Review: Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019)

Rating:

Spacious and practical. Comes with an efficient range of engines. Represents good value for money

Entry-level models aren't generously equipped. A little on the dull side. Cabin materials could be nicer

Recently Added To This Review

8 February 2019

Report of intermittent problem with heating and ventilation of 2015 Skoda Rapid Sportback 1.4TSI DSG. O curred on 3 recent occasions after engine reached full operating temp. It is impossible to turn... Read more

5 February 2018

Report of judder in reverse gear only in 2015 2015 Skoda Rapid Spaceback 1.4 TSI SE Greentech DSG at 15,000 miles. Read more

22 February 2017 Revised Rapid Spaceback revealed

Changes include modified fog lights and a narrow chrome strip (standard from SE L up) connects the lights and creates a wider-looking front end plus black-tinted covers on the taillights in the distinctive... Read more

Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019): At A Glance

With a name like Spaceback you might think the newest variant of the Skoda Rapid is supposed to be an estate, but it’s actually just a fancy name for a for more conventional family hatchback model. However it still majors on practicality – there’s a spacious cabin and a well-proportioned boot, making the Rapid Spaceback a sensible family car.

Indeed rear leg and head room are particularly impressive and while the 415 litre boot capacity is slightly less on paper than the regular Rapid, in practice it’s a more usable shape and will be more practical. Couple the useful dimensions with a range of frugal engines, decent equipment levels and competitive prices and the Rapid Spaceback makes sense as an honest, if somewhat unexciting family workhorse.

Skoda offers a range of five engines – three petrol and two diesel. Power outputs range from 86PS to 122PS but the pick of the range is a versatile, sprightly 1.2 TSI 105PS petrol. For those who prefer an automatic gearbox Skoda offers a 1.4 TSI or the 1.6 TDI with a DSG double-clutch gearbox.

Low running costs are at the core of the Rapid Spaceback’s appeal – even the thirstiest engine has official economy of 48.7mpg and all of the manual models have emissions below 125g/km. A diesel engine shouldn’t necessarily be top of the shopping list if you’re looking for low fuel bills – the petrol engines are all frugal and can return very respectable fuel economy in real world conditions.

Practical and sensible though the Spaceback is, it isn’t without its flaws. The cabin, while neat, isn’t as plush or as polished as you might expect and the driving experience is a little dull. But as a family hatchback it’s pretty hard to fault – it’s reasonable value for money, economical and well screwed together.

Skoda Rapid 2013 Road Test

Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI SE 'Our Cars' Long-Term Test Reports

Skoda Rapid 1.4TDI and Spaceback 1.0TSI DSG 2017 Road Test

What does a Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019) cost?

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Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4304 mm
Width 1940 mm
Height 1459 mm
Wheelbase 2602 mm

Full specifications

The Spaceback name might be a little misleading – this isn’t supposed to be estate version of the Rapid, rather it’s a more sensible and traditional hatchback. It is spacious though – the rear seats can comfortably carry adults and the boot is a good size. It has a fairly high load lip to haul heavy items over, but a false boot floor is offered to alleviate the problem.

As family transport the Rapid Spaceback is hard to fault – but it is relatively narrow, so carrying three fully grown adults or teenagers in the back row might be tricky. Some of the materials are a little lacklustre too – there’s no soft touch dash covering and the faux-metallic inlays feel a bit second rate. That said the plastics that Skoda has used should stand up to plenty of abuse.

There’s nothing special about the dashboard layout, but nor is there anything wrong with it – the controls are placed where you’d expect them to be and everything is intuitive and easy to operate, from the steering mounted audio buttons to the air conditioning and the touchscreen display.

Those who wish to lift the ambience a little will be pleased with the options list – Skoda offers a full length glass roof, which bathes the cabin in light, there are options for different dash inlays and you can even pick cream upholstery. These few extras lift an otherwise drab but perfectly functional cabin.

Standard equipment on entry level models is okay, with front electric windows, air conditioning, a CD player and Isofix mounts. Those who want some luxury will need to move up to SE trim which adds alloy wheels, parking sensors, steering wheel audio controls and satellite navigation. 

Rapid Spaceback S models come with 15-inch Dakara steel wheels with trims and 185/60 R15 tyres, an alarm with interior monitoring, centre console with cupholder, curtain airbags, daytime running lights, ESP including ABS, ASR, MSR, EDS and HBA, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, front electric windows, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, height adjustable drivers seat, parking ticket window clip, Isofix on back seats, manual air conditioning, remote central door locking plus a reversible (rubber/carpet) load floor mat.

Greentech models gain braking energy recovery system and a stop/start system.

SE has 15-inch Carme alloy wheels and 185/60 R15 tyres, six speakers, three-spoke leather steering wheel with controls for radio and telephone, acoustic rear parking sensors, body coloured door mirrors and handles, cruise control, front centre armrest, front fog lights, storage compartment for sunglasses, hill hold control (on 1.4 TSI DSG and 1.6 TDI 90 DSG only), maxi-dot trip computer, sat-nav, tinted glass and Bluetooth.

