Ed's take: Chevrolet got everything right on the inside of the Sail NB. It has space' sober styling and large boot. However' it missed it out on the quality front which could have been a tad better.
The Sail NB has been introduced after the Sail U-VA and its biggest USP is its space. The Sail NB being based on the same platform; gets the same interior space. The space in the Sail NB good is the first and the second row. The front row seats aren't very large' but the seating positioning is good enough for decent thigh support' though the side support could have been a tad better. The knee room for the rear passengers is good enough however' the headroom could be a bit tight. The features on the Sail NB are decent however' we would have been happier if the quality of the plastics was a tad better. It is more of the feel of the materials that doesn't make it look up market. The design and placement of controls has been done ergonomically' except for the centrally location of power window switches. Base: The base version of the Sail NB gets body coloured bumpers' AC' front power windows and engine immobiliser as the features on it.
LS is the next variant above the base and it comes with body coloured door handles' full wheel cover' leather wrapped steering wheel' rear power windows' central locking and driver airbag.
LS ABS is the version with all the bells and whistles of LS and ABS.
LT ABS is the top of the line variant available on Sail NB and it gets features like dual airbags' ABS' alloy wheels' integrated music system with Bluetooth connectivity.
Ed's take: Build quality, touch and feel of the plastics on the Rapid are good and live upto Skoda’s brand expectations. The space is also sufficient in both the rows and even the boot is large. The only thing, we wish was added are the extra bells and whistles.
The interior is the place where you shall spend most of your time and hence the ergonomics and build-quality are important, not to forget the interior space. The instrument panel of the Rapid is ergonomically designed, backed with some good quality plastic. The cabin insulation is also good.
There are acres of space for the front row passengers in all the sedans, with large and comfortable seats that offer enough thigh and back support. Crawl into the rear seats and you realize that the Rapid has sufficient room there as well, though the seats aren’t very supportive. They feel a bit flat with not much thigh support. The Rapid even gets the convenience of adjusting the co-driver seat from the rear. The boot space is also good enough.
Active: This is the base variant of the Rapid that is available only with the manual versions of the petrol and diesel. It has manual central door locking, manual AC with adjustable rear AC vents, anti glare rear view mirrors, rear defogger, rough road package, engine immobilizer, front center armrest, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, and anti pinch system.
Ambition: The Ambition comes in petrol, diesel and also the automatic petrol version. It gets central door locking, ABS, front rear fog lamps and driver airbag are added in the model. Other add-ons include body colored ORVMs and door handles, remote control with foldable key, driver seat height adjuster and rear center armrest.
Elegance: This is the top of the line version of the Rapid and is also available with all the engine options. It comes loaded with all the brownies that the Rapid will possess. Front passenger airbags are also added. A security code for audio player, AUX ports for media player and memory card, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable mirrors, MID (Mobile Internet Device). Now, it even gets projector lamps, Bluetooth and USB connectivity too.
Ed's take: The 1.3-litre multijet here comes out as a clear winner as it doesn't just have better power delivery' but also is more economical.
The Sail NB is available with 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.3-litre oil burner. The petrol engine produces 84bhp of power at 6000rpm and a maximum torque of 113Nm at 5000rpm' while the diesel produces 76bhp at 4000rpm and 205Nm at 1750rpm.
The 1.2-litre petrol mill is the same one that also powers the Sail U-VA. This engine has low NVH levels and is highly refined. The power delivery is decent and one needs to rev this engine to extract maximum performance from it. The power produced by this engine is decent' however one does needs to downshift to make those quick overtaking moves. The engine has strong mid-range just like most of the petrol mills. This engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. As the gearknob is short' the shifts are good and the throws are short. Though the only downside is the shifts are a bit rubbery in nature.
The Sail NB is powered by India's largest selling diesel engine' the 1.3-litre multijet that also powers about 10 other cars in India. We are smitten with this engine and this has low levels of NVH. The power delivery is fairly linear and the oil burner has a strong mid range. The oil burner pulls cleanly once the engine spins above 2000rpm and also there is good enough power to make those overtaking moves. This engine also power the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. The shifts are positive' but still are a bit notchy.
Ed's take: The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid is far superior to its petrol brethren in performance and fuel efficiency. The power delivery is linear and it is fun to drive in the city or the highway. We recommend the diesel version of the Rapid for its sheer pleasure and economy.
With the increasing cost of petrol and higher efficiency of oil burners, manufacturers are tuning petrol cars for better mileage over performance. Similar is the case with the Rapid. The 1.6-litre engine produces 103bhp at 5250rom and a peak torque of 153Nm at 3800rpm. This 1.6-litre petrol engine has a decent turn of pace; however do not expect them to be strenuous. The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels are fairly low on the petrol version.
One needs to downshift them for quick overtaking manoeuvres, as most of the power is delivered at higher revs and you feel the lack at lower speeds.
5-speed manual: 3.5/5
The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre is smooth and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment and it is joy to use as well. The Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 15.42kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
6-speed automatic: 3/5
The Rapid also gets the option of a six-speed tiptronic self-shifting transmission. The shifts on the Rapid are lethargic and one can rightly say “the box does blunt the engine’s performance”. We wish the Rapid came with the DSGs, but that would have increased the cost of the car. As per the ARAI test, the Rapid returns a fuel economy of 14.4kmpl.
1.6-litre diesel: 4/5
The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid churns out a power of 103bhp at 4400rpm and a maximum torque of 250Nm at 1500-3000rpm. The NVH levels aren’t low, and there is a lot of diesel clatter on this engine.
This is oil burner is a stonker of a performer and it has deep reserves of torque at low rpm. Plant your right foot and the engine surges you forward. The diesel version of the Rapid outperforms the petrol Rapid not just in fuel economy but also in performance. The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre diesel is a delight and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment. The oil burner powered Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 20.54kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
Ed's take: Chevrolet has done a good job on the ride and handling characteristics of the Sail NB and we are impressed with it.
The ride on the Sail NB is decent and it doesn't feel unsettled on bad roads. The suspension does a good job of absorbing the bumps and shocks from the road. The ride doesn't feel jittery even at high speeds and the comfort at the rear is better as the rear suspension has been softened for better ride.
The handling of the Sail NB is decent and the engineers have fond the perfect strike between ride and handling. The car doesn't feel nervous at high speeds and even the feedback from the steering wheel is good.
Ed's take: The ride on the Rapid is a tad stiff, but most of the road shocks are filtered out. The Rapid lives up to the Skoda badge in the handling department. The well-balanced chassis of the Rapid makes it joy to drive around bends, and even the response from the steering wheel is good as it weighs up well.
These sedans are built for better comfort and hence ride quality on the sedans is pretty much sorted. These cars can go through the potholes with a muted thud and the suspension absorbs most of the jounces and rebounds, keeping the occupants intact. Skoda Rapid has a tad stiffer when compared to competition.
The chassis of the Skoda Rapid is well balanced and this sedan is capable of handling turns at a higher speed. You can push it around bends without a second-thought. The tyres on the Rapid squeal when pushed to their limit— despite the there being sufficient grip. The steering wheel of the Rapid is fantastic. It is exactly how a driving enthusiast would want.