Let's make one thing clear here. The new Skoda Rapid is not a facelift but a Model Year update. It doesn't get any design upgrades both outside and inside, but now comes with a new diesel engine and a new 7-speed automatic DSG transmission. Apart from the regular petrol and diesel versions, the Rapid also gets a new Black Edition package with few minor changes in the exterior. Now, for the first drive report of the new Skoda Rapid. A comprehensive review will follow soon.
So, the new Rapid looks just the same but it gets a new alloy wheel design. Why hasn't Skoda brought the new design language with the new Rapid is to anyone's guess. Inside too, things remain the same with the dashboard being its own neat and solid self. The Rapid does get some new features to its equipment list like Cruise control, parking sensors and a card holder.
Inside the bonnet comes the biggest change. The 1.6-litre diesel unit is out of the hood and in comes the new 1.5-litre diesel unit pumping out a maximum output of 103 hp at 4400 rpm and a peak torque of 250 Nm at 1500-2500 rpm. The diesel engine has great mid-range response and the feels easy in both low speed cruising and highway overtakes, thanks to the class leading torque. The 1.6-litre petrol unit is also available making 104 hp of maximum output at 5250 rpm and 153 Nm of maximum torque at 3800 rpm. Both the petrol and the diesel engines get 5-speed manual transmission, while there is a 6-speed automatic transmission available for the petrol version.
Another major update is the new 7-speed automatic DSG transmission that is only available for the diesel engine. The DSG unit is a proven one and has great response especially in the Sport mode. The Sport keeps the gears in for the maximum revs possible before shifting up, which also brings out the vocal act of the engine a couple of decibels up. The ride quality is good, though bouncy, and the car keeps itself in check around the corners. The steering wheel is one of the best in business with great response and feedback from the wheels.
For the new Rapid, Skoda has brought a new Black Package that can be availed for both petrol and diesel variants for selected colours. The Black Package consists of black shades on the front fog lamps and projector headlamps, black 15-inch alloy wheels, black ORVMs and a black front grill including the logo lip. The Rapid with Black Package looks really good especially in the red paint option.
Other features include 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in and card reader support, height adjustable driver seat, steering mounted audio and telephone controls, automatic AC, dual rear AC vents, ABS and dual front airbags.