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Skoda Rapid Review

Skoda has gained prominence in the car industry, leaving a lasting impact on its target market. The company should consider increasing its production goal of 1.8 million cars a year by 2018. The brand has achieved a name for itself through its spacious cabins, good value quality, and an overall simple design. The Rapid is the latest offering from Skoda and strikes a balance between the Fabia and the Octavia. While the Fabia is meant to be the conventional supermini and the Octavio considered too small for its size, the Rapid offers enough space to be the go-to small family car.

Pros

The Rapid’s design is understated and offensive—although it won’t stand out against other more colorful or elegant looking cars, this vehicle is still able to make a mark into your mind but without using dramatic flair. Instead you have a conventional car that is 4.48m in length. The weight is lighter than the claimed 1175 kg measurement, making it also lighter than similar competitors. The Rapid’s weight is actually comparable to the lightness of superminis.

The Rapid comes in a wide range of engine choices. The 1.4-litre petrol comes at 121 or 104bhp, and both include an automatic gearbox. At entry-level, there’s the three cylinder 1.2-litre petrol or the four-cylinder, 84bhp 1.2-litre that’s turbocharged. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is impressive, but so is the 1.6-litre diesel that is also available at 88bhp. You can also get a 1.6-litre diesel at 103bhp with a five-speed manual gearbox. The 1.2-litre TSI impresses the most with its 121 mph top speed and its 10.4 seconds mark for its sprint. The 1.6-litre diesel engine at 103bhp s just as fast at 10.6 seconds for the 62mph sprint; its top speed is not much different at 118mph. The diesel engine also sports incredible pulling power that can let you overtake easily through heavy or slow traffic.

The Rapid maintains Skoda’s image of keeping things simple in its interior. The seats are comfortable enough and the steering wheel follows the VW’s ergonomics standards. The rear appears to be saloon-like thanks to its big hatch that provides 550-litres worth of boot space. Although the rear seats don’t provide a flat floor once folded, there’s still enough room for the larger cabin. Four adults can easily fit within the rear seats when they’re put into use.

Cons

The Rapid handles motorways quite well, but it doesn’t offer enough grip when going into corners. Driving enthusiasts will be disappointed by the vehicle’s overall ride and handling, but the Rapid is still a practical choice for anyone in need of adequate cruising ability. The steering is weighted enough but could still use more feedback for more serious car owners.

We don’t recommend getting the 1.2-litre at 84bhp as it’s the slowest among the engines. It can’t complete the 60mph sprint even after 11.2 seconds, plus the 74bhp three-cylinder engine comes at much less and will provide more value for money. The engine is also quiet on the road and is practically silent when the vehicle is still. 

What do you think?

(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 1 )

A History of the Skoda Rapid

The Skoda Rapid is a 5-door liftback and small family car officially unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Its concept, dubbed the MissionL, was initially introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The production model uses a Volkswagen Group A05+ platform and is manufactured at Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic. The Rapid is praised for its generous legroom and classy interior. Its spacious boot gives it a competitive advantage against Ford Mondeo. It fares well against competitors in the segment, including the VW Vento and the Hyundai i30.

The Rapid borrows a lot of elements from its Skoda sibling, the liftback Toledo. It also borrows some parts from other Skoda vehicles such as Fabia, Octavia and Roomster. Skoda Rapid comes in three trims: S, SE with additional air conditioning and Bluetooth, and Elegance with front fog lamps and cruise control. A GreenTech version with better fuel economy is due to come out 2013.

Skoda has manufactured three more Rapid models in the past, which are unrelated to the 2012 model. The first was the 1935 saloon and convertible model produced until 1947. The second is a 1984 classic coupe, produced until 1990. The third is a city car manufactured by Skoda India which is still being produced today. Worldwide sales of the 2012 Rapid are expected to begin in 2013.

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