Skoda Rapid Test drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

The Skoda Rapid has been the Czech carmaker’s cash cow in India, accounting for nearly 70 percent of its total sales, but it’s still far from the most popular car in its segment. With a facelift, the first substantial one in five years since the car’s launch here, the Rapid has been sharpened up aesthetically, fitted with a more powerful diesel engine and equipped with added features to make it more appealing. In fact, Skoda hopes that the update will empower the Rapid’s sales number to almost double to 20,000 annual units by the end of 2017.

Skoda Rapid Style

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 Space

The interior layout of the Rapid is unchanged but the dual-tone dashboard now replaces brown trim on top with black. There are some leatherette elements in the cabin such as the steering wheel, gearknob, handbrake lever, etc. The quality, fit and finish is without doubt excellent and feels like a typical German car. The instrument cluster looks a bit dated though while the steering is great to hold.

The biggest change with the latest updates is the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with MirrorLink technology that syncs your smartphone with inbuilt apps. The sound quality of the audio system is quite satisfying. You still miss out on features like keyless entry and push button start, sunroof, auto headlamps, rear parking camera, etc. What you get though is cruise control, rain sensing wipers, reach and rake adjustable steering, cooled glovebox and footwell lighting.

The Skoda Rapid is mostly meant for people who love to be behind the wheel and for those who have a small family. The seats are very comfortable both at the front and the back but rear seat legroom is just average compared to some other cars in this segment. You also can’t fit three adults abreast with ease because of the big transmission hump in the middle. The boot is big and accommodating though with 460-litres of luggage capacity.

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.

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. To know more details on Skoda Rapid visit Iftr2015hyd

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.

Skoda Rapid Driving

Pick any car from the entire Skoda lineup and it shines in this department. Same is the case with the Rapid. It offers excellent ride at high speeds with super confidence on the highways. It is well composed on undulations as well but patchy roads with deep potholes makes it thud loudly. The handling is very satisfying, it is eager to take corners hard and maintains its line without any drama. The steering feel is rich, giving you precise feedback about the wheels. The brakes offer good stopping power but it’s almost 2017 now and manufacturers should start offering rear discs for that extra edge on safety. Check car loan for Skoda Rapid .

Skoda Rapid Safety

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty, 4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

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 Skoda Rapid price in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.

Skoda Rapid Conclusion

At Rs 11.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Rapid is quite competitively priced against its rivals. By arming it with popular features such as a touchscreen, Skoda has brought it up to speed with the competition, while its superior build quality – the way the switchgear feels, the ‘whump’ made by the doors as they shut, the general feeling of robustness you get – still sets it apart. Furthering the Rapid’s case is Skoda’s current emphasis on the ownership experience, which includes best-in-class warranty programmes and the promise of transparent after-sales service.

When viewed as a whole, there is a strong case to be made for the facelifted Rapid – it looks fresher and drives very well. While those looking for a family car might find more value in rivals like the Honda City or the Maruti Ciaz, those who are likely to spend most of their time behind the wheel will enjoy the punchy, relatively-more-involving drive of the Rapid.

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