Skoda India recently launched the Rapid TSI and with this introduction, its base variant is now the most affordable car to offer the 1.0-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine in India by the Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Group(SAVG). The Rapid TSI is offered in five variants – Rider, Ambition, Onyx, Style and Monte Carlo.
The Rapid was launched a few weeks back along with the Karoq and the Superb facelift. In this article, we’ll focus on how the base variant – the Rider, makes the Rapid sedan a real steal at the price for which it is being offered.
Against Its Rivals
The base variant of the Rapid is now offered at a price of Rs 7.49 lakh (ex-showroom). This is way cheaper than any of the rivals in this segment. The Hyundai Verna starts at a price of Rs 9.30 lakhs whereas its cousin, the VW Vento, is priced at Rs 8.91 lakhs for its base variant. The current fourth generation Honda City is priced from Rs 9.91 lakhs while the upcoming generation is expected to have a starting price north of Rs 10 lakhs. So in its C-segment sedans, the Rapid TSI is hands down the most affordable.
Against Compact Sedans
Not only in its own segment but also in the segments below, the Rapid TSI Rider variant promises to be a value for money proposition. In a segment below, the compact sedan segment, Hyundai Aura offers the most value for money aspects as it is the latest to arrive in the market. Its closest variant to the Rapid TSI Rider is the SX variant. In terms of features both the specs are very closely matched. However, the Aura SX gets the addition of a touchscreen infotainment system, engine start-stop button and glove box cooling.
However, the Rapid also gets its fair share of additional features like a lane change indicator, one-touch power windows for all and most importantly a very impressive 1.0-litre turbocharged engine which cranks out 110 PS of power and 175 Nm of peak torque as opposed to the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which generates 83 PS of power and 115 Nm of torque. In order to own a turbo petrol engine in Aura, one has to shell out Rs 8.54 lakhs (ex-showroom) for the SX Plus Turbo Variant which is a lot more than what one has to spend for the Rapid TSI Rider. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine of the Aura produces 100 PS of power( which is 10 PS less than Rapid) and 172 Nm of torque.
Against Turbo Petrol Hatchbacks
Not only sedans, but it stands prominently against hatchbacks with turbocharged petrol engines as well. The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios is powered by a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine which makes 100 PS of maximum power and 172 Nm of peak torque and is mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox, against the 6-speed box on the Rapid. The Grand i10 Nios is priced at Rs 7.70 lakh (ex-showroom), a good Rs 20,000 above the Rapid TSI Rider.
Another interesting comparison comes in the form of the Volkswagen Polo TSI edition which gets the same powertrain and transmission as the Rapid Rider variant and yet is priced at Rs 7.89 lakh(ex-showroom), a premium of Rs 40,000.
Pros & Cons
Now that we have seen how it fares against its closest compatriots, we need to see what else it has on offer to convince a buyer to go for the Rapid TSI Rider. Skoda cars are well-known for their build quality and the Rapid doesn’t disappoint at all. The Rapid stays loyal to the brand’s timeless design ideals while simultaneously incorporating Avant-garde elements. Secondly, it has the best road manners among all the examples mentioned above, the Polo is an exception, and offers you a comfortable ride in cities as well as on highways. The biggest plus point, although, is its heart under the hood. The new 1.0-litre TSI is being raved about for good reasons and coupled with a six-speed manual, it has all that an enthusiast can wish for. We’ll drive one soon and tell you more.
All said, it has its fair share of drawbacks as well. For the BS6 Skoda Rapid, there are not many updates apart from the new petrol mill which is now BS6 compliant. Other than that, the base variant doesn’t have much to offer and hence it might feel a little outdated. Even though it offers features which are usually not offered in base variants, the cabin itself looks quite basic and yesterday. Also, there are only two colour options for the Rider variant – Candy White and Carbon Steel, therefore, limited options available. However, there are loads of aftermarket options available to fill in for what’s missing.
So if one is willing to let go of these minor drawbacks, the Skoda Rapid TSI is one heck of an option to consider. That 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, paired with sorted dynamics and solid build quality is what should appeal to those who enjoy their time behind the wheel instead of sulking that there’s no sunroof.