The new Rapid offers space in abundance and a budget price; we get behind the wheel of Skoda’s latest creation
What is it? Sitting between the Fabia supermini and Octavia large family car the Skoda Rapid is the latest offering from the Czech car maker.
Who is it aimed at? This pared down approach to motoring will appeal to anyone in need of oodles of space, reliability all with a price tag that won’t break the bank.
Styling? The Rapid is one of those cars you will struggle to see on the roads, not because it won’t sell well but styling wise it’s a pretty unexceptional car.
Under the Bonnet? The Rapid has four petrol engines and one diesel engine. Under the bonnet in our test car was the 1.6 diesel that goes from 0 – 62 mph in a decent 10.4 seconds. Fitted out in the Elegance trim our test car was the top of the range model costing £17,850.
What’s it like inside? Inside its back-to-basics character is evident and it is clear where money has been saved but that said it is well built, comfortable and elegant. Interior space is huge and front passenger and driver are treated to ample space. But it is the back seats that have to be seen to be believed, there is more than enough space for any six footer to stretch in comfort. The Rapid also boasts 1490 litres of luggage area which to put in perspective is bigger than a Focus Estate and on a par with a Golf Estate.
On the Road? The Rapid handles well and while it never lives up to its name it is perfect for a gentle relaxing drive. The gear box is slick and there is good response for the steering. Tuned more for a soft, comfortable ride it will happily hustle through the city or cruise on motorways. What it lacks in fun it certainly makes up for in comfort.
And Safety? The Rapid has been crash tested by the EuroNCAP and achieved the top marks with occupant protection for adults and children rated as 5 stars across the board. Inside it is home to front, side and head airbags, height-adjustable three-point safety belts with belt tighteners and headrests.
Options? The Rapid is available with three different specifications, S, SE and Elegance. There are also manual and automatic transmission options and five engines to choose from. Standard equipment is good and all models come with remote central locking, curtain airbags, daytime running lights, rake/reach-adjustable steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat and electric front windows.
How about Fuel Economy? Fuel economy on our test car was an excellent 64.2 mpg on a combined cycle and while it takes more than a light foot and a sensible approach to speed limits to achieve that we managed to come very close to it during our week behind the wheel.
Okay so the verdict? The Rapid is roomy, practical, and good to drive. It would make a super family car with sufficient space to accommodate everything from golf clubs to double buggies. It may not be brimming with sporty character but it delivers quality and value for money at a price that’s hard to beat.
Why you’ll buy one; Price; Space; Reliability
Why you won’t: Dull exterior; uninspired drive
Kia Ceed 1.6 CRDi £16,840
Chevrolet Cruze 1.7 VCDi LTZ 5dr £18,685
Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDi 105 bhp Elegance
Engine: 1598cc, diesel engine putting out 105bhp @ 4,400 and 250Nm of torque between 1,500 – 2,500rpm.
Max speed: 118 mph
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
Model price range: £12,900 – £17,850
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Insurance group 1-50: 15
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 64.2 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 550Litres (1490 litres)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings
Service interval (miles)
Warranty (years) 3
Warranty (miles) 60000
16th January, 2013