Every year we see slew of new products being
launched in the automotive market, some are me too products while others post a
stiff competition for contending brands. It is a rare occasion when a game
changing product is launched and Skoda has done just that with their new Rapid.
It packs a lot of features and gets a right mix performance and comfort, making
it a force to reckon with. We got a chance to take the new Rapid for a spin and
here is what we made of it.
1498cc , 4 cylinder, TDI
Transmission/ Drive Train
Front: McPherson Strut
Rear: Compound Link Crank Axle
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rs. 11.56 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
At first sight the Rapid is a sure shot
head turner. Its bedazzling facade has a very captivating appeal with adequate
chrome and sharp design elements setting it apart from other contenders. The
striking DRLs and projector headlamps add to the sedan's contemporary looks
giving it a sporty yet elegant nature. The side and rear profiles are
reminiscent of the previous model. On the inside as well the Rapid does feel
quite like the Vento, also offering a very rich and premium cabin.
At the heart of the Rapid is a 1.5 litre, 4
cylinder diesel mill which puts out 108bhp of power and 250Nm of torque. The
Rapid is also available with a 1.6 litre petrol engine. Peak power on the
diesel TDI variant which we drove comes in at 4000rpm while peak torque is
achieve as low as 1500rpm going up to 2500rpm. With 250Nm of torque available
low in the rev band, the Rapid is capable of lunging forward effortlessly and
sustaining the surge catering to a very punchy and thrilling drive. The engine
revs freely upto 5000rpm after which not much is on offer. The manual version
of the Rapid is available with a 5-speed gearbox. The sedan is quick through
the first three gears but the fourth and fifth gears have much taller ratios
which can really be stretched on open patches of highway.
Aside from the punchy motor and racy
performance, the Rapid also delivers superb levels of fuel efficiency. The
diesel TDI manual variant is capable of returning 21.13kms to a litre of fuel
and can deliver anywhere between 15-17kmpl in city traffic. The gear shifts
feel smooth and crisp with short throws making changing gears a delightful
experience. The clutch leans toward the heavier side and may be a little unnerving
in congested traffic, however the Rapid TDI is also offered with the famed DSG
7-Speed gearbox which out performs in almost all driving conditions.
Riding on a McPherson Strut suspension in
the front and a compound link crank axle in the rear, the Skoda Rapid gets a
very solid ride and feels planted to the road no matter what the speed. The
suspension is a little taut giving the occupants a sturdy and comfortable ride,
the sedan glides over most bad roads and bumps but bigger undulations can toss
those seated inside to a fair extent. While cruising on highways at healthy
speeds the Rapid inspires a lot of confidence and that is also thanks to a well
engineered braking setup. Braking is facilitated by discs in the front and drums
in the rear. Being progressive in nature, the brakes are able to bring this
fleet footed ride to a halt in seconds.
The steering is an electro mechanical
system which feels firm and steady to hold, it has been weighted well and is
precise to driver inputs. The availability of adjusting the steering for rake
and reach also enables the driver to get into a comfy position and relax while
traversing long distances as well. Speaking of long distances, the Rapid gets a
spacious boot capable of holding 460 litres of cargo, more than adequate for
your weekend getaway. The sedan has a fuel tank capacity of 55 litres giving it
a range of more than 900kms on a single tank of diesel.
In terms of kit the Rapid gets a 6.5' touch
screen infotainment setup with steering mounted controls and inputs for USB,
AUX and Bluetooth. It also gets MirrorLink connectivity, automatic climate
control, electrically foldable and retractable ORVMs, rear AC vents, cruise
control, rain sensing wipers, remote boot lid release, cooled glovebox, front
and rear arm rests along with plenty of storage spaces and cubby holes. The
sedan also packs ample of driver aids such as front and rear fog lamps, anti
glare IRVM, timed rear defogger, ABS, Hill Hold Control(Only in DSG variant),
Electronic Stability Control, rear parking sensors, height adjustable seat
belts, speed sensing auto door locks and much more.
The Skoda Rapid also offers buyers a very
spacious cabin with ample of seating space in the front and in the rear. The
seats offer a good amount of bolstering and lumbar support up front and the
rear bench also gives occupants adequate under thigh and back support. The
bench in the rear can easily fit three adults but the floor hunch is a tad bit
taller than usual, which may leave the occupant in the middle fighting for
space. All in all, the Skoda Rapid packs the best of all worlds, it has the
right amount of features, performance, safety and space, which when combined
with edgy looks and a price of Rs. 11.56 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) feels like a
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