Skoda Rapid

3.50/5 based on 5 reviews | Write a Review

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7,99,181  - 9,97,661

EMI 16,980/mo (calculate)

The Skoda Rapid is a car that seems to tick all the right boxes...

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Pros

  • Spacious cabin.
  • Superb performance
  • Loaded with features & safety tech

Cons

  • Poor fuel economy.
  • High cost of ownership
  • Slightly overpriced as compared to rivals

Sales statistics for last 6 months

3253 cars

Rapid & competitors statistics

The car is simply as awesome as its VW sibling. Priced at least 4-5% lesser, it comes as an extremely brilliant option in the segment model, and in an era, wherein the Honda City has become an old mummy, this car is simply amazing for the younger generation.The front looks typically Skoda; the...

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Overview

The Skoda Rapid was launched towards the end of 2011. It is based on the Vento, looks like the Fabia, shares the same engines as the Vento and has a lower price tag. Works for you? Let's find out!

From the front, the Skoda Rapid looks more like the Fabia than a Volkswagen derived vehicle. Look at it from behind and you'd bet your savings that it's the VW's Vento. So it's more like a combination of Vento wearing a Fabia mask with VW underpinnings. And Voila, you have yourself a C segment sedan which in theory is a borrowed plastic surgery, but in reality, is a rather good looking car!



The interiors seem to be a continuation or a slightly modified version of the Vento's and its no surprise. Though the steering has been transplanted from the Fabia and a few other things, the surprise omission has been of the steering audio controls. The colour is brownish grey (read:brey) and may just feel alien, but it seems to work here. There is an overall airy feel on the inside and space is ample for 5 people, however the central transmission tunnel does take up space for the 5th person.

The car features an audio system (with no USB, only Aux-in and SD card support), a quality air-coniditioning system and a comfortable central arm-rest (which might interfere while shifting gears if you're tall). The car also has rear air-con vents, cup holders, central arm-rest and an ergo-lever to slide the front co-driver’s seat while being seated at the rear.



The Skoda Rapid makes use of the same engines as in the Vento sedan. The car gets the familiar 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engine. Both the engines get a 5-speed manual transmission while the top-end petrol variant gets the 6-speed automatic as an option. The petrol 1.6 litre motor is good for 105PS of power and 153Nm of torque. The diesel on the other hand provides 105PS of power and 250Nm of torque, and is the best combination of fuel efficiency and performance.

The steering is electric (EPS) and is a joy to use in the city due to its lightness. It does weigh up as speeds increase. The ride at low speeds isn't the car's forte with undulations and potholes unsettling the car. The VW Vento in this regard is much better.The ride at low speeds, especially going over undulations and potholes, isn't the best and unsettles the car. The VW Vento is slightly better in this regard. Though the ride quality improves drastically when the speeds increase, we feel most Skoda Rapid customers won't fathom such an argument. But if you do, the car feels stable and comfortable at three digit speeds.

Interior

To be frank, there isn't much to differentiate this car from the Volkswagen Vento. The interiors seem to be a continuation or a slightly modified version of the Vento's and its no surprise. Though the steering has been transplanted from the Fabia and a few other things, the surprise omission has been of the steering audio controls!

The dashboard colour is brownish grey (read:brey) and may just feel alien, but it seems to work here. There is an overall airy feel on the inside and space is ample. The four-spoke steering feels solid and chunky to hold and the twin speedometer cluster glows a rather restrained white as compared to the Vento's red. It features the driver information display as well.



The car features an audio system (with no USB, only Aux-in and SD card support), a quality air-coniditioning system and a comfortable central arm-rest (which might interfere while shifting gears if you're tall). The car also has rear air-con vents, cup holders, central arm-rest and an ergo-lever to slide the front co-driver’s seat while being seated at the rear.



The rear seat comfort and space is impressive and there's plenty of legroom. But fitting a 5th person is tough due to the presence of a high transmission tunnel. The front seats are very comfortable and provide enough bolstering and thigh support, a joy on long drives. The steering can be adjusted for height and reach and the driver’s seat can be raised and lowered too. So finding a good driving position is easy.

Mileage

The Skoda Rapid diesel is ofcourse a lot more fuel efficient than its petrol twin. It gets a fuel economy of 14-15kmpl in the city while on the highway, expect it to be above 18kmpl if you're a controlled driver. The diesel offers a mix of fuel efficiency and performance.

The petrol automatic is the least efficient of the variant with figures dipping as low as 10kmpl in some city run abouts, while we do expect 12kmpl easily from the manual petrol variant of the Rapid.

