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Akash1886 12th November 2016 12:28 PM

Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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The All New Skoda Rapid has been launched at Ex-Showroom Price of Rs. 8.35 Lacs (Maharashtra).

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Akash1886 12th November 2016 12:59 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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The All New Skoda Rapid and the Brand Skoda Auto India.

Skoda Auto India, A brand which ever since has entered India has been providing elegant and robust cars to us but hasn't had a very a pleasant run until 2014. But as its said, the only thing constant in the universe is change. So, even Skoda Auto India has been making efforts in the direction of providing good customer experience and reliability with their model line up in India. Skoda Auto India was merged with the Volkswagen Group and since then has been working in collaboration with them. Skoda Rapid was one of their cars that was launched in the popular segment of mid-size sedans and has been competing with the likes of Vento, Honda City, Fiat Linea, Maruti Ciaz etc.

Earlier when Rapid was launched for the 1st time in India, it was very similar looking to it's sibling the VW Vento apart from the necessary changes done to the front end of Rapid to differentiate it from Vento. Ever since the launch of Rapid in India, it has captured the attention of the buyers and has been selling in decent number if not in great numbers. Slowly but steadily it has been able to settle in the India market and has got it's fair share of appreciation too. Personally if you ask me, of all the products that Skoda offered previously, I vouched for only Rapid. Now, Skoda has provided the Rapid with a very much needed facelift and an efficient diesel engine too. But, how far this facelift would help Skoda and the Rapid will be interesting to see. As for me, How I felt after driving it will be shared in this review. Has the Rapid Facelift been able to justify the price it has, has it been able to justify the efforts of Skoda Auto or not, you all shall read that in this review.

Akash1886 12th November 2016 01:46 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Well, with the current facelift of the Rapid, Skoda has actually made the Rapid look more elegant and matured. The front end is the most prominent change done to the Rapid and now the Rapid looks far far more upmarket even than the Vento. The front profile has redesigned Radiator Grill, bumper and blackened projector headlamps with the White LEDs. There is no overload of chrome in the front of Rapid and a very nicely crafted chrome surround is provided to the radiator grill which enhances the premium appeal of Rapid. Though in White color, many would find it to be a slightly dull design but frankly, the only 2 colors in which a car's actual design and lines can be properly seen are White and Silver. In person having seen the Red and Blue Rapid at the official launch in Mumbai, honestly, I was pleasantly surprised with the sharp persona of this facelifted Rapid specially in Red. In no ways it looked just like half-hearted facelift given for the sake of it.

Coming to the side profile, the side profile remains mainly similar to the out-going model but tweaks are done to the front and rear quarter panels so as to accommodate the redesigned headlamp and tail lamps clusters. For the elegance factor, in my personal view, the new Rapid has maintained the clean and simple lines and exudes a polished character. It clearly highlights the saying, "Beauty lies in Simplicity" if I may say with regards to the side profile. The rear quarter glass design also remains same and looks similar to Vento/AMEO. No undue use of Chrome over here as well which is a very good move by Skoda.

Moving on to the rear profile, the new Skoda Rapid gets redesigned Tail lights with redesigned bumper as well. However unlike the facelift Vento, it does not get the bumper reflectors in it. The rear profile is also kept very simple without any undue curves and just a simple chrome stripe has been added to the boot which does not look out of place. Overall, I truly liked the design and thankfully Skoda did not provide something over-the-top with the new Rapid. However, on a lighter note, I am just imagining, what if, Rapid Facelift came with the tail lights like the new Superb??[;)] Gosh! Would have been too sexy to resist indeed.

Akash1886 12th November 2016 02:54 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Some External Features of Facelift Skoda Rapid.


Front Air dam in Black with Honey Comb mesh looks good and gives a sporty feel to an otherwise sober/elegant looking sedan.

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Front and Rear Ground Clearance is good enough and it did not scrape on the speed bumps of my sector.

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The ORVMs come with side markers integrated in the top version of new Rapid.

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A slim and well placed chrome accent on the door handle too adds to the overall finesse of the Facelift Rapid.

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The 5 Spoke Alloys Design could have been much more better. This kind of looks dull.

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The rear quarter glass is also similar to the outgoing model of Rapid.

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The roof antenna placed in the rear.

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The rubber insulation used in the exteriors of the windows also is of good quality and curbs the noise filtration in the cabin to a good extent.

