Since its introduction to India, the Rapid has been a slightly premium entry-level sedan.
While it stays premium in its look and appeal, Škoda has priced it competitively and brought it on par as well as exceeded its competition in certain aspects.
Let’s start with the fundamental – Safety.
This is an area where traditionally most, if not all carmakers have cut corners to reduce price. I’m glad to see this trend slowly fading. When it comes to the Rapid – it is made from 100% Galvanised Steel and Laser Welded.
It is also fitted with dual front airbags as standard and the fuel supply is automatically cut off in the unfortunate event of a collision.
Other standard features are ABS, ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HHC (Hill Hold Climb), Parktronic Sensors, Automatically dimming interior rear view mirror to tackle unwanted night-time glares, One-touch anti pinch windows and so on.
The new Škoda Rapid incorporates the brand’s trademark crystalline design language.
If you kept the 3 main Škoda India offerings side-by-side (Rapid, Octavia, Superb), the resemblance is unmistakable, and so it should be as you can clearly see the quintessential Škoda design aesthetic just like how you can identify a Porsche from any angle, any generation.
The new Rapid undergoes an 11 stage paint process to ensure anti-corrosion and long lasting lustrous surface.
The business end is minimalistic yet classy, Black butterfly grille with chrome borders and the Škoda logo atop a raised contour which runs the length of the bonnet right up till the rain sensing wipers.
At the beginning of the year, I shot & reviewed the superb Škoda Superb. One of the standout visual aspects of that car are its bedazzling Czech crystal adorned headlamps with those gorgeous eyelashes. Well, the youngest member of the bloodline inherits the flagship’s hallmark. The baby Superb features Quartz-cut Projector Headlights with Jewel-shadow LED Day Running lights which add a distinct edge to the look and appeal of the car and in my opinion make it look the sharpest in its class.
Below that is the front bumper which is a honeycomb grille with fog lamps rounded off by the front skirt.
Coming to the rear, the spoiler is also built-in to the boot of the car giving it the sporty look which is the intended positioning of the car.
Speaking of the boot, while externally it may not quite resemble Kim Kardashian’s derrière, internally though its massive, all 460 Litres of it!
On popping the door, you are met with the same clean and minimalistic aesthetic that envelops the exterior.
The central infotainment system is a 6.5 inch touchscreen console with MirrorLink™ – it basically mirrors your phone display to the large centre console which is a great plus.
However, the infotainment system by itself is pretty adequately loaded with almost all the features you can desire from it such as Radio, Music, Calling etc….. The only thing it didn’t seem to have inbuilt is the navigation feature, that’s where the MirrorLink™ should come in very handy.
The seating is entirely perforated leatherette upholstery, it looks premium & is quite comfortable.
I should also admit my personal preference of automatic gearboxes. The new Rapid features a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox with sports mode.
Driving in city traffic can be a pretty frustrating & exhausting affair thankfully the automatic gearbox and the infotainment are the messiahs of the new Rapid, that along with a multitude of the very many Simply Clever elements which are basically just simple and very practical solutions to making your life easier are among a list of welcome incentives to consider the New Skoda Rapid as your future purchase.
Words & Photos by Vishal Jolapara