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    By Lakshya Khanna on Wednesday, Nov 01 2017
    Skoda Rapid Review Main Image

    Overall car rating:

    Exterior:

    Interior:

    Ride Quality:

    Performance:

    Maintenance:

    Mileage:(KMPH) City: 16    Highway: 20

    Purchase date: 17-Mar-2013

    Fuel: Diesel

    Transmission: Manual

    Odometer Reading:104000 KM

    Service Interval:1 Year or 15000 KM

    Avg. Service Cost: INR 12000


    Full Review

    Intro

    Sunny were happy with the leg space but Rapid boys also didn’t complain at all. Since both cars were new, we were excited to see what these babes could do. We couldn’t ask for a better highway

    Exterior

    Skoda Rapid Exterior Large
    Skoda Rapid Exterior 1
    Skoda Rapid Exterior 2

    I got the first heartbreak when I left home to get permanent number plate. I was driving normal when on a roundabout, cars piled up because of a jerk. I managed to brake perfectly in time but the car behind me was not so quick on reflex. My rear bumper went in and other car left paint on it. It was then when I found out about great body strength and paint quality of Rapid. I was able to clear the paint with cloth soaked in water and even the bumper came back to its normal position. It was just minor scratches and I was amazed to see my car shinning even after such an event.  

    First Trip: Well after completing the first paid service, I was confident enough to take it on our first trip. We were 8 boys, 4 in Skoda Rapid and 4 in Nissan Sunny. Boys in Sunny were happy with the leg space but Rapid boys also didn’t complain at all. Since both cars were new, we were excited to see what these babes could do. We couldn’t ask for a better highway than NH1 to test. Both cars showed great enthusiasm in pickup and overtaking was easy. It was when we found a clear stretch, both started cruising around 120-130 when friend in Sunny decided to rev up a little more. Black smoke from Sunny indicated when the driver had put down his foot, it was a signal for me to put my foot down too and that was the proudest moment for me as a new owner. Rapid was thirsty for more when Sunny was trying to catch its breath at 150-160. I can’t explain the feeling that I’m getting even when I’m writing about it after 4 years- it is magical.

    Trip went well, we cruised through mountain round roads in wee hours and reached well before time. Both cars were showing good average between 17-19 KMPL considering the fact that both cars were fully occupied and filled with luggage. Not to miss that even though we were pushing the cars to limits, fuel economy was top notch.  


    Interior

    16
    Skoda Rapid Interior 3
    Skoda Rapid Interior 3

    the brand Skoda is so sophisticated in terms of building the machine. It shows that the product is built with passion as well as precision. Skoda focuses on the minute details which Koreans or Japanese auto manufacturers would keep at the bottom of their check list. Would like to mention small things for reference

    • While you are driving in fog or heavy rainfall, you will tend to push the hazard lights on. In Japanese or Korean cars, when you try to use the turn signal, hazard lights would take over turn signal but in Skoda turn signal would be given priority and as soon as you turn, hazard lights would get back.
    • You can never lock yourself outside while key is still in (unless you desperately want to).
    • You will never have to worry about lights (both internal and external) left open after you have locked the car. Lights will automatically shut off (even if the knob is turned on) when you lock the vehicle.
    • All 4 window one touch operation- even from the key. This is very helpful when your car is standing under sun and you want to release the heat before entering the car.

    Skoda Rapid cleared all the boxes on my checklist like safety, diesel, fuel efficient, great handling, powerful engine, comfortable seats, premium feel but it was not a SUV, though ground clearance was good. I could live with that and so I decided to buy Rapid top of the line variant which was Rapid Diesel 1.6 Elegance (4 years back)

    To make sure that I was making a sound decision, I checked out the competitors like City, Verna, Vento, Scala and Sunny. The Honda City was a good option but there was no diesel back then. Hyundai Verna (was never a fan of the Koreans) was the most powerful and beautiful looking in the segment but its interiors as well as handling was really poor. Didn't consider Renault Scala for the obvious reasons but Nissan Sunny got rejected being low on power (and its thin body sucked too). New Fiesta was too expensive so was Rapid’s identical sibling Vento.

