Skoda Brings Back Physical Controls For Superb & Kodiaq

The next-gen Skoda Superb and Kodiaq will feature configurable Smart Dials within their cabins. 

Lovers of physical controls rejoice, as Skoda has recently revealed that its upcoming iterations of Superb sedan and Kodiaq SUV will soon bring back actual buttons and knobs that users can interact with. The latest automaker to U-turn on their decisions to go full touchscreen, the next generation of the Czech marque’s models will come with what is known as Smart Dials: three rotary push buttons located beneath the central free-standing 13-inch touchscreen, each with their own 32 mm digital displays.   

The functionality of the rotary push buttons depends on the level of equipment, but according to Skoda at least, the two outer Smart Dials will be primarily focused on the control of enable the control of cabin temperature, seat heating and seat ventilation for the driver and sides passenger sides. The central Smart Dial meanwhile can be configured to control up to four different functions, which ranges from infotainment volume, fan speed, air direction, smart air conditioning, driving modes, and even map zoom. The central Smart Dial itself meanwhile is configured through the infotainment system menu. 

And as mentioned above, said infotainment system menu is displayed through the 13-inch free-standing touchscreen that dominates the dashboard of both Skoda models. Other screens within the new Superb and Kodiaq will be a 10-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, as well as a heads up display. 

As for other interior updates on the other hand, Skoda is very keen to highlight that the DSG gear selector in both the upcoming Superb and Kodiaq has since been moved to the steering column, which hence enabled the fitment of a larger storage cubby within the centre console. 

Occupants will also not have to worry about running out of phone charge in these cars, as power supply within the vehicle can come from any one of the four 45-W capable USB-C outlets or the 15 W wireless charging Phone Box right beneath the dashboard. There is even an equally powerful USB-C outlet on the rear-view mirror to ease installation of a potential dash cam. And with this being a Skoda, there is of course the usual ice scraper and umbrella hidden within the driver’s door too. Albeit this time to be made of more environmentally sustainable materials. 

Further details regarding the new Superb and Kodiaq will likely soon be available during its premiere later in the year, with sales meanwhile of these final iteration of pure-ICE Skoda cars to begin from next year. Like any other Skoda however, there is unfortunately little doubt regarding its possibility of arriving locally. Though having looked at these interiors, perhaps the bigger question here is that with a cabin this good, why would anyone really decide to go and buy the tacky touchscreen-tastic Volkswagens instead?

Volkswagen software generation 3.0

PRESS RELEASE: Ahead of the world premieres of the new Kodiaq and Superb generations, Škoda is unveiling their completely redesigned interiors, featuring a digital cockpit, a head-up display and a 13-inch free-standing infotainment display. The DSG gear selector has been moved to the steering column, now giving front passengers more space, while a roomy centre console offers more storage. Enhancing onboard operation, the customisable Škoda Smart Dials allow for easy control. Each rotary push-button provides intuitive access to various vehicle functions, and a digital display ensures a quick, comprehensive overview at any time. In a move toward greater sustainability, Škoda now uses upholstery made from 100% recycled polyester for both the new Kodiaq and Superb.

“Škoda interiors stand for intuitiveness, simplicity, customer focus, and smart solutions. Our latest innovation, Škoda Smart Dials, has expanded the intuitive options for controlling the car’s functions, combining the best of both worlds: physical controls and digital displays. The fresh interiors of the Kodiaq and Superb now feature a large, free-standing display, a steering column-mounted gear selector, and an uncluttered centre console. These enhancements have paved the way for a more spacious and cosy interior that not only catches the eye but also offers practicality and genuine added value for our customers.” — Peter Olah, Head of Interior Design at Škoda Auto

Innovative new features for even more comfort onboard

Škoda has redesigned the interiors of both upcoming models, including enhancements to the steering wheel, instrument cluster, dashboard, and decorative trim. A Škoda first: the gear selector has moved to the steering column in both models, making it particularly accessible. As a result, the centre console has a tidy, clearly structured layout, opening up additional space for the front passengers. Other firsts in the Kodiaq and the Superb include a head-up display complementing the 10-inch Virtual Cockpit, and a free-standing central infotainment display that is larger than ever, measuring 13 inches diagonally. Also debuting in both models, Škoda Smart Dials are innovative rotary push-buttons that cleverly integrate haptic and digital components for a more intuitive experience.

Škoda Smart Dials: Push-buttons with digital displays

With the introduction of Škoda Smart Dials, the Czech carmaker is taking the proven combination of haptic and digital controls in its vehicles to the next level. This entirely new approach consists of three rotary push-buttons below the infotainment screen, each with a 32-millimetre digital display. These allow quick access to numerous vehicle functions based on the equipment level. The two outer Smart Dials for the driver and front passenger control the interior temperature, seat heating, and seat ventilation, displaying the currently active function. The centre Smart Dial controls up to four different functions, such as the infotainment volume, fan speed, air direction, smart air conditioning, driving modes, and map zoom. The central Smart Dial is configured via the infotainment system menu, and holding the button down switches between functions.

Expanded range of Simply Clever features

The quest for enhanced comfort onboard is evident in the new additions, including the Phone Box with fast inductive smartphone charging capabilities of up to 15 W – and in the Kodiaq, this extends to two phones – paired with an active cooling function. Additionally, passengers benefit from up to four USB-C ports with a power output of 45 W, as well as a convenient 15 W USB-C port on the rear-view mirror. Not to be overlooked, the new Kodiaq is available with ergo seats complete with a pneumatic massage function. Rear-seat passengers will also appreciate a fresh storage compartment in the centre tunnel. In the Superb, a redesigned steering wheel, instrument cluster and decorative trim elements blend seamlessly with enhanced optional massage seats. These now include ten pneumatically controlled massage cushions and an extensive selection of programs, with four-way adjustable lumbar support. Matching the Kodiaq, all heating functions for the seats, steering wheel, windscreen, and rear window can be conveniently managed via a configurable Heaters button in the climate control menu.

Sustainable materials for all textiles and two popular Simply Clever features

Škoda demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by using environmentally responsible materials for all interior textiles, as well as for two iconic Simply Clever features: the umbrella in the driver’s door and the ice scraper. Continuing the approach of other Škoda models, the traditional equipment lines have been replaced by the Design Selections concept: In the Kodiaq, customers can opt for Loft, Lounge, or ecoSuite in Black or Cognac, with textiles crafted from 100% recycled polyester. The leather in the ecoSuite Design Selection benefits from an eco-friendly tanning process using coffee bean processing residues. For the fourth-generation Superb, the Essence trim level includes the Design Selection Studio, with choices for the Selection trim level encompassing Loft and Lounge, as well as the Design Selection Suite in Black and Cognac. The top L&K model extends the offer with the Design Selection L&K Suite in Black and Cognac, boasting leather sustainably tanned using wastewater from olive processing.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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