Skoda Rapid Facelift Review & Transmission

Skoda Rapid Overview

Usually German cars’ mid-life facelifts are very mild and hard to notice but this time around Skoda has updated the Rapid with a comprehensive facelift. This is the second update since its launch in India but the previous one had very minute changes. The C-Segment sedan has got a new front profile, longer list of features and a more powerful diesel engine that we’ve recently seen in the Volkswagen Ameo. We went all the way to Mussoorie to see what’s new on offer. View offers on Skoda Cars from Skoda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Skoda Rapid Style

The Rapid is based on the Volkswagen Vento, and telling them apart got even more tricky with the facelift. Skoda has taken the term ‘facelift’ a tad too seriously; the biggest change on the updated Rapid is its new face. The design team at Skoda India has grafted the face of the Mk3 Fabia (that is on sale globally) onto the existing sedan.Highlights up front include smoked out projector headlamps with daytime running lamps, Skoda’s new signature butterfly grille and a new bumper that houses a pair of cornering foglamps. The hood has been redesigned to accommodate the updated face, and gets its own set of strong creases that underlines its aggressiveness.

The side shows off a prominent shoulder line, that runs across the length of the car. The new design for the 15-inch wheels look swell too, and aren’t too busy as the ones we saw on the Rapid Black edition. It is also the profile from where the similarities to the Vento become too apparent. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering the Volkswagen itself has a clean, clutter-free design itself.Over to the rear, there’s practically nothing that has been updated. Those with hawk eyes will spot a subtle chrome strip on the boot, a smoked effect on the taillamp lens and a mildly redesigned bumper. There’s a subtle lip spoiler too, which we think looks cool.The new front profile lends the Rapid an aggressive aura, that the rest of the design sadly fails to live up to. We wish Skoda was a bit more thorough in carrying out the update, which would’ve made the already good looking Rapid even better.

Skoda Rapid Space

The interior layout of the Rapid is unchanged but the dual-tone dashboard now replaces brown trim on top with black. There are some leatherette elements in the cabin such as the steering wheel, gearknob, handbrake lever, etc. The quality, fit and finish is without doubt excellent and feels like a typical German car. The instrument cluster looks a bit dated though while the steering is great to hold.The biggest change with the latest updates is the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with MirrorLink technology that syncs your smartphone with inbuilt apps. The sound quality of the audio system is quite satisfying. You still miss out on features like keyless entry and push button start, sunroof, auto headlamps, rear parking camera, etc. What you get though is cruise control, rain sensing wipers, reach and rake adjustable steering, cooled glovebox and footwell lighting.

The Skoda Rapid is mostly meant for people who love to be behind the wheel and for those who have a small family. The seats are very comfortable both at the front and the back but rear seat legroom is just average compared to some other cars in this segment. You also can’t fit three adults abreast with ease because of the big transmission hump in the middle. The boot is big and accommodating though with 460-litres of luggage capacity.

Skoda Rapid Engine

A major change however, is the addition of the seven-speed automatic DSG transmission. This is the same one found on the Octavia and also the VW Vento. The Rapid is powered by a 103bhp four cylinder diesel unit and mated to the new DSG transmission. The Rapid Black Edition is a pleasure to drive car with the DSG transmission. No more shuffling through gears or having to press the heavy clutch, which is painful in city driving. Just shift the transmission to the “D” position and let the car do all the work. The shifts are seamless and there is not too much turbo-lag. The Rapid Black Edition is easy to drive and is comfortable too. Power wise the Skoda responds well to changes in the throttle position as well as deciding which gear to be in. One aspect that should be highlighted is that the seven-speed dual clutch DSG transmission provides a better fuel efficiency than then manual car. At 22.1km/l the Rapid Black Edition is extremely fuel efficient, all because of two extra cogs in the gears.

Skoda Rapid Driving

Just like the Vento, the ride has a stiff edge to it, and you will feel a bit of crashing and thudding through potholes. The upside is that ride remains rock steady at highway speeds, with next to no float or vertical movement. The suspension on the diesel variant is set up to be stiffer than the petrol, to compensate for the added weight of the engine. Naturally it feels flatter through the corners, with very little body roll seeping in.What we weren’t too fond off, is the vague steering through the bends. There’s very little feedback from the wheel, which makes you back off a notch when entering corners. At city speeds, it is considerably heavy compared to the Hyundai Verna or even the Maruti Ciaz, and requires some muscle to go lock-to-lock.

Skoda Rapid Safety

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty, 4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

Skoda Rapid Cost in Hyderabad

Skoda Rapid Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 8,47,205/- (Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol) to 13,45,266/- (Rapid 1.5 TDI CR Style AT). Get best offers for Skoda Rapid from Skoda Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Rapid price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Skoda Rapid Conclusion

The Skoda Rapid was previously overshadowed by its VW sibling, the Vento. But now in its updated avatar, the Rapid looks quite appealing and fresh relatively. That along with more features, powerful diesel engine and Skoda’s latest 4 year service care programme, the Rapid is definitely worth considering if you’re looking out for a C-Segment sedan.Is the Rapid in its best avatar yet? The answer to that is a resounding yes.

“Is the Rapid in its best avatar yet? The answer to that is a resounding yes.”

The biggest shortcomings – a bland design and lack of features – have been fixed, which makes it all the more desirable.

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