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The roof design is also simple and neat with no rubber insulation being provided as its not required.

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The redesigned rear bumper looks good and simple without any excessive chrome. The top model gets reverse sensors incorporated in the bumper itself.

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Akash1886 12th November 2016 06:10 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Seating Comfort in Facelift Skoda Rapid

Seating wise, It was good to see Skoda providing front and rear armrest as standard in all variants. But, Skoda Rapid is not a 5 seater firstly. The transmission hump in the rear does not leave space for the 3rd pax and moreover as shown in the pic, the rear armrest also occupies significant space when open thereby further omitting the seating for the 3rd pax in the rear. So it finally turns out to be a 4 seater sedan only. Further on, I found the front seats to be quite comfortable and well bolstered with ample thigh support as well. The headrests of the front seats are also adjustable there by further enhancing the seating comfort for the driver and the front passenger. Also, since I am 6 Ft tall so height of driver's seat isn't an issue for me but for short height drivers the front seat comes with height adjustment in top spec too. The stitching and the quality of leather used in the seats is also good but the Beige shade shall catch dirt and stains easily. The front legroom is also quite good for tall people and the same can be seen above in the pics too. The TD co-ordinator was 6 Ft 2in and he easily sat in and came out of the car without any issues in the egress and ingress. Coming to the rear seats, if I compare it to my Honda City, then yes, Rapid left me asking for more honestly. The rear seats provide good headroom, legroom, firm back support and knee room with enough thigh support but that I cannot compare with my CITY. The broadness and plushness of the rear seat of my Honda City was missing in the Facelift Rapid. So, I would term the seating comfort not exceptional but just above average only in the Facelift Rapid.

Akash1886 13th November 2016 12:08 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Interior Features of Skoda Rapid Facelift.


Dual tone dashboard looks neat and premium. The plastic quality is also good. No cost cutting here.

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The dual dial Speedo Console has White Illumination and houses the MID in the center. The design is uncomplicated too.

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The power window switch panel is ergonomically placed and buttons don't look cheap either. The boot opening button is placed below the handle grip.

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Anti Theft Device Blinker placed on driver side door. Has same position as in VW AMEO.

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The front armrest has open-able flap and can be used as storage option for mobile phone etc. The same armrest is used in AMEO as well.

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Auto Dimming IRVM for avoiding glare at night. Also, the in-cabin lamp has 3 way function i.e On-Off & lit with doors open.

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Bottle holders provided in the doors. They can hold 1 liter bottle each.

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The Facelift Skoda Rapid comes with the cooled Glove Box too for keeping your soft drink cans chilled at all times.

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The rear AC vents make the in-cabin cooling even and faster. The console comes equipped with a single cup-holder too.

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Akash1886 13th November 2016 01:05 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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The Facelift Skoda Rapid comes with 6.5in Color Touchscreen infotainment system which is equipped with USB, Mirror Link etc. The brightness and readability of the screen is not hampered even in daytime. Also below the infotainment system is the Automatic Climate Control AC for perfect cooling. The air flow is quite good and it cools the cabin in real-time.

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The driver side sun visor has no vanity mirror and gets a map holder. The passenger side sun-visor has vanity mirror.

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The hood also is visible from inside and shall help in maintaining adequate distance from vehicles in front. The ORVM viewing space is sufficient too.

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Driver's seat adjustment lever.

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The headlamp switch and the beam adjuster are located on right corner of the dashboard. They have green back-light.

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The wiper lever.

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Akash1886 13th November 2016 06:42 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Lighting of the Facelift Skoda Rapid

Front Headlamps: They have been re-designed and now have a more sharp design which lends a very impressive character to the front profile of the Rapid. The headlamps are smoked and consists of DRL and Projector setup as well. The indicator remain with halogen bulbs. The DRL provide a jewel effect when lit.


The front Fog lamps: They are quite big and rectangular in shape. The brightness of the fog lamp definitely shall help in enhancing the visibility during bad weather and night time drives. The new Rapid beats the stereotypical small size fog lamp setups given by competitors.

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The Number plate lights are neatly placed as well.

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The Rear Tail lights: The Facelift Skoda Rapid get C-shaped tweaked tail lights in comparison to the out-going model. They have smoked effect as well but still miss on a LED element in them. The turn indicators and reverse lights in the tail lamps continue with the normal bulbs.

