Skoda Rapid Review
After making a debut with the Octavia, Skoda achieved a premium manufacturer image in India. The company was not very pro-active back then as the sedan market was in its nascent stage and any growth in the segment was yet to boom.
Skoda unlike other auto companies did not flood the market with models but chose a steady path. Presently, the company has 5 models starting from the Fabia hatch to the luxurious Superb.
The C+ sedan market has flourished generously. The benchmark still remains the Honda City with its premium fit and feel. The other contenders in this segment also have a strong hold especially the Volkswagen Vento and the Hyundai Verna. The Rapid was launched in 2011. This was an important car from Skoda as it marked the company’s entry in the C+ bracket thus filling the gap between the Fabia and Laura.We took the Skoda Rapid for a brief period to know more on this sedan in our detailed review.
The Rapid looks very similar to the Vento as the former is based on the latter’s platform. It does not get as edgy as the Vento but then manages to keep the sophistication with its gently flowing crease lines.
Even though Skoda cars have always looked their purpose without being too luring on the outside, the Rapid carries the same convention. It is not as flamboyant but then certainly the design of Rapid can’t be written off.
The silhouette is very indicative of the amalgamation of a hatch with a sedan viz. the Fabia meets Vento. Lazy stance on the design gives an idea of the roomy interiors. The B-pillar has a glossy black finish.
The muscular lines clubbed with wide doors give a nice side profile. The doors open really wide, thus making it easy to get in and out. The 5-spoked 15inch Antares alloy wheels look really chunky and stylish. The rear, if compared with the VW Vento can be differentiated on many counts, which include the distinctly symbolic Skoda tail lights, the C and horizontally inverted C type.
The boot has an envelope crease look around the rear number plate, which adds quite a profile on the tail. The ORVMs are body colored and can be adjusted electronically from inside with the help of an intuitive joystick control. The rear luggage space is generous and we suspect a 500 ltr space.
The interiors of Skoda/Volkswagen cars have been very functional. There have not been many changes from the time it was launched to the present. The build quality of plastics and trims is very strong but then it doesn’t engage the driver. The color combinations and the overall design are very drab.
The ivory interiors have dual tone Mocca/Ivory finishing to it. The entire theme of dual shades runs on the door trims too with chrome door handles.The front as well as rear seats have adjustable head restraints. The front driver seat has height adjustment setting too. The seats may not be the most comfortable of the bunch but then are decent. The cushioning of seats doesn’t seem adequate.
The interior legroom and headroom are also of decent proportions. The 4 spoke steering wheel has chrome tinge to it. No steering mounted controls are a disappointment as many of the entry level sedans have started offering the same. It is of great convenience instead of juggling around from the wheel to the music control.
The instrumental clusters has the conventional Speedo and Tacho display along with distance travelled, average speed, immediate consumption, average consumption, travel distance before refueling, service interval, Outside temperature and clock.
The centre console is slightly tilted towards the driver and houses the AC vents, music system and AC controls also it has a 12V power socket. The music system, a Skoda audio player is the 2-DIN type ("DIN" is an industry standard for head unit size i.e., the radio/CD player that's mounted in the dash. 2-DIN is two DIN units stacked, or a single unit that's the same size as two DIN units. That means 4" tall and 7" wide.). A missing USB connectivity is great discomfort.
The Music system has AUX-in for portable music players along with a SD/MMC data card reader and has speakers on both front and rear doors. The audio system can be locked with a security code. The windows work on one-touch and are tinted. The windows pull up when locked using the remote control.
The armrest has a p, the glove box and the front and rear door pockets all can house in the mundane necessities. There is a foldable cup holder which is positioned directly below the rear AC vents. There is a coat hook provided on the B-pillars.
Talking of safety, The Skoda Rapid is equipped with ABS, Dual Rate brake assist, Driver front airbag, front passenger airbag, security code for audio player, engine immobilizer with floating code system, Two three-point outer seat belts and centre lap belt at rear, halogen head lamps, Anti-glare interior rear view mirror, rear windscreen defogger with timer and child-proof rear door and window locking.
The Skoda Rapid Diesel is powered by a 1.6 TDI CR/77 kW Diesel Engine. This 1598cc engine churns a maximum power of 105bhp at 4400 rpm and a torque of 250 Nm at 1500-2500rpm. The transmission offered on this one is a 5-speed fully synchronized manual shift.
The 1.6 TDI CR behaved fantastically throughout. The diesel unit is very active and the turbo kicks in at precise intervals. The performance figures also claim the same. The 1.6 TDI CR is capable of doing a top whack of 186 kmph and a 0-100 kmph in 10.8 seconds.
The diesel unit is very noisy and the clatter of it seeps inside the cabin as well. But on the positive side, the Rapid breaks the convention of premium cars being very delicate. This one comes out as a strong and rugged car. The suspension setup is on the stiffer side and was as its best as we took on the potholes of Mumbai streets.
The transmission box is not as soft. The gear shifts are very notchy. In fact shifting to lower gears from higher gears is a stress. When we got the car, the issue was not as much but after using it for a brief period it was way too bothering.
The diesel engine comes across as one of the few convenient to drive mills. Even at higher gears and lower speeds, the engine maintains its confidence and delivers consistently. A torquey diesel engine under its belt means no frequent gear changes. It picks up gradually from lower speeds but then gather momentum very swiftly.
In City traffic or on empty highways, the Rapid performs very well. Put aside the notchy transmission and everything is just fine. Overtaking is very easy and it holds on to higher engine speeds with great ease. The Rapid can cruise comfortably at speeds of 130 – 140 kmph without any stress felt on the engine. This one also came out as an efficient mill. We got a best mileage of 17 kmpl and a worst of 11 kmpl
|Torque in Nm/RPM||250/2500|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||55L|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Turning circle radius in M||5.3|
|Features||Active Plus||Ambition Plus||Elegance|
|Alloy wheels 15" Anteras||Yes||Yes||No|
|Front and rear fog lights||No||Yes||Yes|
|Aanti glare interior rear view mirror||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rear windscreen defogger||No||Yes||Yes|
|Driver front airbag||No||Yes||Yes|
|Front passanger airbag||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ivory faric upholstery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leather wrapped steering wheel||No||No||Yes|
|Leather wrapped gear selector knob||No||Yes||Yes|
|Leather wrapped hand brake lever||No||No||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi Function Display||No||No||Yes|
|Leather seat upholstery||-||-||Yes|
|(Ex showroom) price in Mumbai||861160||924823||1000993|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Elegance||1.3L Emotion||1.6 SX CRDI|
|Engine Capacity (L)/Cylinder||1598||1248||1582|
|A/C with climate control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated CD/MP3 Player||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Steering mounted audio controls||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remote keyless entry||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Driver seat height adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear arm rest||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Real-time mileage indicator||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leather wrap steering wheel and gear knob||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ex Showroom price Mumbai||855236||960407||1032666|