Skoda Rapid 1.5L TDi AT Style LE 2017: Ownership Review


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Cover.jpg

Background

It all started when grandfather visits to hospital increased. Tiago being occupied by sister for her college runs, a car was needed at home in 'emergency' situations. We had sold our Manza due to lack of airbags and after Tiago purchase it wasn't much driven. Having owned some boring cars (Read: not FTD) in past, I needed dad to enjoy driving, so one more point was added in our requirements list.

With this in mind, I had my requirements sorted out:
  • Good on safety
  • Fun To Drive (FTD)
  • Value For Money (VFM)

Nice to-have list:
  • Feature loaded
  • Automatic transmission

The Search

With safety and FTD, I started with Germans. Test drove the VW Ameo DSG and instantly fell in love with it. We were going to close the deal but later thought that we might go for road trip, so boot space and good legroom were needed.

So now we were looking for cars in C2 segment. Cars we checked:

  • Maruti Ciaz:
    With Ciaz shifting from regular Maruti dealers to Nexa showroom, it was selling with some delicious discount, ZDI+ variant was even less than Ameo Highline DSG [shock].
    Dad did not like the looks of the car, plus the 1.3L fiat sourced multijet engine performance wasn't up to the mark, so it was rejected

  • Honda City:
    Drove the diesel one, with reliability in it favour and long list of feature and best rear seat (in this segment IMHO) it was a serious contender. But then the pricing played a spoil-sport.

  • Honda WR-V:
    This being the latest block on sub-4m crossover (or beefed-up hatchback), ticked most of the boxes. But the weird rear styling, puny rear- headrest and long waiting period, we had to reject it.

  • VW Vento:
    Had considered both TSi and TDi both mated to DSG. We rejected it without TD as pricing played a negative role. At price of Highline TSi DSG, we were getting top variant of Skoda Rapid TDI DSG and Vento TDi DSG was just 2 lakhs more than it which I wasn't able to digest.

  • Skoda Rapid:
    TD it twice and both time it never failed us to impress us. With GST around the corner we were getting so good deals which made price sweeter. This made to the final list but we were stuck in dilemma (more on this later)

Booking

Have to admit that Tata have spoiled us with the amount of features it has, so our expectation increased, we now were planning to top variant, Style. The difference between Style and Style LE were soft-touch boot opening, reverse camera and 16" alloys (instead of 15" boring alloys), but price difference was pretty steep at 40K. Discussion with dad made us finalize Style LE.
Now comes the dilemma of which engine option to choose from. As the car was needed only for emergency and occasional inter-state trips, our first preference was MPi AT (Petrol), TD it once and there was nothing excited about this engine and GB, it was just a fuel guzzler which at end of sedate TD showed 3.9 kmpl! But it being 2+ lakhs cheaper than diesel DSG plus TC GB being more reliable, dad preferred to book MPI AT.
We booked 1.6L MPi AT Style LE, also requested SA to hold it for couple of days. A quick calculation and talk with Bhpian RavenAvi and TAIger TSIVipul made the booking shift to 1.5L TDi Style LE.
It wasn’t as smooth as I had to fight for waiving off Depot Charges (Rs. 9750), but lost and eventually had to pay it. Not good. [frustration]

PDI and Delivery

Car had reached stockyard, but due to my sister's hectic schedule we were able to do PDI after 2 days. Decoded VIN and it was straight out from bake, it was May 2017 [:D]. Except two minor issues, we were not able to find any fault with car.

Ill fitment of Cupholder panel
PDi.JPG

Delivery was delayed by a month as the car had to come from Pune, still it took some serious time. Had booked from Autobahn in Andheri. Experience was nothing close to what Deogiri Auto offered me at time of buying my Tata Tiago.
Had taken delivery on auspicious day of Guru Purnima, 9th July, 2017. We had taken delivery on temporary registration number. After two days Rapid got its permanent registration number.

Initial Impressions:

Engine and Drivability:

Engine.jpg

Car have till now crossed 4200 km mark. First 1000 km wasn't really able to exploit the engine and get true image of it capabilities. After crossing 1000 km and thanks to 29th August, 2017 (floods) had to drive bit hard. In Sports mode it redlined in 1st gear and in no time I reached illegal speed (thanks to Speed limit for warning me). I haven't used tiptronic mode yet as I don't really feel need of it, shifting to sports mode does the job well. In D-mode DSG GB is a bit slow to respond and tries to upshift as early as possible, also is bit lazy in case of downshifting. Though both issues are solved by shifting it to Sports mode. Don't know whether the GB is working fine or not, but when the car slows down (without pressing A and B pedal) jerk can be noticed when it shifts from D3 to D2 and from D2 to D1.
The heart of car, the engine is quite noisy though rolling up windows and 7th gear helps the matter alot. If driven sedately, I have got FE upto 18.66 kmpl as per tank full method. My city run shows anywhere between 11-12.5 kmpl by tank full method, couple of times it gave me around 14 kmpl in city. Even with left foot hard with pedal to metal on an open stretch of road car have shown around 13 kmpl.

