Siblings Vento and Rapid at War

Vento from Volkswagen and Rapid from Skoda are two different cars but from the same group company -Volkswagen. Rapid share the same platform as Vento, also shares parts, but is priced cheaper than Vento. Why? Difficult to understand.

Compare Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento

By pricing Skoda Rapid below Vento, Volkswagen the parent comany has tried to avoid direct conflict between the two cars. But then there is no denying the fact that along with other saloons, Rapid is aiming squarely for Vento’s buyers. Even if both brands pretend to exist in harmony, one can easily sense the frenzy of ongoing activities aimed to bring the maximum number of customers under their own brands.  This typical market reality makes Vento and Rapid comparison quite interesting. intersting becasue since both o fthem have same parentage, how have mother brand differentiated the two in product terms to attarct different car buyers in India, thus improving their overall share of the pie.

Pitched right against each other; we found that both cars have their own strengths and weaknesses.While Vento has advantage in terms of early release over the Rapid; Skoda is far more experienced in assessing the Indians taste thanks to its decade long expertise in the Indian car market. On the other hand both these offerings are new and have a tough task ahead to attract the customers in the sedan segment which is now being increasingly crowded by the other attractive offerings from competition. So in order to assess which car has more depth of sophistication in terms of overall appeal, we put diesel versions of both the cars to our rigorous road test.


Despite being built on the same platform, Vento and Rapid look entirely different. While Vento look very up market; Rapid ticks the box with its sophisticated design theme which like its earlier Avataar looks soild externally. Both the cars come with almost same dimensions though Vento feels a little bit more up market due to its wide square profile.
Front fascia of the Vento consists of chrome accented square-ish grill; global signature of VW brand while in case of Rapid, face is borrowed from the Fabia. Headlamps of both cars are sharp and sculpted though in case of Rapid these are curvier in nature. Also air dams of both saloons follow the same design theme similar to what creases on bonnet follow.
Side profile of the both the cars are same with both sedans boasting of sharp creases running toward rear. The subtle difference that appears however on a close watch is the window line, which is higher in case of Rapid. This also makes the Rapid use less glass area compared to Vento which is not at all a practical touch as it affects the roominess aspect inside the cabin.
Vento's rear has a wide stance while Rapid has some sharper and dynamic tail. Pronouncing of rear bumper has been done mildly in both the cars in order to follow the overall symmetry of the style statement.
Despite being of the same dimensions; we found underlying difference in design philosophies of both the cars. While Vento is positioned as an exclusive sharp and sleek offering; Rapid deliberately devoid itself from these aspects at least when you see it head on. It won’t attempt to intimidate you which is partially true for VW’S Vento.
Vento: *****                                                       Rapid: *****
Though exteriors don’t tell you much about the similarity aspect of both the cars, interiors will definitely help you to discover that both these are cousins. Both the cars are almost same in interiors though there are some more thoughtful touches in Rapid. Feature this; Rapid use lesser beige shade than used by Vento and this help the Rapid owners to get rid of dust worries, against the dominating use of beige by the Vento. Rapid has used the dark shades on the door trims making it less prone to get dirty after each long trip.
Basic layout of the center console as well as the dials nearly follows the same pattern. Though material exudes high quality, we have our grouse about the plain and bland design theme used in putting together all the stuff. One obvious difference is the steering wheel which is 4-spoke in case of Rapid and also the signature green backlighting on dials.
Both the cars comes with same wheel base measuring 2552 mm but the positioning of seats has made some difference to the sitting comfort though it is not very perceptible. Ingress-egress is easier in Rapid and seat also feels more up right. Cushioning feels better in case of Vento though driving position of Rapid has some advantage over Vento’s.
Vento: *****                                                           Rapid: *****
Power plant of both the cars use same heart and even same heart beat pattern. Engine consists of 1598 cc, 4-cylinder in inline arrangement fed by common rail system of injection with inter cooling mechanism. Mill breathes through the modern architecture of 16 valves mounted on double overhead cam mechanism with power and torque rating of 105 PS and 250 Nm respectively.
Although there is nothing to differentiate between these two cousins in terms of performance; the way power is delivered makes all the difference. While Vento has aimed for the adventurous prospects with its adrenaline rush of torque after a bit of initial hesitation, Skoda has decided to adopt more linear approach to deliver power to the wheels. This is the reason behind the devastating mid-range of Vento while Rapid shows equal eagerness for the entire range of rpm.
Both the cars have 5-speed manual transmission and represent one of the best overall shifting experiences though we found Vento’s gear box a bit more direct and precise. 
Vento: *****                                                         Rapid: *****
Both the car use same underpinning to suspend the wheels. Up front both the car use independent McPherson struts with stabilizer bar while at rear semi-independent trailing arm are on the job.
Though the basic structure of suspension remains same, there is basic underlying difference in the set up philosophy. While Vento has given more importance to comfort, Rapid prioritizes the handling ability. Vento suspension is softly sprung with ride comfort in sight, while Rapid has a firm setting to aid car’s cornering ability.  This directly means that Vento shows more finesse to cushion the occupants against the undulations in contrast to Rapid which feels uncomfortable especially at slow speeds. On the other hand when it comes to handling front; Vento scores just about average while Rapid brings smile to your face.
Vento: *****                                                         Rapid: *****
Vento basic diesel model is priced at 8.28 lakh in contrast to 7.95 lakh of Rapid’s (ex-showroom, Delhi). Difference of around 30K VFM proposition is almost same for both the cars with Rapid leading by some inches.  Talking about Vento; it’s very commendable offering from German manufacturer. It has solid built, top notch quality, performing motor and is generously equipped. Even though Vento can be slotted at least 2 notches above its existing positioning, Rapid is equally competent.  The fact that Rapid offers almost all the things that Vento has on board and that too at cheaper price, it tilts the balance of purchase in Rapid's favour over the Vento. 
Vento: *****                                                           Rapid: ***** 

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