Skoda has announced a new mid-range version of the Scala will arrive next month, aimed directly at company car drivers. The new SE Technology model will cost around £21,000, making it only slightly more expensive than the equivalent SE variant, which has much less standard equipment.
Where the SE comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the SE Technology adds to that with front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, as well as some chrome trim around the windows. The newcomer upgrades the touchscreen, too, swapping the eight-inch screen for a larger 9.2-inch unit that houses satellite navigation.
There are some less obvious upgrades, too, including the “dynamic” LED rear indicators that ‘move’ across the light cluster, and the silver decorative insert on the dashboard. Otherwise, though, it’s much the same. You still get manual air conditioning and front fog lights, plus a handy umbrella hidden away in the driver’s door.
You get Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ kit, too, which includes an ice scraper hidden in the fuel filler cap. There’s an integrated funnel in the lid of the windscreen washer tank, too.
Also secreted under the bonnet is the Scala’s 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 148 bhp motor will be the only option when the car is launched in August, but more engines will follow later this year. Until now, though, it’s 1.5 or nothing, and that means you get a clever four-cylinder engine that can shut down half the cylinders when it’s under light load, thus saving fuel.
The system works so well that, when bolted into the SE model, the engine will return 49.1 mpg on the official ‘WLTP’ fuel economy test. Skoda hasn’t confirmed figures for the SE Technology, but they’re expected to be fairly similar. That could mean company car drivers pay around 30 percent in Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax on a P11D value of £20,825.
That’s assuming, though, that you opt for the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Although you might not yet get the option of different engines, Skoda will let you upgrade to the seven-speed automatic transmission, which is slightly less efficient. In the SE model, it returns 46 mpg and emits 139 g of CO2 per kilometre travelled. Assuming similar figures apply to the SE Technology, drivers could be looking at slightly higher tax rates on a more expensive car.