New 2014 Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDI DSG Review: Unassuming Genius

|
Added in: Reviews

new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (6)

The Skoda Rapid has been one of the most balanced sedans in its segment ever since it made its debut in India. The measured proportions, chiseled, handsome looks, good engine options along with class-leading handling and ride have made it a great choice for the clued-in customer. Now, for the year 2014, Skoda have introduced a spruced up version of the family sedan, incorporating some serious changes, which, thanks to their inconspicuousness may go totally unnoticed for those who find titillation in superficial adornment. For those who care to look deeply, though, the new 2014 Rapid is a significant improvement – and with the new set of changes probably presents itself as the best option in its class. Here’s why the new 2014 Skoda Rapid means serious business

Design and appearance

new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (2)

The new (international) 2014 Skoda Rapid, as we have known it from the images, has received quite a few changes on the outside, including angular headlamps, a new grille and details which push its appearance towards the new Skoda family look. Skoda India, however, have decided to keep the exterior of the new Rapid for India unchanged. And when we say unchanged, we mean totally unchanged. The new version of the Rapid is an exact clone of the model it replaces except for the new design of the alloys, and the new 15” steel wheels as standard on lower spec variants. The steel wheels on the lower spec models also feature a new design cover. It’s notable that the previous gen car had 14 incher steel wheels for the lower spec models. The new 15 inch alloys look muscularly smart and go well with the sophisticated look of the car.

new 2014 skoda rapid rear (3)

Click here to read our detailed earlier review of the Skoda Rapid

For those who want some more flamboyance over the standard model, Skoda have presented a special Black Edition with the new Rapid.

new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (8)

The new variant adds some devilishness to the Rapid’s face with a few tactically appointed changes. The Black Edition Rapid will be available at an extra cost with smoked out headlamps, fog lamps with black surrounds, special 12 spoke black alloys and black ORVMs. Heck, even the chrome grille hosting the Skoda logo has been blacked out. The Black edition looks really nice, and should appeal to the enthusiasts, especially in the ‘flash red’ shade featured in the images here.

new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (6) new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (1) new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (3)

For the deities of devil who worship darkness, Skoda are offering an even more sinister option. The roof of the car can be finished in black along with black foils. These two additions, however, are available as accessories at the dealer level. The other changes described for the Black Edition, however, come incorporated directly from the factory, as OE.

new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (7)

The rapid, being the good-looking machine it always has been, still holds its own amongst the chrome laden faces of its Korean and Japanese counterparts. We do, however, believe that it would have been a bigger draw for the prospective customers had the 2014 Rapid been announced for India with that angular new family face of its international brethren. For now, however, the subtle design change in the form of the new alloys and the bigger wheels on the basic variants is the only external differentiation offered to the new model buyers.

Next page for Engine and Transmission>>>

Engine and transmission

new 2014 Skoda rapid engine (1)

This is where the real change has come about, and in our view, is good enough to make the Rapid feel like a new car altogether. The variable geometry turbine (VGT) version of the 1.5 TDI diesel engine, seen first on the VW Polo, replaces the 1.6 TDI power-plant on the Rapid. While the displacement has been reduced by 100cc, there has been no change in the power and torque output. Peak power is rated at 103bhp as before and is produced at 4400 rpm. Peak torque remains unchanged too at 250Nm between a wide rev-band of 1500-2500 rpm.

new 2014 skoda rapid india side (7)

So, while the power and torque figures haven’t really changed on paper, the character of the engine, on the road, most definitely has. While the earlier 1.6 TDI unit, though not laggy, really brought to fore its forceful torrent of torque only post 1800 rpm. The pull from the punchy engine was clearly discernible as the turbo spooled up nicely, and it was fun and addictive in its own unique way. The turbo kick-in, which pleasured the torque junkie, was tradeoff for in-city driveability in higher gears at low speeds.

new 2014 skoda rapid interior (10)

The new 1.5 TDI engine is more linear, and gets to business from about 1500 rpm. It doesn’t mind shoveling out torque from the bottom of its rev barrel and keeps spinning without a whimper. While it’s difficult to see all that happening on the tacho with the brilliant 7-speed DSG transmission swapping ratios effortlessly based on the pedal position and speed, we did manage to study the behavior in detail on a forlorn piece of tar in Varna, Goa. That transmission has always been a brilliant unit, and makes the new Rapid shine with its presence.

new 2014 skoda rapid interior (8)

The 7-speed twin clutch DSG automatic transmission doing duty on the new Rapid simply makes it the most effortless car to drive in its segment. With the linear, torquey engine playing perfect foil to the quick shifting transmission, the new Rapid up-shifts quickly if you drive with a light foot and manages to exceed the manual transmission’s efficiency figure by about 0.5 kmpl. So while the manual transmission variant of the Rapid 1.5 TDI delivers 21.4kmpl under standard cycle, the DSG variant manages 21.66 kmpl. More convenience, better performance and more efficiency – nothing quite matches the magic of the DSG in the mainstream car market when it comes to automatic transmissions.

