We’ve confirmed that the Polo Highline Plus TSI now costs Rs 7.89 lakh at the dealership in Mumbai (INR 8.02 lakh ex-showroom – INR 13,000 discount). On the other hand, VW’s Czech cousin, Skoda has introduced the Rapid Rider Plus at INR 7.99 lakh ex-showroom, which sits above the base Rider variant (We don’t know if it has been discontinued).
Both, the Rapid Rider Plus and the Polo Highline Plus offer the fruity 1.0-litre TSI engine with a 6-speed manual box. Priced close to each other, both present themselves as value-for-money fun cars among high-heeled compact SUVs and compacted sedans.
Building on its popularity, Skoda has added two new colours and some more features for the Rider Plus variant to complement the premium over the Rider. However, the Polo Highline Plus is fully-loaded and asks for INR 10,000 less than the 3-box Skoda. In this article, we look at how these two cars hold up against each other and which one will suit your needs better.
With Respect To Performance
Both the cars use the same powertrain – the 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine. Therefore, in terms of on-paper performance, there is absolutely no difference at all as the unit generates the same output figures (110PS, 175 Nm) for both the cars. Even the transmission unit is the same 6-speed manual gearbox. However, the Rapid claims to deliver slightly better fuel efficiency at 18.97 kmpl against the Polo’s claimed 18.24 kmpl. Although, in the real world, the difference should be negligible. The Rapid Rider Plus comes fitted with a 55-litre fuel tank, the Polo carries 10 litres less.
In terms of features, both share most bits, however, there are some differentiators. Both offer a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink as standard connectivity features. However, the new Rapid Rider Plus offers an in-built Navigation system which the Polo misses out. The Skoda uses a ‘Drive’ system while the Polo comes fitted with a VW unit which feels like proper equipment in comparison to the aftermarket-like unit inside the Rapid. Features which the Polo offers but the Rapid Rider Plus does not are Cruise control, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom wheel (the Rapid Rider Plus gets a round unit), steering-mounted audio and phone controls, electrically folding mirrors, auto-dimming IRVM, front fog lamps, auto wipers, and a more informative multi-information display for the driver.
The Polo offers remote opening and closing of all four windows while the Rider Plus variant of the Rapid doesn’t. The VW’s driver can also adjust the seat for height, the Rapid’s driver cannot. The glovebox inside the Polo is cooled, inside the Rapid Rider Plus, it isn’t. Both cars offer 2 airbags and ABS.
Space on offer
The most prominent distinguishing aspect between the two will be space. Rear seat comfort and space inside the Rapid is better than how things are inside the Polo. Also, for being a proper sedan, the Rapid offers more boot space than the VW. If you will be driving with your family or friends, the Rapid builds a strong case for itself. However, if you’re young and on your own, the Polo’s compact footprint, timeless design, and the VW badge should appeal to you.
Ease of driving
Besides the smaller footprint, the Polo is also a little lighter than the Rapid. Goes without saying that the fun-to-drive fact. The Polo tips the scales at 1072 kg while the Rapid Rider Plus weighs 1112 kg. The Polo also has a smaller turning radius of 4.97 metres as compared to 5.3 metres of the Rapid, therefore makes it easier to manoeuvre through congested spaces. Also, with the Polo you get lighter 16″ alloy wheels with 195/65 Goodyear rubber, while the Rapid Rider Plus comes fitted with 15″ steel wheels which are heavier and are wrapped in MRFs.
Conclusion: Which To Choose From?
The Polo Highline Plus and the Rapid Rider Plus, both offer terrific value for money. However, if rear-seat space and boot capacity is a priority, you must choose the Rapid. For all other reasons, the Polo with its extra factory-fresh features, more colour options, and a brand logo which is perceived as more premium in comparison should be the one holding your money between its lips.