On the way to the long weekend, and we are not alone: traffic jams and disruptions everywhere. In the past, only the luxury car class had usable real-time traffic data on board, but now it is also used in the compact class. Not only that, with a base price of 23,000 euros, even a powerful infotainment system is part of the standard equipment: We were surprised in the Škoda Scala that an E-Sim for retrieving premium traffic jam data is already installed in this price range. However, a look at the details shows what you have to consider when configuring. In the smallest model variant "Essence", only a 6.5-inch on-board monitor with the Swing infotainment system is available. More than radio reception and MP3 music playback is not offered. The Bolero system offers an 8-inch monitor, the system supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto and is part of the standard equipment of the two upscale model variants.

Quality of the traffic information remarkable

Michael Spehr

Editor in the "Technology and Engine" department.

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If you are looking for navigation, voice control and an even larger display with 9.2 inches, take Amundsen for 1100 euros. A large digital cockpit display in front of the steering wheel is also included. It offers five different views, including a classic one with a speedometer and tachometer and one that shows the map of the navigation system in almost full size.

We tried Amundsen for some time and found the quality of the traffic information remarkable in the first place. They can be used free of charge for three years. The vehicle also receives petrol station and parking information as well as weather reports and news via a SIM card. The individual modules can be reloaded in a shop directly on the screen.

The on-board monitor serves as the central control element. Unfortunately, the display has a huge black mourning border, and more space is lost on the sides because there are permanent buttons for accessing the submenus and adjusting the audio volume. The menus and departments can be accessed at the touch of a finger, and large tiles for the submenus are self-explanatory. Proximity sensors display context menus as soon as the display detects an approaching finger. After starting the engine, however, you have to wait several seconds until navigation and voice control are available. The latter worked well for us, but not outstandingly, as with Mercedes-Benz, for example.

To operate the air conditioner, there are physical buttons and two rotary knobs below the monitor. One detail is annoying: to adjust the ventilation intensity, there is no direct access, but you have to press a menu button. Then the desired value must be set on the monitor. This is cumbersome, tedious, and the menu button does not always respond. An inductive charger for the smartphone called Phonebox is part of all three infotainment packages, and the two additional USB-C ports at the rear should please young passengers, who always have far too little battery power when the smartphone is in continuous use.