Skoda Rapid Car Review

The Rapid mid-size sedan takes off from the same platform as the Vento, and is almost like a badge engineered version of the Volkswagen car. Volkswagen owns the Skoda brand and both the companies conveniently share the same technologies and designs in their car assembly factories. The Vento and its cousin Rapid have nothing common in terms of looks at the front end, and I should rather say that the latter is easily recognizable as an extended version of its little sibling- the Fabia hatchback. However, Rapid does share the same wheelbase, engine platform as the Volkswagen Vento, which means you can get the good looks with an even great engine set-up if you opt for Skoda. Seems tempting a lot, but not necessarily true entirely. Let’s see in hind sight what makes Rapid click and what doesn’t.Rapid was introduced in India in 2011, and has been pitched in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment. Rapid is Skoda’s entry level offering in the saloon market and has earned its own fans and admirers across the country. The front fascia reminds a lot of Fabia’s nose and contains big sporty headlamps, chrome tipped grille and a mean attitude. The bold curves and lines reflect the sedan’s no-nonsense appeal, which is something I liked from the beginning. It is to be noted that Skoda Rapid looks a lot like Vento from the rear end and once could easily get confused between the two. In all fairness, Rapid looks stunning and has an absolute air of sportiness and luxury around it, which is something that comes spontaneously and can’t be added as a feature or gadget.

Rapid basically has the same engines used by Vento in its range. This means that this Skoda model offers the best technologies available in the market, which is no mean feat by any standards. Just like Vento, Rapid is powered by 1.6 liter petrol and diesel units that are both reliable and powerful. I have personally driven Rapid diesel and the engine stunned me with its performance. The diesel power-mill is responsive and provided me with surplus power whenever I asked for it. I especially admired the way it picks up speed as I shifted to the higher gears. Further, no automatic transmission is available in the diesel range and I used a smooth 5-speed manual gearbox in my test drive with a brand new 2013 Rapid. There was one thing that was clearly more evident- Rapid’s suspension and speed bumps negotiating ability. In my opinion, Vento is better suited in this regard as the Skoda sedan had some unusual behaviour (especially while driving alone) while traversing through a pot-holed road.

Skoda models are famous for their stylish interior design and premium character. However, the Rapid is certainly an exception. The interiors are just like its cousin Vento- a rather ‘no frills’ kind of fashion, which is something not needed by any means. The steering takes off from the Fabia that is again unnecessary, besides Skoda hasn’t provided a leather option as well. The seats are fine and are able to provide tall passengers a better comfort than most other models competing in this segment. Rapid’s legroom must be best in its class, but I feel that interior wise Skoda could have definitely done a far better job. My finishing statement will be – Rapid feels special and seems like a steal at its price tag.

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