Skoda India is a reputed automobile manufacturer that is known to come out with different editions of cars from time to time, catering to the different segments of the society. Almost all of the vehicles that have been dispatched from its factories had enjoyed immense success, especially among the Indian auto enthusiasts. Skoda New Rapid has been priced at an affordable Rs. 7.22 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. It belongs to the VW family and hence shares several mechanical similarities with the Vento. The facelift of Rapid is known to get similar TDI engine of 1.5 liter, which performs duty in Vento and Polo. The new engine is known to churn a maximum torque of about 250 Nm and 103.5 bhp power. The gearbox of this vehicle boasts of VW’s reputed DSG automatic which is of 7 speed. The DSG offers automatic sedan, Rapid automatic range in India begins with Rs. 1.034 lakh. This vehicle is set to compete with Verna and Vento in automatic versions.
The manufacturer had hit the headlines with the introduction of refurbished version of Rapid, its entry level model of sedan. Only recently it had launched the facelift Yeti and presently rolled out the latest Skoda Rapid version. This time, the manufacturer has come out with the TDI diesel 1.5 liter engine that is set to replace the previous TDI mill 1.6 liter engine. Moreover, it boasts of having 5 speed manual, newly created DSG automatic transmission 7 speed gear box, therefore, making the sedan much more competitive in its specific segment. The MPI Petrol 1.6 liter engine has been retained that is considered to be capable to produce about 103.5 bhp power with 153 Nm of peak torque output. The sedan is expected to continue having similar set of features just like the predecessors, since it does not have any kind of updates to its features. But the interiors of Skoda New Rapid have been tweaked slightly for giving it a fresh new appeal. The dual toned dashboard has been integrated with a steering wheel that is brand new and is also viewed in Octavia and Yeti. Besides this, other aspects are said to have been retained from the previous version. At the time of introduction of the refined version, the manufacturer has rolled out Skoda Rapid Black Ed. that hosts set of exclusive cosmetics. This vehicle boasts of the fog light having gloss black finish, ORVM caps, alloy wheels, radiator grille and B pillars. Furthermore, the headlight cluster and window frames do have black finish that provides it a distinctive look.
Presently, the manufacturer has been offering the Skoda New Rapid sedan in 4 trim levels that are Ambition, Active, Elegance and Ambition Plus. The top-end Elegance trim is equipped with sophisticated aspects such as climatronic auto climate control, multi-information display, audio Player having huge format display. There is also available unique iOS5, along with Android based applications that helps the occupants to take control of the audio system. The sedan has been incorporated with several advanced safety features such as parking sensors, anti-lock braking system and dual front airbags. These aspects are present only in Elegance and Ambition Plus variants. The sedan model competes against Renault Scala, Honda City, Ford Fiesta, Maruti Ciaz and Nissan Sunny. Moreover, the sedan is available with unlimited kilometer or two year warranty, besides the three year warranty on exterior paint, which makes it worth the purchase. So will this refreshed Skoda Rapid sedan put up a tough fight with the variants offered by already established giants in Indian car market like Hyundai and Honda? The team of experts at Ecardlr decides to take a closer look at this sedan.
The Skoda New Rapid comes in various attractive color options like Cappuccino Beige, Deep Black Pearl, Candy White, Brilliant Silver and Flash Red.
Skoda Rapid’s external appearance is similar to the outgoing model, since it has not been given any kind of cosmetic updates. But the manufacturer of Skoda New Rapid has been offering exclusive Black Package that provides it brand new appearance. The sedan consists of a black shade for the projector headlamps, OVRM caps, alloy wheels, radiator grilled and fog lamps. But the package is made available just for Elegance trim as optional. The refurbished sedan possess stylish radiator grill along with bars that are vertically positioned bars, including chrome plated strip. Enclosing this is said to be a big headlight cluster which has been powered with headlamps of halogen type and turn indicators. The top end variant however, has highly powerful projector headlamps that give it a distinctive appearance to its front façade. The colored bumper in the front body possesses tiny air dam, which is enclosed by dynamic fog lamps. Overall appearance of the Skoda New Rapid frontage has been complimented with the insignia of the manufacturer that is embedded on the radiator grille. The side profile does look very elegant, because of the several trendy features present such as body colored OVRMs, door handles and black B pillars. The entry level variants have steel wheels that are conventional and features ‘Dakara-fueel’ wheel covers and the top end variant has ‘Bold’ alloy wheels of 15”. This sedan’s rear end is said to still retain similar C contoured tail-light cluster, including stylish tailgate along with a triangular design. Plenty of chrome inserts have been provided in the tailgate that adds to the elegance of the sedan.
The overall dimensions of Skoda New Rapid are very much decent and can accommodate easily 5 passengers. Wheelbase measures 2552 mm, offering ample leg room for everyone. It has about 168 mm of minimum ground clearance. The overall length of the sedan is 4836 mm, width is 1699 mm and height is 1466 mm.
According to the experts, the feel and touch of the plastics and build quality of the Skoda New Rapid are wonderful and definitely live to the expectations of this brand. Also, there is ample room space in both the rows and the boot is big, which means long drives and vacations can be really interesting. The updated Rapid does have an elegant look and does provide a pleasant feel. It has comfortable seating capacity and offers every occupant with enough shoulder and leg room. The cabin is spacious and has been decorated with dual toned Mocca and Ivory color cushion seats and covered with premium based fabric upholstery. Seat of the driver possesses height adjustment facility and the front-center arm rest gets storage space underneath it.
