This Skoda Rapid Petrol Review made us relish the last few days with a VW naturally aspirated four-pot motor which is good and bad at the same time
Skoda, as we all know loves to make an impact on the luxury car market. The manufacturer is getting into the 20-30 lakh segment and will be soon coming in the 40-50 lakh segment as well. Skoda is confident that it will make a mark in the luxury segment. With the trend in mind it has begun by updating the Rapid first with a host of new features, new engines and subtle changes to make sure it keeps on moving, The Rapid was reviewed by us in the diesel avatar some time back, this time around we had the petrol with us. The engine is the same as before which is the 1.6 petrol motor that is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. We spend some time with it to tell you what is it like.
Styling as we have seen before on the 2017 Rapid Diesel and thanks to Skoda for sending the same red color car as the diesel, we know now that the car looks great in the flash red scheme. The new front fascia, unchanged rear and side profile continue to be offered. Skoda hasn’t changed the alloy wheels also which is a shame considering this is a 2017 model with new engines offered.
Interior continue to be the same but the beige and black scheme has been revised for 2017. The interior comes with the same dash, meters and layout. The quality and fit-finish is high quality and well done. The interior is very spacious with lots of legroom and shoulder room on offer for two passengers. Third passenger isn’t entirely welcome to the cabin though.
Feature list includes electric ORVM’s, climate control, touch-screen system, steering mounted controls, mirror link, connectivity options include Bluetooth, aux, USB. Storage in the cabin is decent enough for knick nacks as there are two cup holders too.
Engine and Gearbox
When it comes to performance, the Rapid comes with the same old 1.6 MPi motor which we reckon is a bit old and dated now. The motor makes good low and mid-range power which helps it trundle in the city at high or lower gears fairly well. Highway overtaking power is decent enough and it can cruise at 120 km/hr all day as well. The free-revving motor is just about adequate for daily duties. The problem with the old motor is the NVH levels. The pedals have a high amount of vibrations and the noise from the motor in mid range and top-end is quite high in the cabin. The drone is well controlled at highway speeds despite the six-speed is missing as the gearbox is a 5-speed unit.
The gearbox is smooth and short throws which are great coupled with a slightly tall shift lever. Clutch is light with slightly low throws. Although it is quite old school but is pleasant for the enthusiast, but it doesn’t make fast progress to match the same, like say, as the 1.2 TSi motor, which is vice versa when you compare performance and soundtrack over the 1.6 MPi. We loved every moment when we got a chance to redline the motor at every downshift though and realized that this probably the last four-pot motor from VW that is still naturally aspirated. The 1.6 Polo petrol days numbered though and were an immediate reminder when we drove the car. We got a typical C-segment fuel-efficiency of 9-12 km/l which is city and highway numbers respectively.
Dynamically, as we told you earlier, the Rapid continues to be a hoot to ride. The ride quality is good, there is almost negligible body roll in the car and switching lanes at high speeds isn’t unsettling. The highway speed stability is top-notch and segments best. Steering feedback could be better but the precision and responsive is good enough as it follows orders from driver and executes them quickly. Brakes are good as they have a proper bite and a lot of progressive power and it sheds speeds with ease and confidence.
Skoda Rapid Petrol Review, Verdict
Rapid petrol highlight isn’t particularly anything, but it does everything quite well. The motor is punchy enough and enthusiasts will love the old school nature of the engine. The daily driver may not find it appealing, but it should grow soon on them as nothing in the car is not annoying in any way. Where it scores best is the high-quality interior, the comfortable ride and experience, a spacious cabin and boot space. It is value for money and its feature list match quite well and that makes the Rapid an ideal entry into the European sedan segment if you are looking for something like this.
Skoda Rapid Petrol Review