Skoda Rapid Test Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

The Skoda Rapid has been in our market for the past five years, but its success rate hasn’t been what the Czech manufacturer was hoping for. Buyers primarily preferred the ever dependable Honda City or the flamboyant Hyundai Verna or the value for money Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The fact that it felt too similar to the Volkswagen Vento and people apprehension over Skoda’s aftersales service quality further put it out of preference. Apply car loan for Skoda Rapid .

Now though, Skoda has launched the updated Rapid and the changes aren’t just skin deep. You also get the upgraded 1.5-litre diesel unit which makes more power than before. To address its aftersales issue, Skoda is also offering a comprehensive 4-year maintenance plan with the car. So are these factors enough to get the buyers back in Skoda showroom? We drove the car in picturesque Mussoorie to find answers

Skoda Rapid Style

The sedan is built on the similar platform as of Volkswagen Vento and differencing both of them sometimes becomes tricky. The car continues to sport the same face which was launched back in 2016. The design team has carried forward the front fascia from the Mk3 Fabia which is on sale in the global markets. The smokes projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs and signature butterfly grille are the main highlights on the front. The 2018 Edition goes a step further and deploys black finishing on the grille which makes the car look really cool.

The bumper design also remains the same which was revamped in the last update. The bumper houses a set of cornering fog lamps while the bonnet perfectly gels with the front fascia with its own strong creases, emphasizing its own aggressiveness.

The side profile is also carried forward with the same shoulder line running across the length of the vehicle. At this point, the similarities with Vento become more outward. This isn’t a bad thing at all given the Vento itself has a clutter-free design. However, what’s considerable this time is the addition of new 16-inch dual-toned machined alloy wheels in 2018 Edition which adds up to the style quotient. Other variants continue to sport the same 15-inch wheels. The glossy black finish on the ORVMs and the contrasting black roof complements the car in a perfect manner. For more details on Skoda Rapid visit Trauma2011

Coming to the rear, practically there hasn’t been much this time. A minor chrome strip boot can be seen with an eagle eye only while there is smoked effect on the tail lamps. The slightly redesigned bumper has been carried forward from the previous model. And don’t forget that cute little lip spoiler which really pleasing to eyes. Overall, the already good looking Rapid has now become slightly better.

Skoda Rapid Space

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 enginhat 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.The handling is pretty good too and throwing the Rapid around corners can be plenty of fun. There is good grip available and the steering offers decent levels of feedback too.

Skoda Rapid Driving

Driving around slow moving traffic and by lanes, we really appreciated the direct and easy to twirl steering which makes it easy to maneuver. Low speed ride is absorbent and pot-hole infested roads were also dismissed without any problem. But large road imperfections do make their presence felt in the cabin, as the suspension thuds through them. On the highway, the Rapid displays good stability and the comfortable ride makes it an able cruiser. Over undulating surfaces it does tend to bounce a bit and a flatter ride would have been welcomed. Around twisty sections, the Rapid feels willing and the direct steering, good body control and loads of grip gives you lot of confidence. The brakes too offered good bite and stopping power felt more than adequate.

Skoda Rapid Safety

The brakes of Skoda Rapid deserve special mention. The setup is absolutely brilliant and confidence inspiring. The bite force is strong and the car stops without any trouble. As far as safety is concerned, the car comes with dual front airbags which are standard across the variants.Move up and the higher variants offer features including ABS, ESC, Hill Hold Control, rear parking camera with sensors, anti-glare rear-view mirror, acoustic warning signal for overrun speed and automatic fuel-cut in case of a crash.

Skoda Rapid Cost in Ahmedabad

Skoda Rapid On-Road Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 8,92,156 to 15,58,862 for variants Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol and Rapid 1.5 TDI AT Monte Carlo respectively. Skoda Rapid is available in 11 variants and 1 colours. Below are details of Skoda Rapid variants price in Ahmedabad. Check for Rapid price in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.

Skoda Rapid Conclusion

The update has certainly made the Rapid a lot more competitive. For starters it looks a lot sharper than before, gets more features along with ABS and Airbags being standard across all variants. Skoda has also looked into the warranty aspect and is now the only manufacturer offering a standard four year warranty along with four years of Skoda Roadside Assistance and Skoda maintenance Package. With prices for the base petrol manual starting at 8.19 lakh and going up to Rs. 12.55 lakh for the top end Style DSG (ex-Mumbai), prices are on par with the competition. The Rapid makes a strong case for itself for those who like to drive and appreciate a well-built product.

Currently, Skoda Rapid is offered in three different trim levels such as Active, Ambition and Style. It’s pricing starts from Rs. 10.96 lakh and goes up to Rs. 13.92 lakh. Rapid Edition is based on the top-end style variant of the normal Skoda Rapid and that’s why it costs 30,000 extra. Skoda Rapid presently takes on more accomplished rivals including Honda City, Volkswagen Vento, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna in the segment.

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