    Other Details

    After 7500 Km, I was told to bring the car to the service station for first free check-up. I was really excited but my excitement turned into agitation as I encountered my first experience with Skoda Service. Service advisor told me that the car needs an oil top up and they recommend this to every owner. I said no and was not ready to give up- I told him that Skoda has nowhere recommended that and asked him to put this on mail before taking anything out of my pocket on a free service check-up. He backed down and check-up was perfect. This episode made me very cautious and thanks to the service and part cost calculator (officially launched by Skoda), I was sure of what I was supposed to pay on each service.  I completed 30,000 KM in first year, which meant 2 paid services. It was war against greedy service stations every time I visited them but in the end, thanks to the cost calculator app, I always won. All my regular services were between 9-11K except when a part was changed or if there was any body repair work.

    First Trip: Well after completing the first paid service, I was confident enough to take it on our first trip. We were 8 boys, 4 in Skoda Rapid and 4 in Nissan Sunny. Boys in Sunny were happy with the leg space but Rapid boys also didn’t complain at all. Since both cars were new, we were excited to see what these babes could do. We couldn’t ask for a better highway than NH1 to test. Both cars showed great enthusiasm in pickup and overtaking was easy. It was when we found a clear stretch, both started cruising around 120-130 when friend in Sunny decided to rev up a little more. Black smoke from Sunny indicated when the driver had put down his foot, it was a signal for me to put my foot down too and that was the proudest moment for me as a new owner. Rapid was thirsty for more when Sunny was trying to catch its breath at 150-160. I can’t explain the feeling that I’m getting even when I’m writing about it after 4 years- it is magical.

    Trip went well, we cruised through mountain round roads in wee hours and reached well before time. Both cars were showing good average between 17-19 KMPL considering the fact that both cars were fully occupied and filled with luggage. Not to miss that even though we were pushing the cars to limits, fuel economy was top notch.  


    Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox Good :

    Test


    Ride Quality & Handling :

    Test


    What I Like

      • The European design. Everything in the car has some meaning and nothing was out of place.
      • 1.6L TDI engine tuned to deliver linear output
      • Perfect head and legroom, provides enough space (I'm 6'4"). Enough space in the back seat when I’m in the driving seat.
      • Power windows, one touch operation (up and down) for all 4 windows and not just driver seat. Also anti-pinch protection.
      • Enormous boot space which can take in 2 big + 3 small luggage trolleys, with an excellent opening that makes loading and unloading an effortless job.
      • Everything looks and feels premium to the touch. Be it the plastics, the texture on the buttons, stalks, or even the way the buttons or switches clicks when pressed.
      • Perfect clutch, not extra soft like we have in City or Verna. Not too hard like the ones in Duster or Terrano.
      • Sound system/speakers: believe me or not but 4 speakers in the doors can comfortably beat amp+bass tube systems.
      • Strong Body
      • Attention to details
      • Other features - climate control, separate reading/cabin lights at the rear, Front and rear armrest, not just a blower but real A/C vents at the rear, lots of storage space inside the car.

    What I Don't Like

      • Green light on the panel and buttons looked a bit old style.
      • Standard music system, no touchscreen, Bluetooth or USB (had SD option though)
      • Like the Vento, rear windows doesn't go all the way down.
      • Like fuel lid, I was expecting trunk lid to open when car is unlocked.
      • No auto-closing RVM.
      • Rear parking sensors or a reversing camera is a must.
      • Cruise control is a feature I hoped to have.
      • Steering controls

    Final Words :

    So folks, that was my 4 year review and after finishing this piece, I feel that I’ve fallen more in love with Rapid. Rapid has never disappointed me and I always look forward to taking it for a spin. Now that the new Rapid is out with best of the features and DSG option, it is undoubtedly a strong contender


    Areas of improvement :

    I believe it is the service centers that are dragging the brand down. P.S I hope someone from Skoda also reads this honest review and do something about the service centers.


    Tell us your car experience


    Lakshya Khanna

    lives in New Delhi

    About him

    Digital Manager | Movie Lover | Contest Lover | Auto Fanatic | Brand Builder |Blogger |Traveler | Photographer

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