Looks and Styling

Rear 3 quater.jpg

Though looks are subjective, if I need to be unbiased this department is ruled by Hyundai Verna. For people like my dad, it suits his age and profession, but me the other side will love funky looking cars and Rapid looks a bit boring to me especially the rear. Though after fitting the Rear Diffuser and factory fitted (or rather Dealership fitted) rear boot lip spoiler have enhanced the looks by couple of points. Going with Style variant was mainly for the looks, my sis and me were privilege enough to check all variants parked beside each other and at that point of time we decided to look no elsewhere other than Style. LE (Limited Edition) which isn't really a limited edition, came with 3 more features, out of these three where 16" Clubber alloys. This gave more points to rather plain jane side profile. Front is where it looks smashing in my eyes, though halogen projector are really bad when it comes to performance.

Front, Style variants come with Halogen Projectors + DRLs (double barrel set-up).
Note: DRL's are off in this pic

Front.jpg

Side Profile with 16" Clubber Alloys (ala Style LE)
20180305_151035.jpg

Interiors

Where I have said few sides of exterior to be boring, the interior are just a level more in terms of boring design. It seems like car of 90's, C'mon Skoda/VW we deserve few good design dashboards. A positive side to it is unlike Manza we can stick idols on it so a plus there. Though the rear parcel is too steep to store even a tissue paper box with gel pads, good or bad thing I don't know. Rest the quality feels really good, much better than Maruti Ciaz and my old Manza. I personally feel fit and finish have taken backseat and QC isn't working hard. There is some occasional rattle popping up from driver side A-Pillar after I crossed 3000 km mark. Rest due to double seal on door due to friction it causes rattle sound (this is what the SASS had told me [confused]).

Ride Quality, Comfort, Handling ad NVH

In one word it is very harsh for city drives at low speed. I truly feel going with Style/Ambition variant (comes with 15" alloys) would have made it slightly more plusher. But as you build of speed you really thank the stiff suspension as the car remains rock solid at triple digit speeds (read: less than 120 kmph). One can also notice rear suspension to be set-up 3X softer than front.

Neat Underbody
Underbody.JPG

Comfort is more or less sacrificed in this car thanks to stiff suspensions mated with 16" alloys, seats lacking lumbar support (for my height, rest all in my family feel it to be comfortable), poor legroom and lacking feel of airiness thanks to small cabin space. City still remains the benchmark here IMHO.
Handling is simply too good. Near to perfect steering, precise and acceptable feedback but lacks feel especially on corners even when taken at 130 kmph. Grip from Apollo Alnac 4G 195/55 R16 is good for corners and feels ok for driving on dry surface. Be hard on left foot or on wet roads, you will see wheel spins (thanks to ESP which controls it later) and during rainy seasons it just looses grip and seems dangerous to me especially.

Wheel Specs
Wheel.jpg

NVH is pretty good, certainly not in leagues of Hyundai wherein one can't distinguish between petrol and diesel. In Rapid one can easily know a diesel engine roaring, clatter can be noticed easily. I agree with TAIger Akash1886 Sirji, that it will take time for Skoda/VW to make silent engines. Tyre noise and wind noise are under acceptable levels.

Insulation Sheet
Hood Cladding.jpg
 
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Thread Starter #2
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Re: Skoda Rapid 1.5L TDi AT Style LE 2017

Features

This is the area where the Rapid not really shines, even City's mid variants have more features than Rapid Style variant. Plus Skoda/VW bad image of updating features frequently, heck they always forget to do the same on website, brochure and as important as Owner's Manual! My car haven't celebrated it's birthday and Rapid have been updated twice [cry], very first being bringing in Monte Carlo/Edition X and other being upgrading HU to SmartLink (MirrorLink + Android Auto + Apple Carplay) and addition of two more airbags (beside front dual airbags) on front seats. My humble car comes with MirrorLink and dual front airbags. No it don't miss features in my car but surely miss those additional airbags. Having feature loaded car was anyways not in my list, so all good. Happy with Rain Sensing wipers which help dad not to struggle with wiper stalks during rains and auto-dimming mirror which saves our eyes from vehicles running on high beams behind us during night. Not to forget the LE comes with soft touch boot opening and reverse camera. Soft touch boot opening is nothing else but electromagnetic boot opening. So now boot can be opened from 3 source; remote key, button on driver side door and button on boot near registeration plate lights (soft touch boot opening). Reverse camera plus sensors (though 3, cost cutting?) do wonders in parking at tight spots.
ICE is good but Tata is still the benchmark. It is clear but more bass would have been preferred by me, maybe will fit is my spare SoundStream woofer if it doesn’t void warranty.