You can choose from Drive or Sport modes, and can also shift manually if you so wish by slotting the shifter lever to its left and then pushing the lever up, or pulling it down for up- and down-shifts respectively. Gear shifts in manual mode are lightening quick in typical DSG fashion, and there really isn’t any other auto transmission with a diesel engine which can come close to this piece of kit for promptness.

new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (5)

In drive mode, the transmission tries its bit to keep the revs above 1400 kays to equip the car with enough shove to move ahead with reassurance. So when you drive with a feather light foot, and the tacho needle drops back from nigh 2K revs after an upshift, it settles down at around 1400 rpm. Depending on the amount of lead in your foot, the tacho needle would drop down ranging anywhere from 2000 rpm to 4500 rpm in Drive mode. What this effectively means is that even drive mode takes you up to 4500 rpm in a gear if you decide to bury the pedal.

new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (9)

Sport mode peps up the shift pattern, making the engine hold on to its revs for longer. Typically, with part throttle, the upshifts would happen at around 3500 in this mode. However, with the pedal put under more than usual pressure, the tacho needle would visit the 4500 rpm mark before the DSG slots the car in a higher gear. You’ll have to shift to the manual mode if you want to make the revs go all the way up to the 5K redline on the tacho.

2015 SKoda Rapid (11)

The new 1.5 TDI engine, though a tad bit noisy above 3000 rpm, doesn’t mind being revved hard. The trips to 4.5k revs by the needle are eager as compared to some other lardy engines in the segment, though the performance somewhat tapers down towards the top end. The new 1.5 TDI engine lacks its 1.6 TDI predecessor’s outright punch, though it’s more useable, more frugal and more refined. Even with its slightly toned down mannerisms, this is a thoroughly enjoyable unit, and should be able to propel the Rapid to a genuine 180kays on the clock. In conjunction with DSG, the whole experience becomes much more convenient and enjoyable, all at the same time.

Next page for Interior, features, Ride & Handling>>> 

Interior and features

new 2014 skoda rapid interior (2)

Not much has changed on the inside of the Skoda Rapid. The headline news inside the cabin is the inclusion of cruise control for the Ambition Plus and Elegance variants.

new 2014 skoda rapid interior (11)

Skoda have also incorporated a new magnetic card holder on the center console for holding toll tickets.

new 2014 skoda rapid interior (7)

Parking sensors have also been incorporated in the car for the new model. Last but not the least, Skoda have introduced a unique iOS5 and Android based phone app for the back seat occupants. Using this application, the rear seat occupants can remotely control the car’s radio.

These are pretty much all the new changes incorporated on the new Rapid’s inside. Other features of the car remain the same as the previous model, and comprise a long list. The complete details of the features and variants available on the new Skoda Rapid are provided below.

