I have a soft spot for the Skoda Rapid. It is the car that earned me my first media drive event. The review on the driving experience can be found elsewhere on this website.
Now, the car has been launched. The Rapid sedan will retail at a starting price of Rs 6.75 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. The car shares its platform with the VW Vento (code: VW251). The Skoda (code: SK251) shares a substantial percentage of mechanical bits with the Polo based sedan. The sharing is right down to the engines. That means that the car is propelled by same 1.6 liter petrol and the 1.6 liter . Both these motors pump out 105 BHPs of power in a slightly different state of tune.
Coming to the styling, nothing ground breaking here. The headlights, the grille and the fogs are very much Skoda Fabia. Skoda has done a nice job with merging the Fabia with rest of the styling that comes from the Vento. Rapid gets a new bonnet and new fenders coupled with a slightly altered chin. The rear again is very much Vento in the basic design form. The tail-lights get typical Skoda ‘C-motif’, the boot lid gets ‘prism’ like surfacing and the car gets a new, more sculpted bumper.
Coming to the interiors, the cabin is almost the same as the VW counterpart, apart from the 4 spoke steering wheel (no steering-mounted controls here),, gearlever and audio system facia that comes from Skoda parts bin. Many publications are saying that the instrument binnacle is new as well but we beg to differ as it is almost identical to the one in Polo/Vento with the lighting changed to green from the red seen in the VWs.
The well rounded car that the Rapid is, the range of it will be distributed between three trim levels for both petrol and diesel version – Active, Ambition and Elegance, the last of which gets typical Skoda 5 spoke 15-inch alloy wheels and driver and passenger airbags. The car has an option of automatic transmission for the petrol version.
The new variant names are courtesy revised branding system for Skoda, which also includes the company’s tagline, ‘Simply Clever’.
When Skoda’s aging Octavia got discontinued, it saw Skoda’s departure from a competitive segment and with the introduction of the new Rapid, the Czech manufacturer looks all set to tap in on the demand of a good upper C segment diesel sedan and the Rapid might very well eat into the sales of VW’s Vento.
We had predicted the car to be priced below Vento and it has turned out to be so. Just that, Rapid is priced below our expectations. We had talked about it being priced INR 30k lesser than the Vento but it is priced a whopping 58k below the VW. Also, we have recently written about Vento getting new features and the car had received steering mounted music system controls in an upgrade that happened even earlier. Now what remains to be seen are two things. 1. If the potential buyers may forget about these extra features and head to Skoda dealerships. 2. If the Rapid too will get the aforementioned features in future.
Skoda Rapid Prices, ex-showroom Delhi
Active Petrol: Rs 6.75 lakh
Ambition Petrol: Rs 7.09 lakh
Ambition Petrol (Auto): Rs 8.09 lakh
Elegance Petrol: Rs 7.99 lakh
Elegance Petrol (Auto): Rs 8.99 lakh
Active Diesel: Rs 7.96 lakh
Ambition Diesel: Rs 8.29 lakh
Elegance Diesel: Rs 9.19 lakh
VW Vento Prices, ex-showroom Delhi
Trendline Petrol: Rs 6.99 lakh
Highline Petrol: Rs 8.23 lakh
Highline Petrol (Auto): Rs 9.21 lakh
Trendline Diesel: Rs 8.28 lakh
Highline Diesel: Rs 9.77 lakh