Elegance models gain 16-inch Dione alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres, chrome interior surrounds, climate control air conditioning, cornering front fog lights, front and rear floor mats and a height adjustable passenger seat.

Child seats that fit a Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019) like to drive?

The Spaceback is designed primarily for comfort and it shows on the road. The cabin is quiet and the ride is smooth for the most part, although optional 17-inch wheels do make the car thud over potholes. But stick to smaller wheels and it’s a gentle, undemanding car to drive.

The steering is light, gear changes are easy and corners are taken care of safely without fluster. Even on damp roads there's plenty of grip and there's not much in the way of disconcerting body roll. Sure, it's no hot hatch, but it's a perfectly capable and competent vehicle both in town and out on faster roads. It's unlikely to fill you with 'joie de vivre' but as a means of getting from A to B it's fine.

Skoda offers a choice of five engines - two diesel and three petrol. Petrol options are a 86PS or 105PS 1.2-litre or a 122PS 1.4-litre. The 86PS engine does run out of steam a little, particularly when tasked with a hill, but working the gearbox means it can easily keep up with traffic. With an official economy figure of 51.4mpg and emissions of 119g/km it's the cheapest petrol-powered model in the range to tax. 

The pick of the petrol range is the 105PS 1.2 TSI. It feels sprightly, eager and paired with a six-speed manual transmission it’s versatile, with plenty of torque for relaxed driving and a sixth gear for motorway cruising. It’s so good, in fact, that it makes the case for one of the 1.6 TDI engines - either the 90PS or 105PS version, a little weak.

That said, they’re both perfectly good, offering the typical diesel attributes of low-down torque and frugality. The cleanest and greenest engine of the lot is the Greenline 1.6 TDI, which has emissions of 99g/km. That makes it free to tax, and with official economy of 74.3mpg it should be cheap at the pumps too. 

The 1.4 TSI and the 1.6 TDI 105PS diesel are available with a smooth, unobtrusive DSG automatic gearbox which performs its role perfectly well – it’s quick to change gear and because it’s a dual-clutch transmission it doesn’t have much of an effect on fuel economy. However be aware that this gearbox is not without its problems and we have had lots of reports of DSG issues across various Volkswagen Group cars.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 TSI 110 58 mpg 9.8 s 106 g/km
1.0 TSI 110 DSG 59 mpg 10.2 s 110 g/km
1.0 TSI 95 59 mpg 11.0 s 103 g/km
1.0 TSI 95 DSG 51–61 mpg 11.3 s 107 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 52 mpg 10.2 s 125 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 GreenTech 55 mpg 10.2 s 118 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 58 mpg 9.7 s 111 g/km
1.2 TSI 86 55 mpg 11.7 s 119 g/km
1.2 TSI 86 GreenTech 58 mpg 11.7 s 114 g/km
1.2 TSI 90 60 mpg 11.2 s 107 g/km
1.2 TSI 90 DSG 60 mpg 11.3 s 109 g/km
1.4 TDI 90 71 mpg 11.6 s 94 g/km
1.4 TDI 90 DSG 63–74 mpg 11.7 s 99 g/km
1.4 TSI 122 DSG 49 mpg 9.4 s 134 g/km
1.4 TSI 122 DSG GreenTech 51 mpg 9.4 s 127 g/km
1.4 TSI 122 GreenTech DSG 51 mpg 9.4 s 127 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 DSG 59 mpg 8.9 s 114 g/km
1.4 TSI DSG 49 mpg 9.4 s 134 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 64 mpg 10.3 s 114 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 GreenTech 55–71 mpg 10.3 s 106 g/km
1.6 TDI 115 60–67 mpg 9.9 s 109 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 64 mpg 11.9 s 114 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 DSG 63 mpg 12.1 s 118 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 Greenline 74 mpg 11.9 s 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 GreenTech 71–72 mpg 12.1 s 104–106 g/km

Real MPG average for a Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

85%

Real MPG

36–75 mpg

MPGs submitted

84

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Skoda Rapid Spaceback (2013 – 2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Buying a family car - Rapid Spaceback or Toledo?

I need a practical, reliable family car. I have seen a 2014 Skoda Rapid Spaceback 1.2 TSI S 86ps for £8500 with 12,000 miles. I have also seen a 2014 SEAT Toledo 1.2 TSI S 105PS for £9400 ewith 2000 miles. Both are from main dealers with full history. Which one do you consider the better deal?
The Rapid Spaceback has improved ride and handling over the original Rapid and Toledo, and the 86PS 1.2TSI is more economical than the 105. Boils down to whether you want the extra boot length of the Toledo or the greater rear seat legroom of the Spaceback.
Answered by Honest John
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