As we bid good-bye to the Ford Fiesta , the Skoda Rapid makes it way into our long-time garage. The Rapid is Skoda ’s new entry-level sedan that was based on the Polo platform and is available with petrol and diesel options. We picked up the diesel version of the Skoda Rapid due to our intensive travelling. Read further to know about our experience with the Skoda Rapid .
Current reading: 19889km
Kilometres driven: 502km
Fuel cost incurred: Rs 0
Other expenses: None
Total cost: Rs 0
What amazes us is the fact that Skoda had sent us a full tank Rapid and despite doing 500kms there is still half a tank of fuel felt. For this reason, fuel economy will be our last report, as we our first report will highlight the interiors of the Rapid. Skoda introduced the Rapid not just for those who enjoy driving but even for those who will be chauffeur driven. As majority will be sitting at the back, we will first share our impressions about the rear seat. The rear seat has ample amount of leg-room and head-room with decent thigh-support. For those who need more space, can adjust the front seat from the second row.
This is a smart feature added by Skoda to improve the convenience factor. The middle seat armrest is also ergonomically designed and feels perfect as the seat is a tad soft and comfortable to sit on. The boot of the Rapid is also large enough to swallow large for four for a weekend, if you take your family out for a holiday. The front seats of the Rapid are larger than the rear and provide similar comfort. Skoda vehicles are known for their space and we love them for this. The interiors are simple and easy to operate. The quality of the plastics is good with top-notch fit and finish.
The door shuts with a thud and once you step and close them, you feel insulated from the outside world. The Rapid is a good example of German engineering and it makes you feel more secure when you step in this than any other Asian country manufactured vehicle. More coming in the next reports.
Current reading: 20487km
Kilometres driven: 1100km
Fuel cost incurred: Rs 2103
Other expenses: None
Total cost: Rs 2103
The Skoda Rapid completed a 1000km run with us and we don’t just love the engine’s outright performance but also the fact that it is highly fuel-efficient.
With majority of our driving being in the city, the fuel efficiency that the Rapid returns is about 15-16kmpl. At the end of the day, this doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. The Rapid’s highly economical engine brings a smile on your face.
The only thing that we dislike about this engine is its diesel clatter, as it a tad louder than other diesel engines. Apart from this the vibration and harshness of this engine are pretty much sorted. The power delivery of this engine is linear and it has a strong mid-range.
It struggles to pull at low rpm, however there is a rush of power, once the engine crosses 1800rpm. Overtaking in a Rapid isn’t very difficult and sometimes one needs to downshift to pass a vehicle.
The Rapid can easily coast at 120km/hr on the highway without any struggle and with minimal effort, returning high fuel efficiency. Even the gear shifts on this transmission are good, as the throws are short and the shifts are positive.
The transmission doesn’t feel rubbery, however, it is the stiffness of the clutch spring that makes it difficult to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Other than this, we enjoy every bit of horsepower that this 104bhp oil burner generates. Our next report will cover the ride and handling characteristics of the Rapid. Watch out this space for more on the Skoda Rapid.
Current reading: 22088km
Kilometres driven: 2701km
Fuel cost incurred: Rs 6384
Other expenses: Rs 150
Total cost: Rs 6384
We have always loved the manner in which the Skoda vehicles drive. They aren’t just built well, but even the manner the tyres obey the command given from the steering wheel and even the response time. The Rapid is no different either. You push it around a bend and the flexibility of the chassis enhances the road grip. Drive it around tight bends or push it around corners, the alacrity of this chassis is definitely one of the best. Even the high-speed manners of the vehicle are good, as it doesn’t show any sign of nervousness.
The ride of the Rapid is bit on the stiffer side. This has been done to improve the handling characteristics of the vehicle. The ride is supple at low speeds and smooth and well paved roads, however on rough roads, the ride is a bit harsh. It doesn’t get jittery, but the shocks can be felt. The stability of the vehicle is good at high speeds, and even the ride is smoother. The suspension has been tweaked for India road conditions. Initially, the ride is a bit stiff, but once the vehicle is driven the suspension softens and even its ability to absorb shocks improves. We had experienced something similar in other Skoda’s as well.
The steering wheel of the Rapid is light, making it easy to drive in daily bumper-to-bumper city traffic. Also, the fact that it is electronic it doesn’t weigh up much as the vehicle gathers speed. All it takes is a bit getting used to. We have loved the feel of the steering wheel of Skoda’s and though this is electric, we are still happy with the way it is, without any sort of complains. The Apollo Acelere that shod our long term Rapid are decent to grip, however the only niggle we have with it the tyre roar. It is a bit too loud on concrete roads. Apart from that, the tyres are meaty and do not lose grip easily or screech unless pushed to its extreme limit.
Current reading: 23387km
Kilometres driven: 4000km
Fuel cost incurred: Rs 8340
Other expenses: Rs 150
Total cost: Rs 8490
The Skoda Rapid has completed 4000kms and we are thoroughly impressed with the way the Rapid is to sit and even to drive. We have driven several long termer vehicles prior to this, be it the Skoda Laura or the Volkswagen Jetta . The Rapid despite being a segment below these vehicles, it has similar power especially while driving in the city.
Now, the point is why does one need to upgrade to one of those vehicles and not buy the Rapid? The answer is simple, more luxurious frills are being offered on those sedans when compared to the Rapid, and once past 100 they are much quicker than the Rapid. The latter isn’t a strong reason, but the former is definitely. The Rapid can give several C+ segment sedans a run for their money and at the same time be more economical as it returns us a fuel efficiency of 15km/l. What surprises us of the Rapid, is not the fuel efficiency, but the power it churns out despite showing 105bhp on power.
Once in its power band, the Rapid is quick and we are smitten to it. Skoda has a winner engine and body combination with the Rapid, as it is far superior to the Rapid, especially the interiors. The Rapid is a lot more powerful than the Fabia , and even the interiors are better equipped as most of the bits are shared with the Vento , than the Fabia. The only hindrance we have had with the Rapid is the hard spring on the clutch that makes it difficult to press the clutch in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. A few simple glitches we have faced are that light from the headlight knob reflects on the right hand side outside rear view mirror and the AC vents have a limited range of adjustment, for the flow of air.