When it comes to buying sedans, one is really spoilt for choice, however, not one car offer you all the features that you like. This was till yesterday, Enter the new Skoda Rapid. Skoda introduced the first Rapid in 2011 in the C-segment sedan. After five years it’s back with an upgraded version with a facelift that will please the masses. Giving tough competition to the likes of the Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, the new Rapid is now equipped with segment-leading features that are more functional. We recently got the chance to experience the car in blood and flesh, thanks to Skoda’s dealership JMD Skoda in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai.
Design – a well-proportioned sedan
I have always been a fan of European cars, especially their good build quality and clean looks. However, I always thought that these cars would cost an arm and a leg in comparison to Koreans and Japanese manufactured ones. However, today I was proved wrong by experiencing the new Skoda Rapid. With the new Rapid you get quality and Value-for-Money car. Thankfully the friendly staff at JMD Skoda, Sanpada gave me a chance to spend some time with the car with undivided attention.
The new Rapid gets a major facelift. The design of the car is also in-line with its global models and in-sync with the Superb and Octavia. What we really like about the Rapid is that its design is premium and at the same time bold and stylish. As seen in the picture above, the new Rapid features an updated bumper, new fog lamp design with daytime running LED lights. The design proportions of the car are good and from whichever angle you look your views about the car do not change. Very European is the word I would like to use. The design is mature and slightly give hints of its sibling VW Vento.
The clean lines running across the car gives it an aggressive look. Other few of the new features in the new Rapid include, the blacked out headlamps that come with manual levelling function for better road visibility, the new butterfly grille with wider air dam and the C-shaped smoked rear taillights. Skoda has also used chrome accents subtly at various places like the door handle, boot, inside the cabin in various places unlike other manufacturers that use the Chrome finish so much that instead of looking classy, it shouts cheap. For instance, the Rapid door handle has just a single lining of chrome at the top.
Like the previous version, the new Rapid feels solid. Skoda uses 100% galvanised steel to make their cars safer and sturdier. Besides this, the laser welding gives precision fit and finish to the roof that negates the chances of rusting. The paint and finish of the car is good, this is thanks to Skoda’s 11 stage paint process that provides anti-corrosion and lustrous shine to the car. Skoda also provides a 6-year paint warranty on the car.
The new Rapid features a new dual tone black/beige updated cabin with leather seats. You will find many cubby holes to park your water bottles or cola cans. Besides this, for long journeys, you can even stash few cans in the cooled glove box so that you can enjoy the chilled cola later. Inside the car on the driving seat is the most pleasant to be in. With height and length adjustable steering wheel and height adjustable seat, you get in command of the road. The interior quality plastics are up to the mark and does give you a feeling of compromise. In terms of entertainment and navigation, the 6.5-inch display colour touchscreen infotainment that supports MirrorLink technology but you’ll need a MirrorLink-enabled phone to fully take advantage of the system. Additionally, there’s no built-in CD player but allows users to plug in their USB flash drive, SD card or connect devices directly through the auxiliary port. To enhance the ownership experience, Skoda has an app called MySkoda that gives detailed information about Skoda’s dealership network, regular service costs, complete history of the vehicle, etc.
The new Rapid also features climate control Air Conditioning and comes with steering mounted controls that lets you make calls and control the infotainment system without having to lose your eyes from the road. The Rapid also features segment leading illuminated boot of 460 litres that will swallow your vacation luggage or weekend shopping quite easily.
Safety is and should be of utmost priority for any car owner and thankfully Skoda Rapid comes with many under its sleeve. It features ABS and ESC, Dual Airbags, Parktronic (parking sensors) to aid parking in tight spots and even Hill Hold Control for uphill drives. But one of the handy additions is the dimming rear-view mirror that in the night, allows for better rear vehicle visibility. One-touch Anti-pinch technology is also useful that stops rolling the windows if it detects any obstacles or fingers across the window.
Overall, the new Rapid is an impressive upgrade that ticks all the list of features one would want to own in a sedan. With two new colours, Flash Red and Silk Blue it even opens up more options for buyers to choose from. The Rapid comes in both petrol and diesel options. It also comes in 6-speed Automatic, with Tiptronic manual gear changing in petrol and 7-speed DSG Automatic in the diesel version. Besides offering a complete package, Skoda also provides a 4-year service warranty and Skoda Assist for 24×7 help on the road.