Skoda Rapid Performance & Test Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

At first, it is difficult to comprehend why Skoda is crying out hoarse over the ‘new’ Rapid. Sure, it looks new – at least from the front – and has some interesting features added to it, but let’s face it: this is a five-year-old car. Look closely though and you will find that the Rapid, especially in the drivetrain configuration we have tested here, is still one of the best sedans you can have for the price.

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The Skoda Rapid facelift is also significant for the company in India – Skoda India was involved in almost every facet of the development of this car. From the conceptualisation, to the pre-production planning, localisation of parts, production and after-sales service – Skoda India has made many changes to the Rapid to make it more competitive in the market.  Skoda Rapid On road price starts from 9,58,979 /-. Check for price details of Skoda Rapid in CarzPrice.

Skoda Rapid Design

New Skoda Rapid 2017 gets a new front end which is the main cosmetic change in this car. The front grille looks identical to the Octavia and Superb and now looks like part of the new Skoda family. The headlamps are sharp and they get projectors. They even have smoked effect to make it look sporty. The hood also gets a new design with changes in lines to match the new grille. A new front bumper and even a redesigned rear bumper are other changes. The tail lamps on the New Skoda Rapid 2017 have got a design tweak too. They continue with the C-shape look, however other aspects have been changed.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

The dashboard is identical to the earlier Rapid’s, which in turn is shared with the VW Vento. The dash design is restrained, but everything is where you expect it to be. Taking centre stage is a new large and reasonably crisp 6.5-inch touchscreen that comes with USB, AUX and Bluetooth support as well as MirrorLink connectivity. Other new equipment include rain-sensing wipers and electronically-folding exterior mirrors, which help bridge the gap between the Rapid and better-equipped rivals. Skoda’s trademark ‘clever features’ are manifest in the form of a cardholder clip in the centre console to hold all your toll passes and the likes.

Other notable equipment include a tilt-and-telescopic steering adjust, automatically-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, cooled glovebox, climate control, rear AC vent, one-touch power windows and remote-controlled opening and closing of windows. Certain features are prominently missing, though, such as a rear camera and an engine start/stop button.

The Rapid is reasonably comfortable to sit in. The front seats are generally comfortable, with side-bolstering to hold you in place, and a large-enough seat cushion to support your thighs. Their lumbar section, however, feels a bit hollow and might irk you on longer drives. The rear seats are firm and supportive, offering adequate thigh support and legroom and good amounts of knee room; you won’t get the same sense of space as rivals like the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz, though. Frontal visibility for rear passengers is also not the best on account of the large front seats. However, the provision of a front, as well as rear armrest, is appreciated.

The Rapid’s 460-litre boot is not the roomiest in its segment, and the protruding wheel arches make it less-than-ideally shaped. However, the loading lip is wide and low, offering easy access. The lack of a boot-open button on the boot itself is slightly annoying – a little button inside the driver’s door needs to be yanked every time the boot has to be opened, though it is nice that the spring-loaded lid opens fully.

Skoda Rapid Performance

The principal mechanical change in the facelifted Rapid is the new diesel engine. Well, ‘new’ might not be the most accurate term because this engine is an updated version of the 1.5-litre TDI available in the pre-facelift car. This engine, which made its debut in the VW Ameo, features a larger, locally-sourced turbocharger that allows the power to be bumped up from 105hp to 110hp. Its torque rating, at 250Nm, remains unchanged. The diesel engine is available with a 5-speed manual as well as a 7-speed automatic DSG gearbox, the former of which we are reviewing here. Check for Skoda Rapid in iftr2015hyd.in

At idle, the TDI engine greets you with its usual clatter. It is audible at all times, which is a bit of a downer. What is good though is the performance. Loads of torque is available in the revs before the turbo kicks in, allowing you to comfortably potter around town. In fact, it’s possible to get through slow-moving traffic in third gear. Find an open stretch and step on the gas, however, and you move into a meaty mid-range. The turbo kicks in earnest at 2000rpm and from there till 4500rpm, the remarkably free-revving engine delivers a constant stream of power. You can rev till past 5000rpm but doing so makes the engine sound strained. The five-speed manual gearbox offers short, nice throws, though the clutch is on the heavier side.

Skoda Rapid Rideing

The Rapid’s suspension set-up is unchanged from before, which is not a bad thing at all. The low-speed ride is sufficiently absorbent, and only the largest of potholes thumps through to the cabin. As you speed up, you notice that the very softness of the suspension that makes it absorbent also makes the car bob slightly on undulating roads, but never to a point that it feels uncomfortable. Stability, on the whole, is quite good, making the Rapid an acceptable highway cruiser.The Rapid scores well in terms of handling too. While the steering does not offer too much feedback, it is light and accurate, rendering the car amply suitable for city driving. However, around corners, it does not feel tight or agile, and as such, isn’t a car that you will confidently swing into bends.

Skoda Rapid Safety

The Rapid is offered with dual front airbags as standard, the front and rear headrests are adjustable and there are three-point seatbelts for four passengers. Front disc brakes, ABS, EBD also add an additional layer of safety.​The New Skoda Rapid 2017 comes with features such as cruise control. It also gets a MirrorLink touchscreen infotainment system, which is available only in the top variant. The system has AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Automatic climate control is also offered on this sedan. On the safety front, ABS and dual front airbags are standard across all variants.

Skoda Rapid Price

Skoda Rapid On-Road Price in India ranges from 9,58,979 to 15,67,582 for variants Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol and Rapid 1.5 TDI CR Style AT respectively. Skoda Rapid is available in 10 variants and 1 colours. Below are details of Skoda Rapid variants price in India. View offers on Skoda Cars from Skoda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Skoda Rapid Verdict

The Skoda Rapid was always a good car overall and with the facelift it has got much better in terms of appeal and performance. The new features are good but it still has to catch up with competition. The new diesel engine is a great performer. Ride and handling dynamics still remain one of the best in class. Overall, the new Rapid is now a much more desirable car to buy, however, it does come at a premium price.If you are in the market for a good looking, well built, spacious, comfortable, reasonably well-equipped, powerful-but-efficient sedan which will be mainly driven on the highway – the Rapid 1.5 TDI AT is the car for you. If you are looking for city-centric diesel-automatic sedan though, there are better options.

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