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The foot-well also gets lighting in the top spec model.

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The Boot Space: Facelift Skoda Rapid gets a boot space of 460 Lts. The boot is spaciously designed and is well carpeted and illuminated as well. The loading lip is also not too high so loading and unloading of luggage won't be a worry. The boot lid also gets proper insulation on the inside which looks aesthetically done and also curbs the unwanted rattles and noises from the boot when running on low load.


Akash1886 13th November 2016 09:56 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Safety and Performance of Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic.

Safety of occupants is of prime concern for any/every car brand (though exceptions sadly exists here) so in case of Skoda Rapid too, there are dual front airbags, height adjustable seat belts as standard and adding to that features like Hill Hold Control (in AT) are present too. Moving on, The facelift of Skoda Rapid Diesel comes with 1.5 Lt Diesel engine meshed to a choice of 2 transmission options i.e 7 Speed DSG and 5 Speed Manual. The 1.5 Diesel with DSG gives 110hp at 4000 rpm and 250 Nm torque at 1500-2500 rpm mark. The 1.5 L Diesel engine provided to this facelift of Rapid comes with 4 cylinders and the FE as per ARAI is 21.72 Km/L for DSG model and 21.13 Km/L for Manual Transmission model with fuel capacity of 55 Lts. In this segment so far, 7 Speed DSG is a first because competitors stick with DCT & CVTs. Also, DSG has its own fan following among the enthusiasts here. However, Skoda did have it's share of bashing due to unreliable DSG earlier in their top of the line sedans. The gearbox was one of the main reasons as to why many people walked away from buying Skoda cars in the past. So, has Skoda India improved? Lets see!


I drove the Diesel DSG Car and upon cranking the engine the sound was pretty audible and understandable that yes, I am driving a diesel. I guess it will take time for Skoda to make silent diesel engines[;)] as the clatter still exists even on idle. The engine comes packed with a proper engine cover and under-hood cladding but still the noise of the engine filters inside so definitely better insulation is required here and Skoda still gives that "Danda" to hold the hood instead of hydraulic struts which I feel should be now upgraded but what I liked was proper plastic covering provided to the shocker mounts on both the sides which not only protects it from undue dust but also saves it from direct water spray during servicing. I had a good long drive in it and must tell you all that the engine is definitely well tuned and the torque is available in good amounts which brought a happy grin on my face. The drive comprised of traffic as well empty stretches and upon acceleration the torque was easily felt by me and even as the turbo kicked in around 1800-2000 rpm the performance became definitely more noticeable and I could easily drive it through traffic. Apart from that, I found the pulling power of the engine to be quite good and not a single time did the engine stalled but as I crossed 100 km/h on DND, the engine sound was harsh on the ears. Thus, NVH wise I am disappointed with the Rapid. Coming to the Steering, the facelift Rapid gets 3 spoke steering wheel which is height and length adjustable with steering mounted controls. At the high speeds, the steering feedback was accurate and it did not feel lifeless. Maneuvering in traffic was also easy enough and the size of the car does not bother when cornering at low and medium speeds and tackling relatively crowded spaces. Talking of the transmission, I am told, this time Skoda has worked upon the DSG box and ensures that failures don't occur. However, in future, ownership of this car will shed more light on this fact. Performance wise, in my drive, the transmission worked smoothly with gears shifting without any absurd jerk or seizure. Also, in the DSG, the lift-off from Zero is quite fast and at slight press on the accelerator, the car moves up.

Moving ahead, the ride and handling of facelift Skoda Rapid is to me similar to the outgoing model. Having driven the older Rapid too, this time too, I did not feel any changes in it. The ride was perfectly planted on smooth roads and even small potholes did not bother me and upon slightly rough patches the jerk wasn't much noticeable as well. So, the quality of ride overall feels acceptable to me with suspension performance being same as before. Coming to the braking, the facelift comes with front Disc and rear Drum brake setup, I remember that look on the face of the co-ordinator[evil] when on DND exit toward Noida on a curve I applied brakes at 60-65 Km/h. Though we both were wearing seat belts still he placed his palm on dashboard. I was really impressed with the way the car performed. Not a single absurd movement or jerk and it came to a smooth halt and surprisingly the body roll was negligible. The braking system is efficient and adding to that the ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control for AT Diesel Only) makes it more secure as a highway and city drive-able car. The biting point of the brakes is acceptable as well and those who often drive on 3 digit speeds also don't have to worry. But better will be never to over-speed! Moving ahead, there is sufficient cladding provided in the wheel wells both in front and rear by Skoda to this Rapid so the road noise was curbed to a good extent. About the Tires, my TD car had Apollo rubber (185/60) with 15inch Alloys. The grip of the Tires was good and the ride with them also felt quite comfortable.

