The SKODA Rapid from launch has been a bit of late bloomer by all accounts. It was launched at the same time as the previous Octavia was still being manufactured and didn’t really fit anywhere but now with the launch of the new Octavia, it all begins to make sense! SKODA has upped their game and the Rapid could pass for the new Octavia… Twisted logic? Correct! This is taking nothing away from the new Octavia, in fact, in cements its role even further!
The bright red Rapid 1.2 TSI 85bhp I have been driving for the past few months was a launch model so full of useful toys and gadgets, ticking all the boxes so far! When I was told I could use the Rapid, I thought, ok, well, let’s give it a go and see what happens. What has actually happened is that I’ve found it to be nothing more than helpful, rewarding and a pleasure to drive. I couldn’t recommend one enough!
The 1.2 TSI engine is something that I have heard a lot customers say,” A 1.2 won’t be enough power, do you have a 1.6 or something similar?” Try one!! That’s all ill say… You WILL be surprised by the response of this little engine. I was! It’s lively, full of go and still returns an impressive 40+ mpg while pottering round town. On long runs, I’ve seen low 50’s at times. The engine becomes very asthmatic after 4,000 rpm so pointless winding the needle round but up until that point, it’s surprisingly entertaining. Sounds quite nice too!
The car itself is spacious and easy to drive. The boot is huge with plenty of space for shopping, kids pushchairs etc, and it’s full of storage compartments. One in particular I really like and found completely by accident under the driver’s seat, there is a small pocket for your ‘high vis’ jacket for driving across the EU. Nice little touches SKODA!
On to the useful toys and gadgets! The stereo incorporates a DAB Digital Radio which reminds a little bit of the SiriusXM Satellite Radio in the USA, brilliant for all your local radio stations and more that you probably haven’t even heard of! It also has Satellite Navigation with voice guidance and the MFD (Multi-function display) between the rev counter and the speedo gives you all the turns as you need them. Great safety feature as you don’t have to take your eyes from the road for too long. The main feature I found most useful was the Bluetooth integration. Simply pair your phone up to the stereo, and that’s it, your phonebook is on the touchscreen and you can voice dial from one button! I’ve never been so social via the use of the phone before! Once connected, you can also stream via Bluetooth any music you have on your phone! Nice for when you have exhausted the 100+ digital radio stations you can receive! Located just underneath the stereo, an AUX in 3.5mm jack point and a USB slot. Given the right device connected or maybe the correct lead connected to the USB slot and your phone, you could then stream all media from it to the screen on the dashboard.
This model had heated seats as well which was nice on the cold mornings! Nothing worse than getting into a cold car on a very cold morning!
Summary of the SKODA Rapid:
If I was looking for a mid-sized family car, it would be pretty near the top of the shortlist. It is refined, cheap to run and easy to drive with all the space you could need. Clever little features and storage show how it’s been well thought out by the SKODA engineers. Excellent on long runs and just as happy with going to the shops for the groceries. Love all the toys and gadgets!