Skoda Rapid
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Customer Rating
: 3/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
: 4 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
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8.32 Lakhs-13.57 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Sleek and stylish 
  • Punchy diesel engine 
  • Armrest - front & rear
  • High class cabin & interiors
  • Tilt and telescopic steering adjustment

Weak Areas

  • Spartan console 
  • Service reach poor
  • Low speed ride quality mark
  • Rear seat comfort and space mark
  • No parking sensors & steering mounted controls
Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid The Czechs Comeback Car

Skoda has launched its new car, Skoda Rapid, for the Indian audience in its latest bid to gain back some market share.



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Skoda has enjoy a very up and down story in the Indian car market. The Laura and Octavia set standards in their segment for performance and handling. But on the other hand the Yeti and Fabia, both failed in market share as well as critical response. But the new Skoda Rapid looks like a real deal with no extreme measures. The car is very similar to the Vento, as they share the platform, but the engineers say that the when you drive the car you will notice the difference. So let us have a look at the new sedan from Skoda and see if this is the new biggie in town. 
From the outside the look of the Skoda Rapid is quite similar to the Volkswagen Vento and so are its dimensions. The cars share the same platform but they also share a lot of features. The car has the exact same A, B and C pillars. The front of the rapid is like the Vento or Polo which is like that of the Fabia. The wide grille looks good and with the amount of chrome deposited on it, the grille compliments the large nose of the Rapid very well. The car has a more mature look and the car has been very well designed to suite its long wheelbase. The front bumper looks very muscular and comes with integrated fog lamps on its sides. The headlamps have been given a very mature look 
From the side one will notice that the car is even more similar to the Vento. The panels, the windows and the doors are very similar and the car can be easily misunderstood to be a Volkswagen. There are 15 inch alloy wheels which look very elegant but are available only on the top end model. On the rear, the Fabia has the tail lamps which look imported from the Vento too and it follows the same cluster design that one sees on the other Skoda’s. There is that C-shape design for brake light and the tail gate is very visible and similar to the Skoda Laura. The boot of the car is very well mated to the rear design and the number plate looks very loudly visible with two kinks that have been added on the sides.
The doors open in the European three stage manner and the insides look very similar to the Vento or Polo. Although the color combination is different and the Rapid has been given a brown shade. There is no beige but only a darker shade which looks better. The Rapid has very comfortable seats which have been given the light beige color and the same color can also be seen on the lower half of the dash and the partial door pads. The carpet is complete black which looks good. The color combination looks very practical.  
The Rapid has a 4 spoke steering wheel similar to the Fabia. The wheel is strong and sturdy and horn is very easy on the fingers. The steering wheel misses out on leather wrapping and also has no steering mounted controls. The steering wheel is adjustable for reach as well as rake. The instrument panel is different and uses different fonts on its dials and there are white needles used as well. The MID provides many data such as the travel time, average speed, fuel efficiency, distance to empty, outside temperature and a gear shift indicator.The front seats are very comfortable and ideally designed for long travel. The seat can be adjusted for the height and reach as well. The center arm rest is very comfortable and one would not feel intruded by it while changing gears. The gear knob looks like an inverted golf club. 
The dashboard looks very premium. The AC vents are decorated with a black shiny finish and also there is chrome finish provided on the steering boss area, audio system, climate control buttons, headlight switches and the gear knobs.  All of these were aluminum in the Vento. Over at the back, there is enough leg room space provided. The seats are very comfortable and have been provided with a lot of supporting components. The egress and ingress is a bit difficult and not as easy as one would like it to be. But the rear seat is good only for two people and not three, thanks to the huge transmission tunnel. There is also a seat adjust lever for the rear passengers. The passengers also get separate AC vents but the blower seems very weak. There is a parcel shelf provided but seems useless. 
There is ample storage space in the Rapid. All the four doors get pockets and can easily hold on to 1 liter mineral water bottles. The front cup holders are very big and can easily hold onto the big 500 ml bottles. There is also a storage space in front of the cup holders. There are also some slots provided on either sides of the hand brake. The music system is very strong but doesn’t get any USB input and also misses out on any steering mounted controls. But it can read SD card and also has an Aux-in port. 
Engine, Performance and Transmission
The Skoda Rapid comes in three options, just like the Vento. There are two engine options - a 1.6 L diesel and 1.6 L petrol. The 1.6 L petrol engine comes mated with a 5 speed manual transmission and also with a 6 speed automatic transmission. 
