Skoda Rapid Performance & Test Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

The Skoda Rapid has always been a handsome car and is one of the best sellers from the Czech automaker’s stable in India. It has been over five years since the introduction of the car and the company has now given it a facelift.Currently, the car has a base price of Rs 8.27 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs 9.48 lakh for the diesel variant (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). It continues using the 1.6-litre petrol engine from the previous generation, but the diesel engine has been retuned for better power delivery.The Rapid facelift has a lot to offer thanks to some of the changes that the car has received. But, the question is, do these changes make it a better value for money offering than before? Skoda Rapid price range in India is between 8,47,862/- to 13,59,537/, check for detail pricing of Skoda Rapid in Carzprice

Skoda Rapid Design

Recently a facelift Rapid spyshot was going rounds on the internet which gave everyone a little hint of what could you expect from the facelift sedan. The front profile of the Rapid gets a completely new front bumper also gets new foglamps as well. The Rapid facelift now also sports a slightly wider butterfly grille. The front headlamps are also sharper and get projector units which will also be integrated with LED DRL lamps as well. Towards the side profile expect the side indicators to get shifter to the side mirror. While expect the rear bumper as well to get some changes as well which might come in the form of a new rear bumper and also a newly designed taillamps. The facelift sedan might also get a shark fin antenna as well.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

Well for starters, it looks pretty much the same. And that’s because the dashboard layout remains the same. But once you get into the driving seat, the new details start to stand out. I like the ebony-sand dual tone combo on the dash and the fact that everything feels so well built together.The most important addition on the inside though is the 6.5 inch colour touch screen infotainment system. You get the usual USB, AUX and Bluetooth with the addition of MirrorLink connectivity. There’s more too. You get rain sensing wipers, the steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach, the glovebox is cooled, climate control along with rear aircon vents and cruise control.A nice utility touch is the addition of a cardholder clip to keep the toll receipts or change. It’s only when you try to fire up the engine that you suddenly realise the absence of a start/stop button and a rear view camera when you want to back up.

Other than that the front seats are pretty comfortable. We drove it for over three hours at a stretch and found enough support in the right places to be comfortable.There is enough legroom at the rear too, maybe not as much as the Honda City or the Ciaz, but nothing to complain about. The boot has more than adequate space at 460 litres and will swallow plenty of luggage for those weekend trips.The only grouse that each one of us had with the boot was that there is no boot opening button on the boot and one has to pull on a little button near the driver’s door or use the key-fob. The Rapid’s interior are a much better place to be in now however it will take more than just the addition of a touch screen infotainment system and additional features to get up to speed with the more modern and not to mention swanky competition.

Skoda Rapid Performance

Along with the facelift, the Rapid also gets the updated 1.5 litre TDI engine which debuted with the VW Ameo. The engine which gets a larger turbo and is locally sourced makes 110BHP as compared to the 105BHP the earlier engine made. At 250 Nm the torque however remains the same. This unit comes linked to either a 5-speed manual transmission or the 7-speed DSG.We managed to drive the manual variant. The engine like before is on the louder side and one can hear the clatter especially when the engine is cold. Performance though remains a highlight. Going up the ghats in Mussorie, we managed to climb most of it in third gear despite the route being a twisty one with numerous hairpin bends and traffic. The performance is dull under 2000 rpm post which the turbo spools up and you get a fat wave of torque, pushing you ahead. Drivability is the highpoint of this engine and you barely need to shift gears, which is a good thing considering the clutch is on the heavier side. The gear shift too are slightly on the heavier side but slots in nicely.

The Rapid also gets a petrol option in the form of the 1.6 MPI unit which again comes with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The engine and the specs remain exactly the same as before. The automatic we drove is ‘not’ a DSG in the petrol but a regular torque converter. The engine makes a healthy 105BHP and 153 Nm of torque.The conventional gearbox is on the slower side especially when you shift it into D trying to conquer uphill climbs but around town the gearbox does its job well. Using it in Tiptronic mode does allow you to use the engine torque spread better though.The suspension set-up remains the same, but then we have always appreciated the Rapid’s ride and handling. The suspension soaks up bumps and bad sections very well and it’s only the sharp edged ones that filter in.

Skoda Rapid Rideing

What we really liked the most, though, was the driving experience of the car. The suspension set up was bang on for city driving and highway commute and the chassis makes the car feel planted even at high speeds. The 1.5-litre diesel engine now comes with a bigger turbocharger which takes the total power output to 110 PS and 250 Nm of torque. All this power is spread evenly across the RPM range no matter which gear the car is being driven at.It can take the potholes provided you drive over it at the right speed. The positive driving feedback is also because of the crisp 7-speed gearbox which helps in quick and smooth gear changes and the addition of cruise control is like the icing on the cake.That chassis and the wonderful DSG transmission work so well together that you would want to take the car through its paces, but once you do, the feedback from the steering wheel begins to feel a bit numb. At highway speeds, you can feel the car connect to the road but then the steering doesn’t direct that feedback to the driver as well as we would like. This is probably because the car was designed to be easy to drive in traffic, where your speeds are low, and easy to drive it is.

Skoda Rapid Safety

The new Skoda Rapid gets disc brakes with inner cooling, with single/piston floating caliper at the front, while drum brakes are at the helm of affairs at the rear. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and dual airbags are offered as standard safety features across the entire variant lineup. In addition, several sophsticated safety features, such as Electronic Stability Control, Hill Hold Control, Parktonic Rear Parking Sensors, automatically-dimming rear view mirror, etc., are on offer with the top-end grades. View offers on Skoda Cars from Skoda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Skoda Rapid Price

Skoda Rapid Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 8,47,862/- (Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol) to 13,59,537/- (Rapid 1.5 TDI CR Style AT). Get best offers for Skoda Rapid from Skoda Dealers in India

Skoda Rapid Verdict

The Skoda Rapid falls in a segment that is a bit tricky to master. One on hand the probable buyers of the car want it to be loaded with features and comforts whereas, on the other hand, automakers are expected to price the product aggressively.

The Skoda Rapid delivers on the list of features one would from a mid-sized sedan and also has an aggressive price tag. On top of it, the car we tested delivered an impressive mileage of over 18 km/l in city traffic.

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