Skoda Rapid Facelift Review & First Drive


Skoda Rapid Overview

Skoda has decided to introduce a facelift variant of the Rapid in India on November 3rd. The sedan has been here in the Indian market since 2011 and until now Skoda has only given minor updates to the sedan. However according to the sources Skoda will providing some significant update to the Rapid facelift this time.

The Rapid nameplate has been used by Skoda for a long time and the current generation car first made its debut back in 2011 and shares many parts with the Volkswagen Vento subcompact sedan. Presently the car is being produced at Skoda’s manufacturing facility in Pune.Now that Skoda has decided to introduce the Rapid facelift in the Indian market here are all the details of the subcompact sedan.Check for car loan at Fincarz.

Skoda Rapid Design & Style

The new Skoda Rapid is based on Skoda’s Crystalline design theme that focuses on straight lines and sharp angles. From the front, the Rapid facelift bears a strong similarity to the European Rapid although it’s manufactured on a completely different platform in India.

From the outset, the new Rapid identifies itself as a Skoda thanks to the new chrome-outlined family butterfly grille. To up the premium quotient, the headlamps get integrated DRLs with the eye lash effect, as Skoda likes to call it. Donning the Crystalline design philosophy associates the Rapid facelift with the new Octavia and Superb. There’s also a slight hint of Vento now in the basic headlamp outline, but that’s the only bit. The new Rapid has grown longer by 27mm with the new front and rear bumpers adding the extra millimetres.

In profile, the new and the previous Rapid are nearly identical with only the front fenders redesigned as per the new headlamp design and the new bumper. Slender turn indicators on ORVMs and subtle chrome embellishment on door handles add class. The top-of-the-line Style variant gets new 15-inch, 5-spoke Matone alloy wheels.

There’s a chrome strip on the boot as well, however, Skoda has made measured used of chrome, and therefore, the Rapid seems striking, not gaudy. A redesigned bumper, smoked effect on the tail-lamps and a thin spoiler are the other new additions at the rear. Forget the rear and you may even think of it as a generation-change than a mere facelift; the design update is that significant and effective.

Skoda Rapid Cabin & Comfort

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. For more details on Skoda Rapid visit Incmanifesto

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 new Skoda Rapid is available with both petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine in the Rapid now produces 5PS more power and the final output is 110PS. Max power is also available 400revs lower in the range, although the overall impact on outright performance isn’t noticeable but the spread of power and torque throughout the range is likeable.

The diesel unit is a strong performer; it has 250Nm of torque from 1500rpm and revs eagerly, too. The lively engine combined with the 7-speed DSG transmission proved to be a potent package, as the quick gearbox selected the right ratios to tackle whatever inclines that came our way. Besides the power surge, Rapid’s spec-sheet also registers a slight increase of 0.06kmpl in the claimed fuel-efficiency, which now stands at 21.72kmpl for the diesel automatic version.

The 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine makes 105PS of maximum power between 5200-5250rpm and delivers 153Nm of maximum torque between 3750-3800rpm. Although power figures for both the engines are closely spaced, the petrol engine doesn’t like to be hurried and gets quite audible when pushing hard.Since it’s not a rev-happy engine, it takes time to get into the max power range and appears slower to 100kmph compared to its diesel counterpart. On-papers, however, the manual petrol Rapid is quicker than the manual diesel in the 0-100kmph run, albeit by just 0.1s. For price details on Skoda Rapid check AutoZhop

On a positive note, the 1.6-litre, MPI engine has decent pull at the bottom end of the rev-range although maximum torque is available at 3750rpm.It is, therefore,a good ambler for leisurely runs as it doesn’t require frequent gear changes to maintain consistency.Skoda offers a 5-speed manual transmission with both petrol and diesel Rapid, however, we feel a sixth ratio might do better justice to the engines. It will not only help the Rapid cruise comfortably in three digits but should also make the run more frugal.

Skoda Rapid Ride & Handling

The suspension setup on the Rapid remains the same as previously, which is good considering the Rapid has always been comfortable on the move. Rapid’s ride settingsseem consistent with the engine characteristics as the petrol Rapid rides considerably softer than its diesel counterpart.

Between the petrol and the diesel Rapid, the petrol is lighter than the diesel by about 70kg for the manual version and 40kg for the automatic. The weight gain and stiffer setup results in a better grip for the diesel Rapid which inspires confidence at higher speeds. The diesel Rapid is also a bit more engaging for the same reasons although the electro-mechanic power steering doesn’t deliver much feedback. The steering feels light and doesn’t weigh a great dealat higher speeds. That said, the steering never appeared vague at any speeds; it’s just light but precise. Considering that the Rapid rides a bit soft, body roll is well contained and the cabin doesn’t unsettle unless it is driven rash.

Skoda Rapid Braking & 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 Pune

Skoda Rapid On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 9,72,708 to 17,31,206 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 Pune. Check for Rapid price in pune at Tryaldrive.

Skoda Rapid Round Up

The Skoda Rapid was always a competitive product considering its underpinnings, engines and powertrain, and the Rapid facelift is just a cosmetic update, albeit a welcome one. It was amongst the most outdated looking models in its segment and the facelift has given the Rapid a new lease of life. The new features improve its VFM factor and that should help Skoda build traction. The company says it has taken many steps to improve its after-sales customer experience by making the process more transparent and thereby empowering the buyers.

Prices for the Rapid facelift start from Rs 8.27 lakh for the entry-level petrol variant and go upto Rs 12.67 lakh for the fully-loaded, DSG equipped diesel variant. Interestingly, only the VW Vento and Skoda Rapid get a dual-clutch automatic in this segment while Honda and Maruti Suzuki are yet to offer an automatic gearbox with the diesel City and SHVS Ciaz, forget the dual-clutch tech. The Rapid also undercuts its German cousin on the prices and that’s where it scores. Overall, with the new service package, we believe the Rapid is even more attractive in more ways than one and deserves a closer look for those wanting a stylish and solid midsize sedan.