DRLs are visible under harsh lightening situations too
DRLs.jpg

All Lights switched on. Note: DRL dims and act as parking light, pic can be misleading. Also when DRL(s) are on, giving indicator puts that specific side DRL off, maybe to grab attention
All Lights in action.jpg

Adequate 460L of boot space. No, rear seats doesn't fold down
Boot Space 460L.jpg

Partial Cladding on boot
Partial Boot cladding.jpg

Registration Plate is lit up by white LEDs at night. Can also see Soft Touch Boot Opening (aka Electromagnetic boot opening) and Reverse Camera (ala LE variant)
Registration white LED, soft touch boot open and rear camer.jpg

Rapid doesn't come with Shark-fin antenna
Short Antenna.jpg

Auto-dimming IRVM. It doesn't have any button!
Auto dimming irm.jpg

Service

ASS.jpg

The worst to say the least. Have visited thrice till now, but all three times to one service center only i.e. Autobahn Skoda in Goregaon. There is literally nothing good to say about them. As I have purchased B2B maintenance package which can be only claimed at Autobahn service center pan India so need to stick with these guys. The package excludes tyres, battery and ac condensor. Rest all are covered, yes bulbs too. [clap]
 
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Re: Skoda Rapid 1.5L TDi AT Style LE 2017

Some Simply Clever Touches (ala Skoda)

Touches for rattle-free car
Anti-Rattle.jpg

Wiper fluid tank have mesh filter
Simply clever.jpg

Things I like [thumbsup]

  • Fun To Drive
  • Surprisingly it is fuel efficient too. Hard match to get FTD and FE
  • Build Quality (top most priority)
  • High speed stability
  • Mod Friendly

Things I don't like [thumbsdown]

  • Rough edges can be seen with close eyes
  • DSG GB (DQ200) reliability concerns
  • Lack of space
  • Low speed ride quality

Things i hate

  • Customer Service and ofcourse A.S.S.
  • Frequent features/variant shuffle
  • Poor Low-Beam

Scenic.jpg

Disclaimer: These are my personal views based on my limited knowledge and experience. No offence to any owners and petrolhead.
 
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Re: Skoda Rapid 1.5L TDi AT Style LE 2017

Hi GautamJ,
Many congratulations for your Rapid Tdi AT.
You have posted the most genuine review by an owner i have ever read, where you have
discussed the negatives in detail. I am sure your post will help many car enthusiasts.
 
Thread Starter #6
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Re: Skoda Rapid 1.5L TDi AT Style LE 2017

New Feature

I was fumbling inside the car when my elbow hit the indicator stalk. Noticed that when you use indicator stalk to toggle that respective side parking lights illuminate when key is not inserted. There was no such description written in owner's manual too. I don't exactly know how this feature can be beneficial, awaiting experts comments on this. Few snaps for the same.

When you toggle right indicator
Driver side (1).jpg

Driver side (2).jpg

When you toggle left indicator
Left (1).jpg

Left (2).jpg

Pardon me for poor quality pictures.

Hi,
Congratulations on your Skoda Rapid. Wishes to clock many miles without issues.
Hello! Thank you Sirji for your warm wishes.

Hi GautamJ,
Many congratulations for your Rapid Tdi AT.
You have posted the most genuine review by an owner i have ever read, where you have
discussed the negatives in detail. I am sure your post will help many car enthusiasts.
Thank you Sirji for your kind words.
 

Akash

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Hi GautamJ,

Many congrats for your car. I am planning on gifting my parents Rapid Style (Petrol) later this year. My priority is safety and with the proved structural integrity, i couldn't look at any other car.

My dad too loved the Edition X but it would pain to maintain (car would be mostly driven by driver) with the black finished roof and wheels. The all black interior with red stitching looked amazing though!

Keep this thread updated. Wish you lacs of happy miles.
 

Akash

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Hi GautamJ,

Many congrats for your car. I am planning on gifting my parents Rapid Style (Petrol) later this year. My priority is safety and with the proved structural integrity, i couldn't look at any other car.

My dad too loved the Edition X but it would pain to maintain (car would be mostly driven by driver) with the black finished roof and wheels. The all black interior with red stitching looked amazing though!

Keep this thread updated. Wish you lacs of happy miles.
My bad. I forgot to put the question i intended to ask.

How has the service centre been treating you? I am talking about general complaints like rattles or regular service and not any big repair jobs!
 
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My bad. I forgot to put the question i intended to ask.

How has the service centre been treating you? I am talking about general complaints like rattles or regular service and not any big repair jobs!
As I have Autobahn b2b service package so my experience is limited to Autobahn and that to Goregoan centre.

ASC is pain in ass, I would say Tata ASC is way better. Even after escalation to top guys, there is no help.

Rattles for now used to come in Driver side A-Pillar but now it vanished [evil]
Warranty claims are long process and takes minimum 15 days. (Had claimed for weather strips).
For paint jobs it’s good and reasonably priced. Had dent on front left door, costed me around ₹7800 and almost feels same as OEM.

The worst part way to scratched my car’s rear bumper and denied to accept it [frustration] (link for the same)
 
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Akash

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As I have Autobahn b2b service package so my experience is limited to Autobahn and that to Goregoan centre.

ASC is pain in ass, I would say Tata ASC is way better. Even after escalation to top guys, there is no help.

Rattles for now used to come in Driver side A-Pillar but now it vanished [evil]
Warranty claims are long process and takes minimum 15 days. (Had claimed for weather strips).
For paint jobs it’s good and reasonably priced. Had dent on front left door, costed me around ₹7800 and almost feels same as OEM.

The worst part way to scratched my car’s rear bumper and denied to accept it [frustration] (link for the same)
Worst than Tata? I have never been a TASS fan ever and if Skoda fares worse then thats really concerning for me. I have been going through dealership experiences of other Skoda users and from what i could interpret, things havent changed dramatically over the past couple of years!

Hope Yaris isnt as disappointing as Etios; looks like I should be looking at it more seriously!
 
Thread Starter #12
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image2.jpeg

Had visited Mahabaleshwar, and roads were almost non-existent due to which the underbelly scrapped twice [frustration].
Skoda had pre-monsoon campaign going on, so after coming back to Mumbai, decided to give it for checkup. Also this time I had changed the service centre, visited Kurla branch. Experience was okish, nothing great.
Car was given green signal, and no damages were found anywhere [clap].
Final bill came to 0 INR.
 
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Had visited Mahabaleshwar, and roads were almost non-existent due to which the underbelly scrapped twice [frustration].
Skoda had pre-monsoon campaign going on, so after coming back to Mumbai, decided to give it for checkup. Also this time I had changed the service centre, visited Kurla branch. Experience was okish, nothing great.
Car was given green signal, and no damages were found anywhere [clap].
Final bill came to 0 INR.
How about the maintanence for Skoda Rapid. Whether they assure anything similar to ford for 5 years and 100000kms cost of ownership.
 
Thread Starter #14
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How about the maintanence for Skoda Rapid. Whether they assure anything similar to ford for 5 years and 100000kms cost of ownership.
They don’t really assure anything. But to be on safer side I have taken B2B Autobahn Maintenance Package for 4 years or 60,000 km (IIRC) for ₹68,000. This is only applicable at Autobahn Service Centres and not JMDs. This package includes most of the stuff, except :-
1) AC compressor
2) Insurance Claims (obviously)
3) Battery
4) Tyres
It even includes as small parts as bulbs.
 
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First Service

Car had clocked 7404 km in a year, so as per service schedule (15000 km or one year, whichever is earlier) it was due for first service.

The list length was exactly opposite of my Tiago, list being :-
  • Wiper Blades Replacement

Also before hand, had a word with Body Shop Manager regarding rear bumper to be repainted FOC. Also requested them to remove scratches from right orvm (got solved by rubbing) and touch up (or brush-up paint in their language) on lower portion of front bumper, to which they accepted :biggrin:.

Here comes a story which impressed, First Service + Repaint was done in less than 48 hours. The Final Bill was ₹0 (note I have taken B2B maintenance package).

Here comes a twist, how can Skoda service end without it :lol!: :-
  • 2 out of 3 rear parking sensors were painted, though it looks good without hampering the functionality of it. But one sensor do look odd.
    Solution: They agreed to repaint the sensor alone, yes FOC
  • Paint peeled just above the front registration plate. SA accepted it, as was running short of time told them with touch up paint. Though it looks like an eyesore and have given my feedback to CRM for same.
    Solution: They will try their best to solve this. Will push them for front bumper repaint FOC :stupid:

Insurance Renewal

Insurance was due, and as I haven’t claimed during the year, got benefited by 20% NCB.
Went ahead with insurance from Autobahn, though switched to The New India Assurance from Bajaj Alliance.
Details as Follow :-
8780F612-4904-4021-83A3-501EEBF1541D.jpeg
 
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