The Skoda Rapid, a sedan from the house of the Czech automotive firm Skoda Auto, was launched in India in November 2011. Though the sedans built by Skoda were expensive, they had a reputation for build quality and handling. This car continued the trend, having that typical Germanic fun-to-drive demeanour; but it was more affordable as well. The Skoda Rapid has currently come a long way, gaining steadily in popularity as a classy car and enjoying high popularity at the same time. Though the Rapid is styled on the same platform as the Volkswagen Vento, this good looking car has been carefully styled according to varying tastes of customers. The Skoda Rapid offers buyers a choice of four paint colour shades: Deep Black Pearl, Candy White, Flash Red and Brilliant Silver.
Powertrain & Performance
The Skoda Rapid comes equipped with both petrol and diesel engines. Though both the versions have the same power and capacity, the torque differentials between the two versions are what makes the difference. While the petrol engine is a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder motor; the diesel engine measures a slightly smaller 1.5 litres. However, both these engines deliver a peak power output of 103 bhp. The petrol engine is coupled to either a 5 speed manual or a 6 speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. Customers who purchase the Skoda Rapid diesel can have their car with either the same 5 speed manual gearbox as the petrol or the sublime 7 speed, double clutch, DSG automatic transmission.
The low centre of gravity of the Rapid and the combination of its powerful engines and superb gearboxes makes this car very engaging to drive. The Rapid is equipped with McPherson struts and compound link crank axle suspension. The car drives effortlessly with a well weighted steering with a slightly hard edge when going over larger bumps. The handling and comfort (especially at the rear) though, will be sufficient to charm you over.
Build & Styling
The Rapid is basically a badge-engineered version of the Volkswagen Vento, but now, it has grown to have its own identity. The Skoda Rapid shares most of the body panels including its doors, windows and mirrors with the Vento. A lot of the interiors of the car also appear to be similar. The base variants of the car are equipped with a manually regulated air conditioner while the top end variant has an automatic climate control system. The Rapid comes factory fitted with a 2 DIN audio player with aux-in, SD card and USB inputs and also with bluetooth connectivity.
The Rapid features central locking, electrically adjustable door mirrors, electric boot release and driver seat height adjustment facilities. The car uses dual tone upholstery, a brightly illuminated information cluster, front and rear armrests, tilt and telescopic steering, spacious legroom and headroom. The Rapid also has a bonnet that is designed in a clamshell shape with huge fog lamps and projector headlamps. The rear portion of the Rapid comprises of tail lamps with the signature Skoda C-shaped brake lamps and the rear parking sensors. Other features of the car include a large glove box, a powerful sound system, cruise control, a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel with chrome accents on the top end variant and more. The Skoda Rapid is also equipped with dual front SRS airbags and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), an engine immobiliser and so on.
The Skoda Rapid has lots of features, powerful engines and the choice of manual and automatic transmissions. Recently, with the option of the new diesel engine and the 7 speed DSG automatic gearbox, this car just got a whole lot more desirable. It is comfortable and while its looks may be a tad bland for some people, it is dignified and, in time, will grow on you. Another highlight is the rock solid build quality of this car. As an overall package, this new Rapid is a fantastic vehicle.