Skoda Rapid Overview
At first, it is difficult to comprehend why Skoda is crying out hoarse over the ‘new’ Rapid. Sure, it looks new – at least from the front – and has some interesting features added to it, but let’s face it: this is a five-year-old car. Look closely though and you will find that the Rapid, especially in the drivetrain configuration we have tested here, is still one of the best sedans you can have for the price.
The Skoda Rapid facelift is also significant for the company in India – Skoda India was involved in almost every facet of the development of this car. From the conceptualisation, to the pre-production planning, localisation of parts, production and after-sales service – Skoda India has made many changes to the Rapid to make it more competitive in the market.
Skoda Rapid Style
One look and you will notice the peculiar familiarity of the new Rapid with the Skoda Octavia and the Superb. The fascia is more slender than the old car and it now features sleeker headlamps like in the Octavia. These projector units also feature DRLs that just adds to the Rapid’s more premium looks. The signature moustache grille is carried over, below which is a redesigned bumper with restyled air dams and fog lamps. Moving to the side of the car, the only change is the chrome embellishment on the door handles. At the back, you get smoked tail lights, a slim spoiler and a chrome slat on the tail gate. All these changes have made the Rapid look fresher and sharper than the outgoing model. Check for Skoda Rapid price in Hyderabad.
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 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 Gearbox
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. To know more information on Skoda Rapid visit Icps2016
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.
Skoda Rapid Riding
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 Rapid is offered with dual front airbags as standard, the front and rear headrests are adjustable and there are three-point seatbelts for four passengers. Front disc brakes, ABS, EBD also add an additional layer of safety.
Skoda Rapid Cost in Hyderabad
Skoda Rapid On Road Price is 9,57,878/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,99,599/- in Hyderabad. Skoda Rapid comes in 1 colours, namely Candy White. Skoda Rapid comes with FWD with 1598 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 103 bhp@5200-5250 rpm and Peak Torque 153 Nm@3750-3800 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Skoda Rapid comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .
Skoda Rapid Final Thought
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.