Performance and Handling

The ride at low speeds, especially going over undulations and potholes, isn't the best and unsettles the car. The VW Vento is slightly better in this regard. Though the ride quality improves drastically when the speeds increase, we feel most Skoda Rapid customers won't fathom such an argument. But if you do, the car feels stable and comfortable at three digit speeds.

However, the ride is much better than its competitors and is very flat over hard-edged surfaces. There isn't much pitching either which you do get in cars of this segment. The car employs MacPherson struts up front which is reason for its good handling characteristics and uses non-independent coil springs for the rear.



The petrol engine feels a bit strained lugging around the Rapid which is a heavy car according to its class. The diesel on the other hand is where Skoda reclaims lost ground. The throttle response is crisp, revvs are generous and the real punch sets in the mid-range. Driving in traffic is fun with just a little turbo-lag to contend with. The motor has enough grunt for highways. It's a refined and responsive motor.

The steering is light and makes driving effortless around town. It does weigh up nicely as speeds increase but still doesn’t inspire confidence as Ford's would. The gear shift quality of the manual is nothing to write home about and is no where as good as some of the other rivals in the same price band.

Competitors

The Rapid will be competing with the likes of the Vento, SX4, Linea, Fiesta, City and Verna, and plainly it has its work cut out. While other competitors are offering more equipment, better looks and better service back-up, the Skoda Rapid does fall slightly short on such grounds. However, as an all-rounder, the Rapid is a better package than most of them.

Exterior

Right, lets get down to the comparison which you will and ought to make between the Skoda Rapid and the VW Vento/Fabia combination. Hmmmmm, from the front, the Skoda Rapid looks more like the Fabia than a Volkswagen derived vehicle. Look at it from behind and you'd bet your savings that it's the VW's Vento. So it's more like a combination of Vento wearing a Fabia mask with VW underpinnings. And Voila, you have yourself a C segment sedan which in theory is a borrowed plastic surgery, but in reality, is a rather good looking car!



Anyhow, the Rapid is just 2mm longer than the Vento with similar width, height and wheelbase. Whereas the similarities between the Fabia and the Rapid are only limited to the headlamps, grill and fog lamps while the hood and bumpers are different. The side profile is again Vento-ish which is carried to the rear as well. However, on close examination, one notices that the lines are sharper and the tail lamps, boot lid and bumper are also different. Skoda's ‘prism edge’ design has also made the rear look classy which is similar to the Skoda Octavia.



The rubber on the lower variants of the Rapid (Active and Ambition models) is 175/70 section tyres wrapped around 14-inch steel rims while the higher Elegance gets 185/60 tyres on 15-inch alloy wheels. Skoda offers five color options for the Rapid range.

The Rapid's exterior appeals to the suave yet simple buyer who prefers the pure elegance of the vehicle than the out n out bling delivered by its competitors like Verna, SX4, etc. It's not the best loooking C-segment out there, but it sure wins hearts for those who want a sense of class rather than boyish show-off. In all, we comment that the Rapid looks much better than its cousin, the Vento.

Engine & Transmission

The Skoda Rapid makes use of the same engines as in the Vento sedan. The car gets the familiar 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engine. Both the engines get a 5-speed manual transmission while the top-end petrol variant gets the 6-speed automatic as an option.

The petrol 1.6 litre motor is good for 105PS of power and 153Nm of torque. The car has adequate power and enough for highways too. It's a refined and responsive motor, however a bit strained when pushed hard. The engine responds well when mated to the 6-speed automatic. There is a slight lag between the driver’s throttle input and the car gaining momentum. For city usage, this gearbox is pretty good.

The diesel motor makes 105PS of power and 250Nm of torque. It's an exciting engine to have in this car thanks to the adequate torque figures. The NVH levels are also in control even if revved to the limits thanks to the use of a lot of damping.

Braking and Safety

The Rapid has Anti Brake-Locking System with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution two front airbags for the driver and the passenger. The braking performance of the car is good as it uses ventilated discs in the front and drum brakes at the rear. Our tests indicate that the car stops from 100kmph to a complete hault in about 4.8 seconds, which is very reasonable.

What we think

The Skoda Rapid is a car that seems to tick all the right boxes. The car brings along some much needed freshness in the highly competed entry level C segment. It surely looks the money in the way it is designed, has spacious and comfortable interiors, a brilliant diesel engine and a well sorted suspension. It is a refined car which carries with it an air of sophistication, which many other cars in this segment fail to do.

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