Skoda Rapid

ŠKODA launches Rapid and Citigo in Turkey ŠKODA UK 36910

 


 

By Tim Saunders

Review: Skoda should expect Rapid sales of efficient new model

This is a great value for money proposition introduced at just the right time, with a petrol engine delivering an average of more than 50mpg.

When my wife visited Canada, many moons ago – and before we met – she went white water rafting. She’s a brave lass. She reminded me of this scary event in her life as she sat in the Skoda Rapid that I’m testing this week.

Its name triggered the memory. An unusual name for a sensible family car, I thought as there is no way that it can relate to frightening yet invigorating water rapids. But it is quite nippy – it will hit 60mph from standstill in under 12 seconds and on to a 114mph top speed – so perhaps it relates to speed.

The Saunders family is delighted with this vehicle. Let me tell you why. Diesel prices are hovering around the £1.45 per litre mark and even taking the efficiency of these engines into consideration such prices are ridiculous and unfair. So petrol, some 10p a litre cheaper, looks increasingly more attractive.

The trouble is that so many petrol cars remain uneconomical. Skoda has solved this problem though, by introducing a splendid, tiddly 1.2-litre, 86bhp engine that returns an average of over 50mpg. I am staggered. I am even more dumfounded by the fact that it has been fitted to the Rapid, which until I read the press pack I was sure must be a 1.6.

This is an extremely good size family hatchback that fits between the smaller Fabia and the larger Octavia; easily seating five adults in comfort and a whole lot of clobber in the cavernous boot. Even with my family inside, the engine delivers a more than reasonable driving experience. There is absolutely no road tax to pay either because it’s so green. I will be amazed if Skoda doesn’t sell hundreds of thousands of these, especially when considering the OTR price of under £15,000.

The interior might be a little bland but there are front electric windows – the children are less likely to open the manually operated ones in the rear, so I’m all for that. There’s air conditioning, heated front seats and electrically heated and adjustable wing mirrors as you can see in the video above. It also comes with a five-star safety rating.

This is a great value for money proposition introduced at just the right time. According to the RAC Foundation, transport poverty has now hit 800,000 homes across the UK. These car-owning households are spending over a quarter of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle. They spend £44 a week on car-related expenses. If they were to buy this Skoda their expenses should drop.

I wonder whether the Skoda marketing team was thinking about ‘rapid’ sales when naming this vehicle. They might just have something there…

 

Skoda Rapid 1.2 SE TSi 86PS

New price: £14,650

0-60: 11.8secs

Top speed: 114mph

Economy: 55.4mpg

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