When I started looking for mid sized sedan with following requirements in priority: 1. Built strong 2. cabin comfort great NVH level to considerably insulate the outside noise 3. a good powerful engine with more practical features to make driving more pleasure. As usual with many others I also have a budget constraint. I targeted to look for a car of less than 12L. I test drove CITY, SCALA, VERNA, RAPID, CRETA, Ciaz, Baleno. Baleno was straightaway ruled out because of build quality, and driving comfort. Scala was built strong however the driving comfort is not great.
CITY is relatively better than the above. Though it ticks most of my requirements, I kept it on hold for 2 reasons. Cost and the ground clearance.
VERNA is relatively better than above 3. However I have kept it on hold for the same above reasons.
CIAZ is close to CITY, VERNA in terms of driving comfort and cabin space. However I did not consider it for build quality and the less powered engine.
CRETA is happily marking all my requirements except the price. More than me, my wife fall in love with CRETA at the first sight itself. I had no choice but to rule this out because of budget.
RAPID has satisfied me in all aspects. On top of that the price offerings during this festive season, and the ground clearance makes me to stick to this choice.
I have made the booking and then I heard about RENAULT's offer. So I have called up for DUSTER. As my budget is fitting to the basic model, I test drove the base model. I felt very sad with the interiors and the plastic quality it has. The gear box is also not anyway close to most of the hatchbacks that we have in offering at far less price. The only good things about DUSTER is, it looks stunning from outside. The engine is robust. The suspension is great.
Since I am expecting more comfortable cabin and the premium feel of cabin as well, I ruled it out.
Though I have decided to get delivery during Diwali, due to some calculations I have changed my decision and asked the dealer to arrange delivery on Dusshera itself.
Finally the day comes to get the Rapid (Style plus petrol) in my hands.
The very first long drive I went with my Rapid is from Pune to Kolhapur.
The highway is really good and anyone can easily speed to the max very comfortably.
However I do not want to drive more than 100Km/h due to several safety reasons.
I decided to experiment with cruise control as the highway is comfortably good to experiment.
Initially I though the cruise control feature may not be useful as I am not used to it. However I felt it very comfortable and also I am constantly checking the mileage impact with this.
SKODA claims a mileage of 12Km/L in city and 15Km/L in Highway.
In every other review I read, it was mentioned that the RAPID petrol give a maximum of 17Km/L mileage.
During my drive I am surprised to see that MID showing the mileage of 19.1Km/L. This confirms that Rapid is giving better mileage.
And for city drive I noticed that I am getting around 13Km/L which is more or less fine and I did not expect more because of city traffic.
Though there are several reviews mentioning that the looks of the car are more outdated and doesn't appeal for the current market. However I feel that looks are very subjective. Personally I do not like the fluidic designs much that are currently prominent in most of the cars that are being launched. I prefer the European classic design with simple elegant looks. Also for the interiors, I am more happy to have less equipment and buttons. So I am very much happy with all the features, equipment.
The most useful features I am currently enjoying are as below:
1. Cruise control
2. Reverse parking sensor. I needed it the most as my flat parking is too narrow that I need to carefully park it to be safe from scratching the corners.
3. Climatronic AC control
4. Fog lights front and back. Though I did not use them yet.
5. Automatic rain sensing wiper
6. Automatic dimming of rear view mirror. This has been very useful for my daily run.
7. Spacious cabin with sufficient leg room
8. Decent and precise music system
9. Arm rests - front and back
10. Height adjustable driving seat.
11. Adjustable steering.
12. Bluetooth connectivity
13. Steering mount music, phone controls.
14. visiting card/receipt holder
15. Remote boot lid opener, All windows UP/Down with remote.
16. One touch UP, Down for windows.
17. Electrically fold able ORVM.
18. Sufficient boot space
19. Sufficient ground clearance
20. Dead pedal
21. Sufficient cup holders - front and back
And most important safety features - Airbags, ABS.
Of all these joyful, practical features, the driving pleasure is the one that makes me to drive the car almost every time and for every need.
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