Skoda Rapid vs. Maruti Suzuki Sx4; Find out which is the better car!

Skoda recently launched their much talked about C segment sedan, the Rapid. Skoda had no car in the C segment post the ouster of their Octavia sedan a few years ago. The C segment is presently dominated by the Hyundai Verna, Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki SX4 with the Volkswagen Vento close on their heels.

skoda rapid vs maruti suzuki sx4

With so many cars in the segment and which are all priced similarly, it becomes difficult to choose the right car. So here’s another CarToq story to help you out. We had earlier compared the Hyundai Fluidic Verna and the Rapid diesel. Now, we compare the Maruti Suzuki SX4 with the all new Skoda Rapid to help you find out which diesel sedan offers more per buck.

The Rapid is essentially a rebadged Volkswagen Vento and both cars are manufactured at Volkswagen’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra. They are both powered by the same 1.6-litre diesel engine as well. The Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel is powered by a 1.3-litre DDiS engine, based on Fiat’s 1.3-litre Multijet motor. The SX4 has been selling consistently despite the plethora of options in the C segment such as the Volkswagen Vento, Hyundai fluidic Verna and the Nissan Sunny.  Does the recently launched Rapid have the potential to steal customers looking for the SX4? Let’s find out!

Performance and handling

The Rapid has an edge over the SX4 in terms of power and torque with a 1.6 litre diesel engine that produces 104 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. On the other hand, the SX4 is powered by a 1.3-litre diesel engine with VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) producing a peak power of 89 bhp and a peak torque of 200 Nm.

While driving the Rapid diesel, you can easily feel the rapid acceleration once you shift gears past the 2000 rpm every time. Further, the electronic steering weighs up nicely and the Rapid feels quite planted around corners, with its slightly stiffer suspension set up.

The SX4’s acceleration is not as fast as that of the Rapid but its strong mid range power will tackle most highway overtaking maneuvers with ease. The steering wheel is precise and the sporty suspension of the SX4 will allow you to push it around corners though with a progressive vertical movement. With regard to fuel efficiency, the SX4 has an advantage for it returns about 22 kmpl while the Rapid return about 20 kmpl.

Winner: If you are looking for outright performance, the Rapid has a slight edge over the SX4. But in terms of handling, the SX4 almost matches up with the Rapid.

Space and Comfort

Both the SX4 and the Rapid offer comfortable interiors. The luggage space in the SX4 is 504 litres while the Skoda Rapid offers only 460 litres. The Rapid is low slung while the SX4’s seats are positioned slightly higher making for easy ingress and egress. The rear legroom is more in the Rapid than in the SX4. Both cars have well pronounced transmission tunnels reducing legroom for the middle passenger. In the Rapid, the rear AC vents take up knee room as well, further reducing the comfort of the middle passenger. Hence, both the cars could be termed as great four-seaters but are best only decent for five people.

Winner: In terms of overall space and comfort, the Rapid has a small advantage over the SX4 in terms of ride comfort though the SX4 offers more luggage space and high seating position for easy ingress and egress.

Looks

The Rapid looks sporty, thanks to the raw vertical front grille, the Fabia-like headlamps and the large fog lamps. It is elegant looking from the sides and has Laura-inspired tail-lamps. The SX4 is based on the SX4 compact SUV sold abroad. It is hence muscular and has a dominating road stance. It also boasts a segment leading ground clearance, 180 mm (Rapid – 168 mm) making it easy to tackle the worst road surfaces without scrapping the car’s underbody

Winner: The Rapid is an elegant car with a sporty front while the SX4 has muscular proportions for a domineering road stance. It is hence a tie in this department.

Features

Both the cars offer a similar set of features on the top-end variants such as dual front airbags, ABS, fog lights, alloy wheels, electric mirrors, keyless entry, central locking, AC with climate control and music system with four speakers.  However, the Rapid is kitted with the Ergo lever for easily adjusting the rear seat legroom and the adjustable rear-AC vents. The Sx4 on the other hand has steering mounted audio controls which the Rapid does not.

Winner: Both the cars are almost equally equipped, but the Rapid with its ergo-lever and rear AC vents scores more in terms of comfort features.

Price, mileage and overall value for money

The base variant of the Skoda Rapid diesel is priced at Rs. 7.95 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, while the top-end variant of the Rapid is priced at Rs. 9.19 lakh.  The Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel base variant is priced at Rs. 7.88 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, while the top-end variant is priced at Rs. 8.76 lakh and for the top-end variant with leather upholstery, Rs. 9.11 lakh.

Both the cars are closely priced with the SX4 being less pricey by around Rs. 7,000 for the base variant and Rs. 8,000 for the top-end variant (with leather upholstery). However, if you aren’t particular about leather upholstery, the SX4 top-end variant costs Rs. 8.76 lakh, which is better value for money than the Rapid.

In terms of mileage as well, the SX4 has a higher claimed mileage figure than the Rapid. The SX4 1.3-litre diesel has a claimed mileage of 21.5 kmpl, while the Rapid has a claimed figure of just over 20 kmpl. In real world conditions, the SX4 gives about 17 kmpl in city conditions, slightly more than the Rapid’s 16 kmpl.

Winner: Overall, in terms of value for money and mileage, the SX4 is better than the Rapid.

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

The Maruti Suzuki offers more value for money, has muscular looks and a slightly more fuel-efficient and refined engine. It is backed up by the vast sales and service network of Maruti Suzuki and has low maintenance costs. The Skoda Rapid, however, may make a good choice as a chauffeur driven car as it has a more comfortable back seat (if only two people are sitting at the rear) and also has rear AC vents. It has elegant styling that may be liked by business class or matured buyers. Overall, it’s the Maruti Suzuki SX4 that offers more bangs for your bucks!

Tech Specs comparison

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