Skoda Rapid Facelift Review

 

Usually German cars’ mid-life facelifts are very mild and hard to

notice but this time around Skoda has updated the Rapid with a

comprehensive facelift. This is the second update since its launch in

India but the previous one had very minute changes. The C-Segment

sedan has got a new front profile, longer list of features and a more

powerful diesel engine that we’ve recently seen in the Volkswagen

Ameo. We went all the way to Mussoorie to see what’s new on offer.

Skoda Rapid Prices in India

 

DESIGN AND STYLING

The Skoda Rapid Black Edition looks exactly the same as the old car.

The only difference is that the headlamps are blacked and also the

alloy wheels are now black colored ones. The Rapid now gets projector

lamps as well. This gives it a very sporty look. The Skoda Rapid is

now aimed at the younger buyer. The front portion as well as the rear

end remain the same and there is no change on either sides.

 

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.

 

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.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.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The new Skoda Rapid is available with both petrol and diesel engines.

The 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine in the Rapid now produces

5PS more power and the final output is 110PS.

 

Max power is also available 400revs lower in the range, although the

overall impact on outright performance isn’t noticeable but the spread

of power and torque throughout the range is likeable.The diesel unit

is a strong performer; it has 250Nm of torque from 1500rpm and revs

eagerly, too. The lively engine combined with the 7-speed DSG

transmission proved to be a potent package, as the quick gearbox

selected the right ratios to tackle whatever inclines that came our

way.

 

Besides the power surge, Rapid’s spec-sheet also registers a slight

increase of 0.06kmpl in the claimed fuel-efficiency, which now stands

at 21.72kmpl for the diesel automatic version

 

The 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine makes 105PS of maximum power between

5200-5250rpm and delivers 153Nm of maximum torque between

3750-3800rpm. Although power figures for both the engines are closely

spaced, the petrol engine doesn’t like to be hurried and gets quite

audible when pushing hard.

 

Since it’s not a rev-happy engine, it takes time to get into the max

power range and appears slower to 100kmph compared to its diesel

counterpart. On-papers, however, the manual petrol Rapid is quicker

than the manual diesel in the 0-100kmph run, albeit by just 0.1s.

 

On a positive note, the 1.6-litre, MPI engine has decent pull at the

bottom end of the rev-range although maximum torque is available at

3750rpm.It is, therefore,a good ambler for leisurely runs as it

doesn’t require frequent gear changes to maintain consistency.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

Skoda has definitely figured out the best balance when it comes to

setting up the suspension for Indian conditions. Barring the Laura

vRS, all Skoda models possess a fine balance between ride and handling

and the Rapid is no different. Ride quality is a bit on the firm side

but never gets intrusive unless you are traveling over real crater

like potholes. The sorted damping means handling is taken care of as

well and high speed endeavors are a piece of cake. The steering is

well weighted and gives reasonable amount of feel even at high speeds

and it’s a real joy throwing it around the corners.

Book a Test Drive for Skoda Rapid

 

SAFETY

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front

airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also

get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG

transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to

after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process

transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car

programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty,

4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

 

BOTTOMLINE

Thanks to modern creature comforts, good ride and a powerful diesel

engine, Skoda has surely put forth a competitive package. It still has

the old cars robust build and material quality is really good too. So

in a way it should be just right for most buyers even if it might not

exceed expectations of some. Skoda is also revamping its after-sales

service and now has well thought offers for buyers. The Rapid is being

offered with a four-year warranty, road-side assist and maintenance

package, all-inclusive in the ex-showroom Delhi prices that start at

Rs 9.49 lakh. So the competitive pricing with added benefits does make

the updated Rapid a more lucrative buy.

 

Apply Car Loan for Skoda Rapid

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