We had reported earlier that Skoda India would be introducing a new 8.0-inch touchscreen on the mid-spec Ambition and top-spec Style variants of the Kushaq and Slavia, to help alleviate the shortfall caused by the global chip shortage. Now, however, we can report that this will soon extend to all Kushaq and Slavia models that previously featured the 10-inch screen, including the recently launched Kushaq Monte Carlo.
- 8.0-inch screen similar to Superb, Kodiaq unit
- Features wired Android Auto, Apple CarPlay
- Physical knobs for volume, scrolling
While early units of the top-spec Kushaq Monte Carlo will feature the 10-inch touchscreen, as advertised at launch, the sportier model will eventually move to the new 8.0-inch unit. This transition is not likely to be permanent, however, and Skoda could revert to the 10-inch ‘Skoda Play’ touchscreen at a later stage when semiconductor supplies improve.
Skoda Kushaq 8.0-inch touchscreen hands-on review
We got a chance to try out the new touchscreen first-hand, and the good news is that it doesn’t feel like a huge step backwards. For one, it’s not an aftermarket unit as some initially believed, as was the case with some variants of the Skoda Rapid at the end of its life. Instead, it is Skoda’s last-generation system and software, which you can still find in the Superb sedan and Kodiaq SUV.
Three-band equalizer with available presets
As such, it’s equipped with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link connectivity, albeit via a cable and not wirelessly, and a bunch of other features. There’s a three-band equaliser with available presets for the audio system, a comprehensive trip and fuel computer in the touchscreen, and a display for the tyre-pressure warning system.
Skoda also says it has a far improved display for the rear-view camera, even compared to the 10-inch unit. And while you do get some connected features, you miss out on the Skoda Play apps from the newer software.
Rear-view camera now has improved display
Touch responses, though not quite as sharp as on the larger, newer screen, are still among the best around, and the UI is friendly and easy to navigate, with shortcuts for all the essentials on the home page. Moreover, there are six touch-sensitive shortcut buttons in the bezels on either side of the screen, as well as two physical knobs to control volume and scrolling, making this far easier to use on the move than a pure-touch system.
Physical knobs allow for easier use.
The bezels on either side have also allowed Skoda to reduce the screen size, while keeping the overall housing size the same, making retrofitting it to the Kushaq and Slavia’s dashboard a breeze.
Skoda’s other means of getting around the chip shortage
While this move to the lower-spec touchscreen should help Skoda lower its waiting periods and keep the supply going smoothly, the brand has also done a few variant rejigs to help with this. The car in which we tested the touchscreen was the new Ambition Classic variant, priced at Rs 12.99 lakh and Rs 14.39 lakh (ex showroom) for the 1.0 TSI MT and AT, respectively. It has now replaced the mid-spec Ambition and is positioned just above the lower Active variant. There was also temporarily an even lower Active Peace variant with even fewer features, but it was limited to 600 units, which sold out pretty quickly.
Is the old Skoda touchscreen a deal-breaker for you, or will it get the job done? Let us know in the comments section below.