Pros and Cons of Skoda Rapid

The Skoda Rapid is an increasingly popular car in the mid-size segment in India and for good reason. The Rapid is a pretty decent all-round car, offered in petrol and diesel models. Yet, it is not the segment leader and has settled at an average sales of 1900 units a month in the past six months.

Why can it not do more? The segment leader is the Hyundai Verna that sells over 4,000 cars a month. Even the Nissan Sunny, a relative new comer and with a smaller service network is selling 2,200 cars on average each month.

CarToq takes a look at the pros and cons of the Skoda Rapid.

The Skoda Rapid is built on the Volkswagen Vento platform. It comes with a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 153 Nm of torque and 104 bhp of power. This is mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission (there are two automatic variants in the line up). The other engine choice is a 1.6 litre diesel engine that puts out 104 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission only. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of about 20 kmpl for the diesel and 15 kmpl for the petrol, with real world figures of about 15 kmpl and 12 kmpl respectively. Also read: Video Review: Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid Pros

The plus points of the Rapid are quite easy to enumerate. For one, it is a good looking car, which has classy European looks and conservative styling, based on the Volkswagen Vento. The diesel Rapid is a good car to drive as it has good handling and good power delivery. The car has high-quality interiors that give it a luxurious feel. Features in the top-end Rapid include two airbags, automatic climate control, power adjustable rear-view mirrors, electric central locking, rear AC vents and an integrated audio system with steering audio controls. Service interval of just once a year or once every 15,000 km also works in its favour.

Skoda Rapid Cons

What is a plus point for the Rapid is also a negative – people think the Rapid is but a blatant replica of the Volkswagen Vento, and such badge engineering with minor cosmetic changes doesn’t go down to well with some buyers. The second point is the car can seat only four comfortably, as the fifth passenger in the middle at the rear will have to endure the high transmission tunnel in the car. The other bugbear is the cost of spares. Skoda still uses a high degree of import content and spare parts are expensive for the Rapid. Although service is just once a year and would cost about Rs. 7,000 (giving it a per KM maintenance cost of just 0.50 paise), the standard of service at some Skoda service centers has earned the whole network a poor reputation. Although Skoda is trying to fix it, the initial damage done by poor service at some service centers has lasted quite a while. Skoda still needs to expand its service reach further.

Buying advice

Should you consider the Skoda Rapid? Yes, it is a car worth considering, especially if you are shopping for a diesel mid-size sedan. The diesel drives much better than the petrol and with the high-quality of fit and finish that the Rapid offers, it feels like a solid luxury car. Before you buy the car check with other Skoda customers about the best service centre in your city and then take an informed decision. The car will offer you trouble free service for quite a while.

http://www.cartoq.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/skoda-rapid-red-photo2.jpg