The petrol engine is equally powerful produces a maxim power of 104 BHP at 5250 rpm and a maximum torque of 153 Nm at 3800 rpm. The petrol engine just like the diesel variant will not stall at all. The car very easily traverses all the roads and terrains of our country; it may be the big speed breakers or the wide pot holes. There is no surge after staling in the petrol engine and the car will very smoothly run even at 8 kmph.  The gearshift in the manual transmission is very smooth and even better than the TDI. The only problem is that the clutch pedal must be let off as soon as one shift gears. The automatic transmission is available only in the Elegance and Ambition variant of the Skoda Rapid. The 6 speed automatic transmission has three driving models – D mode for normal driving, S mode for sporty driving and a Tiptronic for manual changing of gears. In the D mode the engine squeals and will make the passengers feel very uncomfortable. The CVT was not at all responsive and overtaking was a headache as it takes ages for the car to respond to your demand of torque. The S mode was better and the speed changes were very gradual and only a light press of the accelerator was needed. The S mode shifts quite later as compared to the D mode. Overtaking is an easy thing as the engine responds very well in this phase. The last was the Tiptronic transmission. 
The diesel engine is very powerful and very noisy. The engine produces a maxim power of 104 BHP at 4400 rpm and a maximum torque of 250 Nm at 1500 – 2500 rpm. The diesel engine faces some problems while cold starting and there is also some vibration at clutch pedal. The low end torque is very good and the car will not stall, not even in the third gear. The car is so good in its torque distribution that you can counter the potholes at speeds as low as 50 kmph that too at the 4th gear. The car only picks up some speed after you have crossed the 1800 – 2100 rpm mark. The car will easily overtake without you having to play with the gear lever. All the fun of this engine is in the mid-range rpm and the car can cruise without any problems at 120-130 kmph. The top speed of this model is limited to 186 kmph. The gearshift of this variant is good and actually the best among all the options of the Rapid. There is some vibration at the clutch, which can be felt every time you change gears. The clutch is very light and would be very helpful in the traffics of the Mumbai roads. 
The Rapid petrol is not a performance sedan and if one is looking for a speedy car, he must go for the Rapid Diesel. 
Ride and Handling
The Diesel and the Petrol variant also vary in their suspension setups and this is a big factor of discussion. 
The diesel variant has a very stiff suspension setting but will take on the bumps of our roads very easily and comfortably. The stiffness is only felt when going on low speeds and you can feel the thud of the wheels in the cabin. At high speeds the Rapid takes up all the potholes and bumps and you won’t feel a single bounce. The high speed stability of the vehicle is very good. Since the car has stiff springs one does not need to worry about body roll at all. The car has the best suspension layout of all the vehicles we have seen in this segment. There are no useless vertical movements or oscillations. One can drive this car like an SUV without worrying about minor potholes and undulations. The Rapid will not bump out and any amount of body roll is handled very well by the car. High speed braking is among the best in class and the car stops without causing any tantrums. The pedal can be modulated very easily, even while accelerating. 
The Petrol variant was also very easy to drive on the pothole filled Indian roads. The suspensions run on very soft springs. This works very well for cornering and bumps as one does not feel a single thud of the wheels on the cabin. But on the highways there is a lot of unwanted vertical movement and we can hear the springs working very hard at the rear.  
At higher speeds the diesel engine outweighs the petrol variant, which is something new to be seen. While at high speeds, the Rapid diesel breezes through the Rapid Petrol will make you feel you are going too fast. The steering on the petrol unit is very light whereas the diesel variant has a very sturdy steering wheel, thanks to its stiffer springs.  
Fuel Economy
The fuel economy of the Skoda Rapid Diesel was very good at 20.5 kmpl. This is among the best in this luxury segment of vehicles.  The manual Skoda Petrol gave a very low fuel economy of 15 kmpl. This is among the worst in this segment and the engineers need to find a fix for this problem as soon as possible if they want the Petrol to have a market share in future. The Automatic variant as expected has the lowest fuel economy of all, at 14.3 kmpl. 
As one can read from the figures the Diesel Rapid outnumbers the petrol Rapid even when it comes to saving money and that too by a good amount.    
The Skoda Rapid is although very similar to the VW Vento but that is only in the exterior and interior looks. The Rapid also has the same engine but they have been refined in such a way that you will be amazed at the performance that they give out.
The ride quality of both, petrol as well as diesel, is superb and easily the best in the segment. The automatic transmission does have a lot of problem and will find it very difficult to attract Indian customers who are still new to this concept. The car is fun to drive and the Rapid Diesel is the best of the lot in all parameters.  
The diesel variant of the Skoda Rapid will cost you between rupees 8.47 lakhs for the TDI Active and 10.23 lakhs for the TDI Elegance (ex-showroom price Mumbai). The petrol variant, is priced at rupees 7.28 lakhs for the Active and rupees 9.18 lakhs for the Elegance model (ex-showroom price Mumbai). The automatic variant, Skoda rapid 1.6 MPI AT, which comes only in petrol, will cost you rupees 9.23 lakhs (ex-showroom price Mumbai).
Comfort and ergonomics: 4.5/5
Refinement: 4/5
Safety: 4/5
Ride: 5/5
Fuel efficiency: 3/5 
Handling: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5   
Overall: 4/5

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