Skoda Rapid Performance & First Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

Skoda is due to reveal an all-new generation of Rapid hatch next year. It should grow in size to match that of the VW Golf or Ford Focus, effectively moving it away from its current position between the Fabia city car and the Octavia. On that note, the new-gen model may not even be called Rapid. Since there is a lot of reshuffling within the Skoda range, the whole lineup could change, and the similarly-sized Octavia will be moved upmarket for its next generation. Book a test drive for Rapid in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Skoda Rapid Design

The exteriors of Skoda Rapid are very ‘deceptive’. It looks like an amalgamation of Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Vento. Personally, I had wished for a better exterior design.Skoda Auto maintains the similarity seen is mainly because the Rapid is based on the same Vento platform. They also insist that the design Skoda Rapid has been conceived keeping in mind the different Skoda ideologies.The overall exterior proportions look decent. The same Fabia-ish front description complemented by the chrome trims on the conventional front grille.The side profile looks little stretched, thus giving more room space in the interiors. The B-pillar has a glossy black finish.

Muscular lines clubbed with wide doors give a nice side profile to the Skoda Rapid. 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.In 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 lif of the Skoda Rapid has an envelope crease look around the rear number plate, which adds quite a profile on the tail. The rear of Skoda Rapid has straight lines and very simple in design.

The ORVMs are body colored and can be adjusted electronically from inside with the help of an intuitive joystick control. The lower half of the ORVM has been given a black base to save it from scratches.The rear luggage space is generous and we suspect a 500 ltr space. The actual dimensions have not been released as yet.The Skoda Rapid will be offered in 6 color shades.To conclude the overall design of Skoda Rapid, We had wished for a completely different looking car, but this one looks “deceptively” similar to a hatch and a sedan.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

The interior quality of Skoda Rapid is nice and gives the up market feeling but that’s again a typical Skoda feel, which can be felt in all its portfolio models. Skoda has applied its ‘Simply Clever’ solutions to the Rapid.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 seats of Skoda Rapid have an adjustment setting in which the front passenger seat can be adjusted from the rear. The front as well as rear seats have adjustable head restraints. The front driver seat has height adjustment feature too. The lumber support provided for the seats is comfortable for longer journeys.

The interior legroom and headroom are also of decent proportions. 4 spoke steering wheel has chrome tinge to it. The steering wheel is length as well as height adjustable. Something that was a disappointment, no steering mounted controls.Instrumental cluster 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.

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.).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 Climatronic control took charge effectively in the extensive hot weather of Jaipur. The rear has adjustable dual rear-conditioning vents.

The windows work on one-touch and are tinted. The windows pull up when locked using the remote control. There is optimal storage space in the interior of Skoda Rapid. The front centre console, the recess under the armrest, 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.

Skoda Rapid Gearbox

Skoda hasn’t made any mechanical changes to the Rapid and thus the same pair of petrol and diesel engines continue to power the car. Both the engines are 1.6-litre units, belting out 105 BHP of power but the diesel has more torque on offer with 250 Nm, while the petrol motor churns out 153 Nm. While both engines are paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the petrol also comes with a 6-speed automatic. While the Rapid’s doppelganger has ditched the 1.6-litre powerplant (in automatic guise) for a more efficient and torquey 1.2-litre TSI mill, Skoda is yet to make this move and we expect them to do so later this year. The 1.6-litre diesel engine is a gem, revving all the way to 5500 RPM and doing the 0-100 km/hr dash in just 10.15 seconds as per our VBOX runs. This engine will make way for the new 1.5-litre diesel engine which will be seen on the Volkswagen Vento by the year end.

As expected from Skoda cars, the Rapid is no different in terms of the fun factor. Both engines have a lot of grunt and you can truly enjoy yourself driving these cars fast, hitting the redline in every gear. In spite of the pedal to the metal driving we engaged in with the diesel Rapid, the vehicle continued to return close to 14 km/l. The dynamics also put an instant smile on our faces, the handling is sharp and the Rapid is eager to dive into corners with aplomb. The steering offers good feedback too and ride quality is on the stiffer side but quite pliant on most road surfaces. The brakes are sharp and the Rapid has more than enough stopping power for quickly coming to a halt.

Skoda Rapid Driving

The Skoda Rapid 2017 is a decent performer on the highways as well as narrow city roads. It sails effortlessly at high speed. The diesel automatic, particularly, is a delight to drive. It sprints to the 100 kmph mark from standstill in just 12 seconds, which is a rather good feat, considering the segment. The handling is fairly good due to the light steering wheel, which responds instantly to the driver’s fingertips.

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.

Skoda Rapid Cost in Chennai

Skoda Rapid On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 9,67,574 to 16,09,193 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 Chennai. Check for Rapid price in Chennai at Carzprice

Skoda Rapid Conclusion

The next-gen Skoda Rapid has its work cut out for it with this planned size increase that will have it facing a new set of established rivals. It needs a trick or two up its sleeve in order to stand a chance of making a dent in their sales numbers, but knowing Skoda, they have definitely thought this through, and there’s a clear strategy behind this move – we just don’t know the specifics yet.

The model will probably be offered as a performance model at some point – something we’ve already glimpsed at thanks to the RS Vision concept that was recently teased. This will certainly help boost the new Rapid’s appeal.

That said, tt also needs to undercut rivals on price, essentially trying to offer what they’re offering, but for less. Skoda, while it may not be perceived as a budget brand, doesn’t carry the same badge kudos as, say, a VW, so some compromise will have to be made in order to make the next-gen Rapid interesting for prospective buyers.

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