Exterior features

Design Active Ambition Ambition Plus Elegance
Exterior Chrome Decor
Chrome trim on Radiator grille Yes Yes Yes Yes
Chrome surround for radiator grille No Yes Yes Yes
Interior Chrome Décor and colours
Chrome décor for interior door handles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Chrome décor for front centre console, gearshift selector, locking button of hand brake No Yes Yes Yes
Chrome trim on AC vents and duct sliders No No Yes Yes
Chrome trim on steering wheel No No No Yes
Ivory interior dual tone Mocca/Ivory front dashboard and door panels, Mocca Centre console, Ivory Upholstery Yes Yes Yes Yes
Exterior colour coding
Body colour external mirrors and door handles No Yes Yes Yes
Body colour bumpers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gloss black décor on B-pillar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safety
Illumination
Halogen projector  headlights with manual leveling No No No Yes
Halogen Headlights with manual leveling Yes Yes Yes No
Front Fog Lights No Yes Yes Yes
Rear Fog Lights No Yes Yes Yes
High mounted LED Brake Lamp Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visibility
Anti Glare interior rear view mirror Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear windscreen defogger with timer No Yes Yes Yes
Braking
ABS No Yes (With Automatic Transmission) Yes Yes
Brake Assist No Yes (With Auto) Yes Yes
Parking Sensor No No Yes Yes
Airbags
Front Driver side airbag No Yes Yes Yes
Front passenger air bag No No Yes Yes
Occupant Restraint
Height adjustable seat belts (Front) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Two three point outer seat belts and centre lap belt at rear Yes Yes Yes Yes
Height adjustable head restraint (Front and rear) Yes Yes Yes Yes
More
Rough road package Yes Yes Yes Yes
Child proof rear door locking and windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Child proof rear window locking No No Yes Yes
Speed warning alarm No No Yes Yes
Fuel cut-off in a crash No Yes Yes Yes
Door Open indicator Yes Yes Yes Yes
Emergency triangle and dual tone horn Yes Yes Yes Yes
Security
Engine immobilizer with floating code system Yes Yes Yes Yes
Security code for audio player No No Yes Yes
Remote control with foldable key No Yes Yes Yes
Remote door and boot lid lock/unlock No Yes Yes Yes
Central Locking and unlocking of doors/boot lid Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote opening/closing of windows No Yes Yes Yes
Auto Door lock No Yes Yes Yes
Height adjustment for driver seat No Yes Yes Yes
Front / Rear centre armrest Yes Yes Yes Yes
Steering wheel adjustable for Rake and reach Yes Yes Yes Yes

Interior equipment: 

Entertainment Active Ambition Ambition Plus Elegance
Skoda Audio Player (2-Din) No No Yes Yes
Large format display No No Yes Yes
Front and rear speakers No No Yes Yes
After market audio preparation 1-Din+Cable+Connector Yes Yes No No
Audio controls on steering wheel No No Yes Yes
USB and Aux input No No Yes Yes
SD/MMC card reader No No Yes Yes
Climate control
Manual A/C Yes Yes Yes No
Climatronic ACC with electronically regulated cabin temperature No No No Yes
Dual rear A/c vents on rear centre console Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dust & Pollen filter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Upholstery
Ivory fabric upholstery Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leather wrapped steering wheel No No Yes Yes
Leather wrapped gear shift  selector No No Yes Yes
Leather wrapped hand brake lever No No Yes Yes
External Mirrors
Manually adjustable rear view mirrors Yes Yes No No
Electronically adjustable rear view mirrors No No Yes Yes
Windows
Front and rear power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
One touch Up/Down No Yes Yes Yes
Bounce back system No Yes Yes Yes
Tinted windows and wind screen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Convenience
Telephone Pre-installation
GSM telephone preparation with Bluetooth No No Yes Yes
Telephone controls on Steering No No Yes Yes
Bluetooth Audio streaming No No Yes Yes
Information Display
MFD Display for travelling time, distance travelled, average speed, immediate consumption, average consumption, distance to empty, service interval, outside temperature, clock No No Yes Yes
Gear change indicator (Diesel) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cruise Control No No Yes Yes
Interior Illumination
Reading lamp at the front Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reading spot lamps at the rear Yes Yes Yes Yes
Boot light Yes Yes Yes Yes
12v power socket  in centre console Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front sun visors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vanity mirror in left front sun visor Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Foldable roof handles Front/Rear Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lights on acoustic signal Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote boot release Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage
Passenger compartment
Storage compartment in front and rear doors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bottle holder in front doors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cup holders Front/Rear Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage compartment  under front centre armrest Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage pockets on the backrest of the front seats No No No Yes
Magnetic card holder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Coat holder on B-pillar  and roof handles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Black Package (Optional) O
Black shades with front fog lamps O
Black Shades on projector headlamps O
Black Alloy Wheels 15” O
Black colour outer rear view mirror O
Black colour front grille including logo lip O

Variants and Colour Options: 

Variants                                                                     Engine
Trim 1.6 MPI 1.6 MPI (A) 1.5 TDI CR 1.5 TDI CR (A)
Active Yes               – Yes              –
Ambition / Ambition Plus Yes Ambition Plus Yes Yes
Elegance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Colours
Brilliant Silver Yes Yes Yes Yes
Candy White Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cappuccino Beige Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deep Black Pearl Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flash Red Yes Yes Yes Yes
Toffee Brown (New body colour) Yes Yes Yes Yes

Ride and handling

new 2014 skoda rapid india side (9)

