The Skoda Rapid continues to be one of the most driver-friendly cars in the compact sedan segment and is also one of the most affordable priced from Rs. 7.49 lakh (ex-showroom, India) onwards. However, Skoda Auto India has silently discontinued the Rider variant with the range now starting from the Rider Plus, going up to the top-spec Monte Carlo variant. The company delisted the base variant on its website recently, which made the Rapid India’s most affordable turbocharged petrol sedan on sale. However, before you lose hope, there is a catch as the headline suggests.
Skoda Auto India has only temporarily discontinued the entry-level Rider variant as all units have been sold out for 2020. The automaker confirmed that the base trim will make a comeback in January 2021 as part of the new batch of production and that should definitely be a big relief for those who were looking to bring the Rapid Rider home anytime next year. In fact, the company’s website has only hidden prices for the Rider trim, while the variant and its details remain visible.
The Skoda Rapid Rider trim manages to offer a lot of power for fairly less money, making it the ideal budget enthusiast’s car on sale. It makes more sense than the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI as well, simply because of its pricing and practicality. Power on the 2020 Skoda Rapid comes from the 1.0-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine that develops 110PS and 175Nm of peak torque. The motor is paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
On the feature front, the Rider variant offers more value as it packs automatic climate control, a 2-DIN audio player, rear parking sensors, rear windscreen defogger, front and rear power windows, ABS and stainless-steel scuff plates with Rapid inscription. The Rapid Rider variant though is only offered in the candy white exterior paint scheme.
Skoda India introduced the Rapid 1.0 TSI earlier this year and the company says the model has received a response better than expected. The company is selling an average of 800 units per month, which is about 100 units more than the car’s monthly sales in 2019. The smart pricing has also helped the Rapid capture a 12 per cent market share in the compact sedan segment that makes it a strong rival against the bestsellers like the new-gen Honda City and Hyundai Verna.
The current generation Skoda Rapid will continue to be on sale till the end of 2021, which is when we expect to see the new generation or successor arrive at our shores. The new offering will be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, specific to India, retiring the PQ25 platform for good in the Skoda India family. Prices for the Rapid currently start from Rs. 7.99 lakh for the Rider Plus trim, going up to Rs. 11.79 lakh for the Monte Carlo variant. The automatic trims are priced from Rs. 9.49 lakh to Rs. 13.29 lakh (ex-showroom, India).