Our Cars: Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI SE

7 June 2013: Rapid on the road

The Details

Current mileage 8967
Claimed economy 64.2mpg
Actual economy 50.6mpg

I've been really impressed with the practicality of the Rapid but having clocked up thousands of miles already, the driving experience has also made a good impression on me. The secret to its practicality likes in the long wheelbase and this is also good news for the handling.

It feels very stable for what is a relatively small car and it's happy to go through corners relatively quick with no more body roll than you’d expect. I did expect the ride to be a little stiff but it's far from uncomfortable. The seating position is fully adjustable as is steeing column, so finding the right driving position is very easy. It actually goes surprisingly low down.

Unfortunately the seats themselves are quite firm and can be uncomfortable with no extra lumbar support, especially on longer journeys. It feels like you are pushed right into the base and strangely there is a feeling that you are sitting on something. Quite a few times I have, I have got in and then had to get out again as I thought I was sitting on something. Passengers have also said the same about the front passenger seat.

On the whole though, the Rapid is a joy to drive. The steering is very light yet direct while the gear lever slots satisfyingly into each gate. Couple this with a light clutch and the Rapid gives you an effortless driving experience. The gearbox is a five-speed but the Rapid doesn't feel like it needs a sixth gear. However at idle it is a rather noisy engine, although from inside the cabin the sound proofing does a good job of reducing this.

One slight niggle is rear visibility. The screen is very shallow so I'm pleased we have the optional rear parking sensors which are an absolute must given the restricted view. The sensors coupled with a visible display on the MMI really do help. 

Skoda Rapid Seat

                 Matt tries to discover what is in the seats that makes his long journeys so uncomfortable

« Earlier: The Tardis-like Rapid     Later: Red alert »

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