw an extra few bags in the boot? The Scala will deliver in spades here, with 90 extra litres of boot space compared to the Golf, there’s every reason to make this hatch your next car.