Skoda India has just launched its C-segment sedan, the Rapid, in the Indian market. The Rapid is available in 8 variants, including two petrol automatics, three petrol manual transmission variants and three diesel manual transmission variants priced between Rs. 6.75 lakh and Rs. 9.19 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.
At first glance, the Rapid looks quite a lot like its sister company Volkswagen’s sedan – the Vento. And you can be forgiven for mistaking a Rapid for a Vento or vice-versa, as in profile they look virtually identical. There’s good reason that both cars look similar. Skoda and Volkswagen share nearly 80% of the components of both cars – and they are more or less “badge engineered” siblings. The engines are identical, the chassis is identical and suspension set up is similar. There are only cosmetic changes and minor suspension tweaks that set the cars apart.
If you have always had your eye on the Volkswagen Vento but found it just a bit more pricey than you would like, the Rapid might be the car for you. A selection of eight variants also mean that there would be one that fits your feature and fuel type requirements.
So much so, the Rapid’s biggest competitor will be the Vento itself, besides other strong cars in the segment – the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Maruti SX4 and Ford Fiesta. How does the Rapid compare with its cousin the Vento ?
First up, here’s a quick look at the 8 variants that the Rapid is offering:
Skoda Rapid variants
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The Rapid is available in five colors – silver, white, beige, black and red.
Looking at the prices, the Rapid is just marginally cheaper by about Rs. 25,000 compared to the Volkswagen Vento, with almost all features being identical. So how different is the Skoda Rapid from its cousin the Volkswagen Vento?
Skoda Rapid vs Volkswagen Vento
Looks, space and comfort
Given that both the Rapid and the Vento share the same chassis and mechanicals, the ride quality is pretty similar in both cars. Boot space too is almost the same (Vento has 454 litres, Rapid has 460 litres). In terms of looks, Skoda has managed to fit on a Fabia-derived front end on the Vento body. The front grille, bonnet, bumper and headlamps, are all from the Fabia with some subtle curves added to give it a bit more flair.
In profile, both cars look virtually identical. The boot too looks pretty similar, with Skoda adding a small indentation into the boot lid and different, Laura-inspired, tail-lamps to differentiate it from the Vento.
Going by looks and space, you can pick either the Vento or the Rapid and get exactly the same characteristics.
Performance and mileage
The Vento and the Rapid again share the same engines. The petrol Rapid and Vento are powered by a 1.6 litre engine that puts out 104 bhp of power at 5250 rpm and 153 Nm of torque at 3,800 rpm. The diesel version of the Vento and Rapid are powered by a 1.6-litre common-rail diesel engine that puts out 104 bhp of power at 4,400 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 1500-2500 rpm. However, the Vento is available in only three petrol variants (two manual transmission and one automatic), while the Rapid is available in five petrol variants (three manual transmission and two automatics).
Among diesel variants too, the Vento only has two variants, while the Rapid has three variants, all manual transmission. The manual transmission is a five-speed, while the automatics are six-speed with tiptronic shift.
Mileage figures again are identical to the Vento, with the petrol claiming 15 kmpl and the diesel models claiming 20 kmpl.
Price, features and value-for-money
Variant for variant the Rapid actually offers more choice than the Volkswagen Vento. The base models are devoid of safety features in both, while Skoda has a mid-variant (Ambition) that has a single airbag. Vento only offers safety features on the top-end variants. Again Skoda has two automatics – one on the top end Elegance and one offered in the Ambition variant, giving customers more choice. Price-wise also the Rapid is marginally cheaper than the Vento.
In terms of value-for-money, that makes the Rapid a better buy than the Volkswagen Vento, unless you’re really brand conscious and are willing to fork out Rs. 25,000 more for the Vento.
If you have liked the Vento, but not willing to pay extra for the Volkswagen brand name, you should take a look at the Rapid.
Skoda plans to sell about 2,000 models of the Rapid per month. The car will be made at its Chakan plant alongside the Volkswagen Vento. Sharing of parts with the Vento has made it easier for Skoda to price the Rapid quite competitively in the market. The Rapid is available across India at Skoda’s 100 dealers.
Do you think the Rapid can outsell the Volkswagen Vento? Share your thoughts.
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