Skoda Rapid Facelift Review & Test Drive

Skoda Rapid Test Drive in Pune

Skoda Rapid Overview

Isn’t it nice to see how some automobile companies are getting technologies from high-end car models and planting these into sub-R10 lakh models? Last year we saw a few such cars and, of these, two were from Volkswagen—Polo GT TSI and Vento TSI. Both these models were powered by Volkswagen’s TSI engines—which are compact, powerful and use less fuel when compared to bigger, normally-aspirated engines—and both these models were equipped with the company’s direct-shift gearbox, called the DSG.

But then if Volkswagen gives its cars such technologies, can Skoda be far behind? After all, both are siblings. Last month Skoda launched its new Rapid, powered by the new 1.5 TDI engine and, of course, the DSG gearbox.

First, what is a DSG gearbox? It is a direct-shift gearbox which houses two clutches with two drive shafts. Clutch 1 engages 1st, 3rd, 5th and reverse gears, while clutch 2 engages 2nd, 4th and 6th gears. When a gear change is made, the next gear is already pre-selected but not yet engaged. It takes just three to four hundredths of a second for one clutch to engage while the other is released. The gear change is not noticeable to the driver and is achieved without any interruption in the power flow.

Skoda Rapid Design

Like the Octavia, the Skoda Rapid has also been an underrated car and we strongly believe that the Czech based car manufacturer should have introduced this facelift at least a year ago, but well, better late than never. The updated Rapid now gets a new front look which is more in line with Skoda’s family design that we have seen on the Octavia, Superb and the recently unveiled Kodiak. The face gets a new grille, which is surrounded by a chrome accent piece and angular headlamps ensuring the aggressive look that designers at Skoda intended.

The new sharper bumper that gets a large honeycomb air intake compliments it and fog lamps on either side. The rear of the car also gets some minor changes. These include a revised bumper and addition of chrome strip on the boot lid, which feels just a bit overdone and reminds one of the Vento. It also gets redesigned alloy wheels, a boot-lip spoiler and re-profiled tail-lamps. The top-end variant of the car also gets LED daytime running lights as a part of the dual barrel headlamp. Although the side profile has remained almost unchanged, the overall design does make the car look younger and fresher.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

The dashboard is identical to the earlier Rapid’s, which in turn is shared with the VW Vento. The dash design is restrained, but everything is where you expect it to be. Taking centre stage is a new large and reasonably crisp 6.5-inch touchscreen that comes with USB, AUX and Bluetooth support as well as MirrorLink connectivity. Other new equipment include rain-sensing wipers and electronically-folding exterior mirrors, which help bridge the gap between the Rapid and better-equipped rivals. Skoda’s trademark ‘clever features’ are manifest in the form of a cardholder clip in the centre console to hold all your toll passes and the likes.View offers on Skoda Rapid in Bangalore at Autozhop

Other notable equipment include a tilt-and-telescopic steering adjust, automatically-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, cooled glovebox, climate control, rear AC vent, one-touch power windows and remote-controlled opening and closing of windows. Certain features are prominently missing, though, such as a rear camera and an engine start/stop button.

The Rapid is reasonably comfortable to sit in. The front seats are generally comfortable, with side-bolstering to hold you in place, and a large-enough seat cushion to support your thighs. Their lumbar section, however, feels a bit hollow and might irk you on longer drives. The rear seats are firm and supportive, offering adequate thigh support and legroom and good amounts of knee room; you won’t get the same sense of space as rivals like the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz, though. Frontal visibility for rear passengers is also not the best on account of the large front seats. However, the provision of a front, as well as rear armrest, is appreciated.

The Rapid’s 460-litre boot is not the roomiest in its segment, and the protruding wheel arches make it less-than-ideally shaped. However, the loading lip is wide and low, offering easy access. The lack of a boot-open button on the boot itself is slightly annoying – a little button inside the driver’s door needs to be yanked every time the boot has to be opened, though it is nice that the spring-loaded lid opens fully.

Skoda Rapid Engine

While the Rapid also gets the 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine, we drove the new 1.5-litre TDI diesel equipped with the DSG. (Both engines produce a maximum power of about 105 bhp.) First, the NVH levels are so good that once you shut the doors of the car, the diesel engine clatter almost disappears. The best thing about the new engine is its turbocharger—as soon as the engine reaches 1800-2000rpm, the turbocharger kicks in and provides a massive boost to the car. In fact, the effect is such that you feel everything around you is being fast-forwarded.To know more information on Skoda Rapid  check Kmindia

The DSG, expectedly, shifts gears at the speed of thought. While driving the Rapid within city limits is quite convenient—it’s got a tight turning radius and ample ground clearance—it is on the highway that the car shows what it is capable of. Find a smooth road, shift into the Sport mode, floor the accelerator, and the Rapid will leave many other mid-size sedans behind. It’s not that this performance comes at the cost of fuel-efficiency. The claimed mileage of the Rapid diesel is 21.14 kmpl for the manual and 21.66 kmpl for the DSG.

Skoda Rapid Riding

The Rapid’s suspension set-up is unchanged from before, which is not a bad thing at all. The low-speed ride is sufficiently absorbent, and only the largest of potholes thumps through to the cabin. As you speed up, you notice that the very softness of the suspension that makes it absorbent also makes the car bob slightly on undulating roads, but never to a point that it feels uncomfortable. Stability, on the whole, is quite good, making the Rapid an acceptable highway cruiser.The Rapid scores well in terms of handling too. While the steering does not offer too much feedback, it is light and accurate, rendering the car amply suitable for city driving. However, around corners, it does not feel tight or agile, and as such, isn’t a car that you will confidently swing into bends.

Skoda Rapid Safety

The new Skoda Rapid gets disc brakes with inner cooling, with single/piston floating caliper at the front, while drum brakes are at the helm of affairs at the rear. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and dual airbags are offered as standard safety features across the entire variant lineup. In addition, several sophsticated safety features, such as Electronic Stability Control, Hill Hold Control, Parktonic Rear Parking Sensors, automatically-dimming rear view mirror, etc., are on offer with the top-end grades.Apply car loan for Skoda Rapid at Fincarz.

Skoda Rapid Price in Bangalore

Skoda Rapid On Road Price is 9,82,273/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,99,599/- in Bangalore. Skoda Rapid comes in 1 colours, namely Candy White. Skoda Rapid comes with FWD with 1598 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 103 bhp@5200-5250 rpm and Peak Torque 153 Nm@3750-3800 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Skoda Rapid comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Skoda Rapid Verdict

Skoda has been making decent cars right from the beginning, and Rapid has been one of the company’s best-seller in India due to its exquisite appearance, premium cabin and power-packed performance. The Skoda Rapid 2017 price is also aggressive, with a lot more features added. However, the company needs to work heavily on the after-sale department as it is where Skoda is crippled. The non-availability and expensiveness of spare parts is a major issue that Skoda needs to address as early as possible, if it intends to consolidate its position in the Indian market and retail higher volumes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *