Price-wise, the Rapid is in a similar bracket to a Volkswagen Polo, but space-wise it is roomier inside than a VW Golf.
Comfort and Refinement
You get a lot more space in this car than the money you are paying for it would suggest. Price-wise, the Rapid is in a similar bracket to a Volkswagen Polo, but space-wise it is roomier inside than a VW Golf. There is plenty of room to stretch out, and a family of five will find enough stowage behind them for all the holiday luggage they need. The driving seat is height adjustable, and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, so it is easy to achieve a comfortable driving position.
Refinement is fair. The 1.2 litre petrol engine makes little fuss about its activity even under quite a high load, and is never particularly intrusive. You get a bit more noise with the diesel and it has a slightly growly note that is just a little intrusive when you are in press-on mode. There is also a bit of wind noise around the front pillars, and just a bit of modest road rumble.
Safety and Security
It was too soon for a Euro NCAP rating when we tested the Rapid, but it has been designed to achieve a high rating. There are curtain airbags as well as front and side ones for the driver and front passenger. There is an electronic stability control package of safety aids to help protect the car in tricky conditions.
The Rapid is equipped as standard with Skoda’s ‘Swing’ radio. The test car was fitted with the Sat nav pack at £550 that includes an upgrade to digital radio. Actually that’s not a bad deal, and is more reasonably priced than most dash-installed satnavs, but you have to put up with the annoyance of a staccato voice for the spoken instructions that can become quite irksome on a long trip.
Extra kit on the test car pushed up its price by nearly £2,500 to just over £17,000. That included £495 for metallic paint, a £500 summer pack with upgraded ‘Climatronic’ dual-zone air conditioning and tinted glass, and £600 for a driving pack comprising cruise control and rear parking sensors.
- Volkswagen Golf
- Chevrolet Volt
- Kia Cee’d
- Ford Focus
What We Liked
- Amazingly spacious for a car of its size and price
- Loads of room in the boot
- Pleasantly styled with the latest Skoda ‘family’ face and the new, cleaner-looking badge
- Eye-catching range of colours including an acid yellow, vivid green and this bright blue
- Very reasonably priced before you start adding the extras
- Fully fitted satnav for less money than most manufacturers charge
- Sweet sounding, reasonably performing petrol engine
What We Disliked
- Bouncy ride
- All low-rent, hard-touch plastic surfaces in the cabin
- Diesel engine just a bit growly
What We Would Like To See
- Less bounce in the ride
- Softer touch plastics inside
If you want a moderately sized car with oceans of room inside, the Rapid is well worth considering. It has decent driving manners and is a lot of car for the money. Be prepared, though, for some signs of it being built down to a budget, and for the bouncy ride. It is very spacious and good value but with a few flaws.19 November 2012
Skoda Rapid Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Skoda Rapid SE 1.2 TSI|
|Body Type||5-door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||114 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||64.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5-Stars|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60,000|
|Price (when tested on the 19/11/12)||£14,640|