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 »

Updates
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.
We've been keeping an eye on the Rapid's fuel economy over the past few weeks which has been a distraction from the leaky doors problem.
Our Rapid is back after its fix but it seems the water leak problem has returned, leaving us with a bit of a headache as to what to do next.
Our Rapid has gone off to Skoda HQ in the hope that the leaky doors problem can be solved. In the meantime, we've been looking back at how it's performed so far.
The recent thunderstorms and heavy rain have highlighted a worrying issue with our Rapid which sees the rear doors get filled with water when it's been left parked.
Goodwood may be all about performance and glamour but that didn't stop our Rapid getting a run down the hill. Even if it was under a 10mph restriction...
The sat nav in our Rapid is a good value system that also adds Bluetooth but it can be a little too keen to divert you around imaginary traffic problems.
Our Rapid is proving a bit like Fort Knox when it comes to actually unlocking all the doors and getting in.
7 June 2013: Rapid on the road
We've been impressed with the space and practicality of our Rapid but after several thousand miles already, what's the verdict on the handling?
The Rapid may look like a saloon but it's actually a hatchback - and a very practical one and that - with a huge boot and loads of rear space.
The new Skoda Rapid is the latest addition to Our Cars and with its practical space and economical TDI engine it should prove the perfect car for our resident photographer.
 

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