For your hearing pleasure, I give you the engine sound video of Facelift Skoda Rapid Diesel
.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXnWZ62S908

Akash1886 14th November 2016 09:07 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
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Features, Specifications & Observations of Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel AT.

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Parting snaps of the Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel. Though TD Car is White but Rapid Facelift comes in 6 colors i.e Red, Blue, White, Beige, Carbon Steel & Silver.

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All the pics and video used in the review are for The Automotive India only. Any sharing needs full credit to T.A.I

Regards

Akash

350Z 14th November 2016 10:33 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
Note: Thread now live. Great review. Thanks, Akash!

Drive Safe,
350Z

type-r 14th November 2016 11:20 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
Good review Akash. Was eagerly waiting for this car.

One thing I would like to mention is that you mentioned it didn't stall, but an automatic car isn't supposed to stall!

Akash1886 15th November 2016 08:36 AM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by type-r (Post 519646)
Good review Akash. Was eagerly waiting for this car.

[thumbswink]

Quote:

One thing I would like to mention is that you mentioned it didn't stall, but an automatic car isn't supposed to stall!
Well, Skoda has earned the reputation of making unreliable cars in the past and mechanically their transmissions and other parts are prone to failure which in-turn make the car non-functional even while in drive. I don't have to quote examples, ample are there. But, unlike those Skoda cars, this one proved to be different and of the 35Km TD which I had, never even once did this car show any tantrums i.e no violent jerks or sudden stalling. If you compare the stalling pattern of a manual car Vs that of a automatic, then yes, Automatics very rarely stall and mainly the automatics stall due to malfunction of transmission or battery. It is not that Automatics are 100% stalling free! Though, Skoda and Transmission failure are co-related as well, however unlike past, this Rapid worked well for me.

Regards

Akash

a4arun 15th November 2016 09:31 AM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Akash1886 (Post 519669)
[thumbswink]

Well, Skoda has earned the reputation of making unreliable cars in the past and mechanically their transmissions and other parts are prone to failure which in-turn make the car non-functional even while in drive. I don't have to quote examples, ample are there. But, unlike those Skoda cars, this one proved to be different and of the 35Km TD which I had, never even once did this car show any tantrums i.e no violent jerks or sudden stalling. If you compare the stalling pattern of a manual car Vs that of a automatic, then yes, Automatics very rarely stall and mainly the automatics stall due to malfunction of transmission or battery. It is not that Automatics are 100% stalling free! Though, Skoda and Transmission failure are co-related as well, however unlike past, this Rapid worked well for me.

Regards

Akash

Akash ji,

First of all, a great review. Absolute gem. Have covered all the aspect of the car very well. [clap]

But you are being very critical of Skoda. After all this car, has just run for I guess 110 KM and you are already expecting the transmission to fail [:D]. Well the product itself is terrific and a great package with "Skoda" pricing. It remains to be seen how it is now being received.

Akash1886 15th November 2016 04:47 PM

Re: Skoda Rapid Facelift Diesel Automatic Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by a4arun (Post 519671)
Akash ji,

First of all, a great review. Absolute gem. Have covered all the aspect of the car very well.

[cheers]

Quote:

But you are being very critical of Skoda. After all this car, has just run for I guess 110 KM and you are already expecting the transmission to fail.
Arun I am not saying that Facelift Rapid will fail or it will continue with the failures of Transmission buddy. I am saying in general, in the past, the Skoda Cars were having serious failure issues including transmission and so, still, people perceive Skoda to be unreliable as a brand. I have also said, in my drive this particular TD car did not come up with any issues.

Quote:

Well the product itself is terrific and a great package with "Skoda" pricing. It remains to be seen how it is now being received.
Absolutely Arun, I have always said that Rapid is the safest bet from Skoda and this one looks really more elegant and matured. I do hope it gets good reception in our market.

Regards

Akash


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