As mentioned earlier, the Rapid, ever since its launch has strongly laid its claim to being the best handling car in the segment. With the underpinnings on the new car having not being changed, the car retains its fabulous road manners. The Rapid takes into its stride even the more vicious undulations without breaking a sweat. It’s only on the acutely broken pieces of tar with sharp ridges where the Rapid really lets a thud pass into the cabin. The balance between a composed ride and reassuring handling exhibited by the rapid is laudable and is a benchmark for its segment.

new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (10)

We drove the Rapid spiritedly around the same area where we drove the Tata Zest a few months ago. The difference one could feel piloting this German sedan should be experienced to be believed. While the former would request you to lift off if you were entering a corner with overly zesty intentions, this one shows terrific poise and balance. It actually eggs you on to try harder. The steering is incredibly neutral and you enter corners on a fabulously balanced set of wheels. You may even induce a deliberate oversteer and slide without the fear of losing control. While the feedback at the steering, thanks to the insulation isn’t too great, it’s amazingly precise and lets you place the car wonderfully well on the road.

new 2014 skoda rapid india side (4)

Having experienced the delightful combo of absorbent ride and predictable handling with this Skoda, we really cannot take away anything from this car’s claim to being the most sorted machine in terms of ride and handling for its segment.

Next page for Verdict, Image Gallery and Tech Specs>>>

Verdict

new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (1)

Keeping the exterior of the car unaltered may have taken some of the thunder away from the new Rapid, but the inclusion of the all-conquering DSG has made this car an absolute delight to drive. A refined, yet assertive exterior, a torquey, yet linear engine, a feature rich, spacious cabin and the most competent automatic transmission in the segment – there isn’t really anything this car does wrong. Save for the relatively more expensive service and spares, there is absolutely nothing that should stop you from buying this machine, if a capable, comfortable family sedan for Rs 12 lakh, or thereabout is what you are looking for.

Tech Specs:

 

Technical Description 1.6 MPI 1.6 MPI (Auto) 1.5 TDI 1.5 TDI (Auto)
Engine Type In-line, liquid cooled, 16 valve, DOHC In-line, liquid cooled, 16 valve, DOHC High pressure direct injection system, 16v DOHCV High pressure direct injection system, 16v DOHCV
Cylinders 4 4 4 4
Displacement 1598 1598 1498 1498
Max Power/revs [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
Max Torque/revs [email protected] [email protected] 250Nm between 1500-2500 250Nm between 1500-2500
Fuel Consumption (Arai rated) 15 kpl 14.3 kpl 21.14 kpl 21.66 kpl
 Transmission Manual 5-speed Automatic 6-speed with tiptronic manual gear changing Manual 5-speed fully synchronized 7-speed automatic
Front Axle McPherson suspension  with lower triangular links and torsion stabilizer
Rear Axle Compound link crank axle
Braking System Hydraulic dual-diagonal circuit braking system vacuum assisted
Front Brakes Disc brakes with inner cooling, with single piston floating caliper
Rear Brakes Drum Brakes
Steering System Direct rack and pinion steering with electro mechanic power assist
Wheels Steel Wheel 6.0Jx15” (Active, Ambition, Ambition Plus); Alloy Wheel 6.0Jx15” (Elegance)
Tyres 186/60 R15 (Active, Ambition, Ambition Plus, Elegance)
Length (mm) 4386
Width (mm) 1699
Height (mm) 1466
Wheelbase (mm) 2552
Ground Clearance (mm) 168
Storage Capacity (Litres) 460
Tank Capacity (Litres) 55
Turning Radius (Metres) 10.6

Image Gallery

new 2014 skoda rapid India facelift
new 2014 skoda rapid rear (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid rear (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (12)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (11)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (10)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (9)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (8)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (7)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (6)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (5)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (4)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (3)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid interior (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (9)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (8)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (7)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (6)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (5)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (4)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (3)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid india side (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (4)
new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (3)
new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid facelift front  (1)
new 2014 Skoda rapid engine (2)
new 2014 Skoda rapid engine (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid dashboard (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid dashboard (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid changes (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid changes (1)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (8)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (7)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (6)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (5)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (4)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (3)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (2)
new 2014 skoda rapid black edition (1)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (12)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (11)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (10)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (9)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (8)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (7)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (6)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (5)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (4)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (3)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (2)
new 2014 skoda Rapid action silver (1)
2014 skoda rapid alloys

Read More »
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • roy chubb says:

    I bought a 2014 rapid but am disappointed with the dsg gear change when in traffic it surges forward as soon as you let the footbrake off.also I have found it difficult to reverse it up a slope it drops out of gear just at the last foot from the wall behind me and then I have to use the handbrake to get it back because goes back to fast.
    is this a fault?