Wednesday, October 4, 2023

2021 Skoda Rapid TSi Review, Road Test

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2021 Skoda Rapid TSi. The sedan from the manufacturer that aims to take on the likes of heavyweight champion, the Honda City and others is finally here with us as have driven both, the manual and automatic version. Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has an aggressive strategy of launching new products from the year 2020 onwards but also heavily updated the existing lineup, yet again.

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2021 Skoda Rapid TSi is the very first time the Rapid is getting this update. The sedan got a new engine and gearboxes. Be it on the inside and outside, there are subtle changes to make it noticeable to buyers and enthusiasts. Like always, there are core strengths and weakness of any product that comes from the Skoda stable. We find out what the Rapid offers and doesn’t to its prospective buyers.

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On the outside, the sedan retains its original shape and size but the elements have changed over the last decade. The build quality on the outside is very good and as we know, most Skoda cars score the highest marks in crash tests. The new wheels and the same head and tail-lamps are on offer. Headlamp continues to get DRL and projector lights with halogen lamps. The Skoda butterfly grille always helps it stand out against most of its competitors. Overall, the timeless design still attracts a good amount of audience.

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On the inside, the build and quality are the segment best. All though, the feature list we have explained time and again in our launch reports is not that expansive. Sound system isn’t impressive and the touch screen can feel slow and hang at times. While starting the screen up, it may some times take a longer time to react as well. You have Apple Car Play and Android Auto on the car along with Mirror Link. It still gets one-touch power windows on all four windows which are lacking on its rivals.

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Space is good when it comes to the leg, knee, shoulder and headroom continue to be in good supply. The boot space is good by segment standards at 494 litres. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well controlled. The safety rating is good at four stars and you get Hill Hold Assist is with the automatic variant. ABS and EBD with two airbags come as standard.


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The 1.0l TSI engine is smooth, free-revving and low on NVH. Exhaust note can feel sporty to some ears and commuter-ish to others. For us, its the former. The clutch is light and so is the manual gearbox to operate. The automatic gets a creep function which is quite fast (the usual is 8-9 km/hr). Automatic is considerably different from the automatic as the manual just matches with the engine character perfectly.

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Low and mid-range are good on the turbo petrol motor. Top-end is good enough as well and it cruises at legal speeds easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties and definitely quite fun to drive than all its rivals. You have to rev it a bit to truly enjoy the top-end power like a naturally aspirated motor but the benefits are quite high than a N/A engine. Fuel economy continues is good enough as you can get 12 km/l in the city and 16 km/l on the highway. 0-100 km/hr is done in 10 seconds and it is the fastest in the segment, even after all these years.

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Like most of Skoda cars, the low to medium ride quality is stiff, and the high-speed ride is very good and so it the stability. Body roll is well in check while taking a corner or changing lanes at high speeds. Brakes are good with good pedal bite inspiring a lot of confidence to slow down from any speed. Overall, very easy to drive, and the most fun to drive the car by far compared to all its rivals. Steering is light and precise and has good feedback on offer which makes the car fun and 100% confidence-inspiring to push harder.

2021 Skoda Rapid TSi Review, Verdict

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2021 Skoda Rapid TSi is now a better package. The manufacturer has warranty schemes that suit your needs with the four years forever package. 2021 Skoda Rapid TSi has been localized and is quite easier than before to maintain when it comes to expenditure. The 2021 Skoda Rapid TSi gets a great value for money proposition, especially in the lower two variants. So much so, that the waiting period is quite long!

The Rapid also remains similar which means you get a solid, safe and fun to drive car with basic features, not over the top like most of its rivals. However, the Rapid’s rivals lack what it offers, which makes the Rapid worth considering and a default choice for the enthusiast in the segment.

Mohit Soni
Mohit Soni
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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