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Rediff.com  » Business » The Skoda Rapid facelift is a good C-segment sedan

The Skoda Rapid facelift is a good C-segment sedan

March 06, 2018 17:35 IST

How good a proposition is the facelifted Rapid? Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com finds out.

With the pre-facelifted Skoda Rapid, many could have argued that the car was nothing but a Skoda-badged Vento.

 

However, that isn't that case with the facelift.

Skoda has given the Rapid a new front fascia that brings it in line with other Skoda cars and some extra features.

Starting with the design and looks, the facelifted Rapid gets a new butterfly grille (Skoda signature), quartz-cut projector headlights with LED DRLs and a sportier looking bumper that make it look more like a mini Octavia.

That said, changes are concentrated only towards the front end while the side and rear profile get subtle tweaks only.

You get 16-inch Clubber alloy wheels on the Style trim, while the Ambition and Active trims do with 15-inch alloys and 15-inch steel wheels respectively.

The smoked out tail lamps add some distinction to the rear.

The interior largely remains unchanged. You still get the same 3-spoke steering wheel that feels good to hold.

However, the instrument cluster could have done with some more interesting-looking dials, the current ones end up looking very basic.

The steering wheel, gear knob and the handbrake lever, for instance, come finished in leatherette.

Changes come in the form of a new black and beige dashboard instead of the brown and beige combination and a new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

This unit gets MirrorLink, Bluetooth, USB, AUX and SD Card connectivity but misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Audio quality from the front and rear speakers are not great but satisfying.

You get features like automatic wipers, cruise control, reach and rake adjustable steering, footwell lighting and a cooled glovebox.

That said, you do miss out on some features like automatic headlamps, keyless entry, push-button start and a sunroof.

The front and rear seats offer generous comfort and support, however, the rear seat could have done with some more under-thigh support.

Knee room and headroom are average at the rear and three adults sitting abreast isn't a good idea because of the big transmission hump in the middle.

AC chills the cabin quickly and the sedan gets a 460-litres boot.

The Rapid we're driving today comes powered by a 1.5-litre TDI diesel motor that belts out 110 PS at 4000 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-2500 RPM.

There is some noticeable turbo lag under 2000 RPM but post that the engine picks up pace quickly and will entice you with its superb mid-range.

The oil-burner unit comes mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and to be honest, this powertrain and gearbox combination is the perfect recipe for fun and comfort.

Responses from the gearbox are super quick and put it into manual mode and you'll end being very satisfied. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 10.7 seconds while having a top speed of 190.8 km/hr.

The Czech automaker claims a mileage of 21.72 km/l for this automatic trim which happens to be more than the manual.

Ride quality, as it is with other Skoda cars, is excellent even in the Rapid.

Highway cruising at triple digit speeds is something that the Rapid can do all day long.

The car just glides over undulations and bad patches of roads, provided, you are not doing high speeds.

In that case, you will feel the big thuds inside the cabin. Handling is fine, feedback from the steering is precise and braking performance is good too.

The Skoda Rapid facelift gets dual airbags and ABS as standard across the range and the diesel DSG trim also gets Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control.

The Skoda Rapid makes for a good C-segment sedan buy if you're looking for some driving fun, comfort and practicality.

The last two are something that the Skoda does on average but it is the first, where it truly shines.

No other C-segment sedan (automatic, and except the Vento) will give you such an enthusiastic drive experience.

If that's what you are exactly looking for, the Rapid will not disappoint.

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