Front seats of Skoda New Rapid present are comfortable, while the rear seat have been given firm cushioning, height adjustable headrests and center arm rest that is foldable for maximum comfort. One can find 2 rear ac vents present behind center console, between front 2 seats. The dashboards that are two toned provide elegance to the cabin and also appear stylish. It is equipped with center console, new steering wheel, glove box and air vents. The hand brake level gear shift indicator and steering wheel are said to have been enclosed with premium leather, giving the vehicle a classy touch. Instrument cluster looks stylish and boasts of having two dials to reflect green backlight from within. Within the dials, green lit needles do add immense charm to the car. Trip computer present in middle boasts of having digital fuel meter, DTE (distance to empty), clock and trip meter. The Skoda New Rapid also includes the latest magnetic card holder present on center console to hold different papers such as toll tickets, etc. There is also a cruise control that is present in Elegance and Ambition Plus variants. These variants also have 2 DIN advanced audio system having rear and front speakers. The other trims are said to be fitted with 1 DIN audio system having cables and connector. Elegance trim has auto climate control present in it, which regulates electronically the cabin temperature. Apart from this, the manual dimming interior mirror is present along with front reading lights, luggage compartment illumination, rear reading spot lamps. Cup holders are fitted at front and rear, while front center console has storage compartment. The top variant also has back pockets in the front seat. There is a power socket of 12V, which is useful to the passengers to charge the electronic devices. Chrome décor present in door handles, the gear shift selector and front center console of Skoda New Rapid do add immense class to the interiors.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
According to the car experts, the acceleration of Skoda Rapid’s diesel and petrol variants are wonderful and also fuel efficient, which does definitely have a greater say in the overall volume of sales.
The petrol variant of Skoda New Rapid having manual transmission gearbox does have the capability to cross 100 kmph in just a matter of 12 seconds. The automatic trims perform this in about 11 seconds. The auto diesel variant could cross 100 kmph from 0 in about 12 – 13 seconds and manual version of the car in just 10 seconds. The petrol version achieves 165 kmph approximately, while the diesel variant covers it in just 175 kmph that is indeed very impressive.
Rapid has superior diesel engine of 1.6 liter and is much better than the petrol variant in regards to fuel efficiency and performance. Power delivery is quite linear and also much fun to drive within city or on the highway. If you are looking for economy and sheer pleasure, then diesel version is highly recommended.
There is a liquid cooling system in the petrol variant of Skoda New Rapid, having ability in displacing 1598 cc. It is integrated along with 4 cylinders, 16 valves and uses camshaft based double overhead valve configuration. Maximum power output at 5250 RPM is 103.5 bhp when combined with 3800 RPM peak torque and 153 Nm. The vehicle has manual transmission of 5 speed gear box that distributes engine power to the front wheels. The engine of the variants like Elegance and Ambition Plus have been paired with auto transmission 6 speed along with triptronic changing manual gear function. The diesel variants have been powered with 1.5 liter engine, with displacement capability of about 1498 cc. The engine has a capability to unleash power at 4400 RPM of 103.5 bhp when combined with 250 Nm peak torque output between 1500 – 2500 RPM. It has been mated along with manual 5 speed or auto 7 speed transmission gear box choices. It also boasts of having wonderful mileage than its competitors and is surely leads over its competitors, when it comes to having superior engine. The power and feel of the vehicle is enough to attract car enthusiasts to test the car in Indian road conditions and to feel the pulse of it.
Suspension and Braking
The Skoda New Rapid sedan has been equipped with hydraulic dual-diagonal circuit braking along with a mechanism that is vacuum assisted. The front wheels have been fitted with disc brakes along with inner cooling also having single piston caliper. The rear ones are provided with drum brakes of conventional type. Besides the active variant, other trims’ braking mechanism has been helped with an anti-lock braking system with brake assisted dual rate function. Besides this, front axle has been assembled with McPherson suspension, having torsion stabilizer and lower triangular links. Rear end is provided with compound link mechanism of crank axle type. It also boasts of pinion steering and direct rack with electro-mechanic system that is said to be speed sensitive, while making handling to be effortless, also during peak traffic conditions. The telescopic and tilt adjustable steering wheel does support 10.6 meters of minimum turning circle.
The Skoda New Rapid model has been incorporated with several safety aspects that do give the passengers a complete stress free experience in driving. Several standard safety aspects do include mounted stop lamp that are centrally located, anti-glare rear view internal mirror, rough road package, head restraints that are height adjustable, central locking system, rear doors along with child protection locks, remote control having foldable key. There is a three point seat belt present for every occupant, besides the reminder notification seat belt for the driver. The vehicle boasts of sophisticated engine immobilizer along with floating code, which safeguards from all unauthorized entries. Besides these, it boasts of auto door locks, overrun speed, closing and opening of windows through remote control, fuel supply cut off in case of crash, rear and front fog lamps, etc. Dual rate bark with ABS helps to further augment the vehicle’s braking mechanism.
In short, the vehicle, Skoda New Rapid boasts of several pros like spacious cabin with plenty of comfort features, fuel economy, refreshed exteriors, auto and manual transmission gear box along with better engine performance. Besides this, the vehicle also has excellent pick up and acceleration.
But, the experts feel that some extra aspects if added to the Skoda Rapid can make the vehicle much more grand and to enhance its support and popularity among the customer base. They feel that after sales service is to be improved, it has a low ground clearance, spares and maintenance expenses are a bit expensive, petrol variant mileage is not that satisfactory, when compared to its diesel counterparts and the harshness and engine noise of the diesel engine could be diminished to a greater extent. Otherwise, Skoda New Rapid is the right sedan that you can own at an unbelievable price!