Skoda Rapid Performance & First Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

Skoda Rapid has been on sale since November 2011 in the Indian market and has tasted moderate success, despite the presence of several heavyweights like Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento in the same segment. With time progressing, the sales of the sedan started deteriorating as its rivals were far more advanced, up-market and affluent. It is what propelled Skoda India to introduce Skoda Rapid Facelift, which comes with several cosmetic upgrades and a subtle bump in power output. Identical to the preceding model, the Skoda Rapid 2017 is manufactured at the company’s production facility in Pune. It is present in both the petrol and diesel guises in three trim levels: Active, Ambition and Style. The Skoda Rapid Facelift exterior styling is in line with Skoda’s new design language, while the cabin boasts of a few contemporary features that weren’t seen on the predecessor.Book a test drive for Rapid in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid Design & Look

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.

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 Cabin & Space

The cabin inside is in line with the familiar cars such as Polo and Vento. Everything from the dashboard, placement of buttons and switches and even the door pads are reminiscent to siblings. However, the introduction of black piano theme has certainly raised the premium appeal. Other variants continue to be available in the classy beige and black or ebony-sand theme. The red contrast stitching on the seats in the top-spec Rapid lends it a more sporty character. The car has also been bestowed with a lot of chrome across the cabin.

The layout is pretty reasonable and takes much less time to get accustomed. And the tilt/reach and height adjustability of the steering is a clear evidence of how comfortable one can get in no time. The steering is donned in leather and is the perfect size for the car. It also features audio, call and cruise controls. However, the carmaker has finally responded to the demand for flat-bottom steering wheel after getting a lot of feedback from customers. The multi-information display gives host of information including distance traveled, travel time, instant fuel efficiency, average speed, distance to empty, outside temperature, average fuel efficiency, service interval, clock as well as gear-shift indicator.

The center console shows the same substantial layout featuring a pair of AC vents, automatic climate control interface and the same 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment. The slick touchscreen is now powered by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and paired with 4-speakers which give quality audio output. This along with MirrorLink collectively serves the purpose of Skoda’s SmartLink infotainment, all which enables the driver to use the devices safely. The infotainment also displays the visuals from the rear parking camera. Other variants continue to sport the 2-DIN audio system along with USB, Bluetooth, Aux-In and card reading functionality.

The automatic air conditioning unit gives you no reason to complain. The system swiftly manages to cool the cabin in quick time. And with rear aircons, the passengers at the back wouldn’t grumble about the hot weather either. The rear seating space is a little bit cramped compared to rivals and the low-set flat bench doesn’t do justice to the comfort level. However, the backrest can be reclined at a comfortable angle while the rear armrest lifts up the comfort factor a notch. The fifth passenger will definitely find the leg space annoying, so if you are looking for long journeys, make sure you don’t let the fifth passenger inside.

Other comfort aspects include height adjustable driver’s seat, one-touch automatic operating power windows, cruise control, automatic front wipers, automatically-dimming rear-view mirror and cooled glovebox among others. The latest update does add a little breath to the interiors. However, it isn’t a radical departure from the previous version.

Skoda Rapid Engine & Gearbox

The Skoda Rapid sedan is powered by two engine options, a 1.5 TDI litre diesel and a 1.6 MPI litre petrol. The 1.6 litre petrol engine generates 104 hp of power from 5,200 rpm to 5,250 rpm and 153 Nm of torque from 3,750 rpm to 3,800 rpm. The 1.5 litre TDI diesel engine churns out 109 hp of power at 4,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 2,500 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a choice of automatic and manual transmissions offered on both engines.The Skoda Rapid has a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. A 5 speed manual transmission is available on the 1.6 litre MPI petrol and 1.5 litre TDI diesel engine optIons. The 1.5 litre Style variant which is powered by the diesel engine comes with a 7 speed dual clutch DSG automatic transmisssion. The petrol engine automatic variants get a 6 speed torque convertor unit with Tiptronic function for the feel of a manual transmission.

The new Skoda Rapid employs the fuel-efficient engines of the Vento sedan. The claimed fuel efficiency of the manual petrol engine stands at 15.41kmpl while the automatic variant delivers slightly less 14.84kmpl. On the other hand, the diesel manual reads 21.13kmpl, the fuel economy of automatic version is nearly similar with the car capable of delivering 21.72kms for a liter of fuel.The Skoda Rapid hatchback has a claimed fuel efficiency/mileage of 15.41 km/l for the petrol engine options and 21.13 km/l for the diesel engine manual transmission options. The 7 speed DSG automatic diesel trims have a claimed figure of 21.72 km/l.

Skoda Rapid Ride & Handling

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 & Security

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 Price in Chennai

Skoda Rapid Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 8,47,488/- (Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol) to 13,45,469/- (Rapid 1.5 TDI CR Style AT). Get best offers for Skoda Rapid from Skoda Dealers in Chennai. Check for Rapid price in Chennai at Carzprice

Skoda Rapid Conclusion

Skoda has been making decent cars right from the beginning, and Rapid has been one of the company’s best-seller in India due to its exquisite appearance, premium cabin and power-packed performance. The Skoda Rapid 2017 price is also aggressive, with a lot more features added. However, the company needs to work heavily on the after-sale department as it is where Skoda is crippled. The non-availability and expensiveness of spare parts is a major issue that Skoda needs to address as early as possible, if it intends to consolidate its position in the Indian market and retail higher volumes.

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