Our Cars: Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI SE

20 September 2013: Rapid economy on the up

The Details

Current mileage 15,695
Claimed economy 64.2mpg
Actual economy 69.2mpg

I've managed to cover around 1000 miles in Rapid over the last few weeks, the majority of which have been on the motorway. And I have to say that fuel economy has been very impressive. On two occasions my 78 mile journeys have given me average fuel consumption of 70.4mpg and 71.8 mpg, according to the trip computer - easily exceeding the claimed average figure of 64.2mpg.

However, there is a little head scratching when nearing an empty tank which I've not come across previously mainly due to my refuelling habits. I've noticed that the re-fuelling light tends to be a little over zealous and lights up around the 80 miles range.

Maybe that's just me and my range anxiety making me feel that's a bit early. The range may say 80 miles but the needle on the dial is way into the red, indicating there's basically nothing left in the tank. On the other hand, the 80 miles does seem to then drop dramatically quickly, so to test this I reset the trip just to see how accurate the range meter is. The answer is very accurate. On reflection I did test this while driving in town which will exlain the difference compared to motorway miles.

That's not been enough to distract from the worry of the water intake in the back doors. Unfortunately there's still no improvement from the last update and if anything it's worse. We had a significant amount of rainfall over the last couple of weeks and both rear doors are full of water again.

The only way to drain the water is to gently pull the rubber seal which allows it to flow out but I have noticed that without doing so the water is also falling into the rear footwells - something that went previously unnoticed. On my last journey my son had very wet feet by the time we had got back home. I don't think water is creeping in while driving, it's more of a build up of water as the doors in the rear are in constant use with my kids or work.

On a positive note the Rapid is good on the motorway at 70mph in 5th. I had reservations about only having a five speed gearbox but in reality this isn't a problem. In fact less gear changing makes the driving experience even better and just like the lenses I use for work, they all have a sweet spot where they work absolutely tack sharp - in this case it's at 70mph. It's very quiet, the suspension seems to smooth out a little, the steering is effortless, and the mpg rises. It almost makes up for the water build up.

« Earlier: Water torture     Later: A storm in a Rapid teacup »

Our Rapid is leaving us after six months and while the leaky door problem remains unresolved, we still think the Rapid is an impressively practical small family car.
20 September 2013: Rapid economy on the up
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