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We took the redesigned Skoda Rapid armed with the new 1.5-litre TDI engine for a spin, and here’s how it betters its predecessor

The mid-size sedan is an important segment for every carmaker that does business in India. This is the kind of car most people graduate to after their first hatchback or compact sedan, and is also the stepping stone to luxury cars. It’s important to have not just great performance in varying conditions, but also the right amount of equipment at an affordable price. The Skoda Rapid managed that quite well since its launch in 2011, but it always had a ‘soft’ feel about it. Well, that has all changed with the 2016 Rapid that now comes with a new diesel engine too. Here’s what’s better.

Seeing sharp
Gone is the curvy design of the Rapid’s body—the new Rapid is edgy, geometrical and in line with the new Skoda design language. That itself makes it look so delicious. With a combination of projector lamps and LED daytime lights, the more pronounced, vertical slat grille and the sculpted hood, the front end looks mean and aggressive. Along with subtle changes to the rear, there are dashes of chrome at the right places in the right amount. On the inside, the Rapid now gets a new touchscreen infotainment system with a mirror function for your smartphone as well.

Power up
The 1.5-litre TDI diesel unit in the Rapid now delivers 110PS and 250Nm and there’s a choice of either a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG gearbox. While the DSG autobox is more entertaining to drive (and convenient), the manual is extremely driveable too. Torque being made low down in the rev range makes sure shifting gears is at a minimum, though we did think it could have done with a 6th gear on top. Regardless, this one’s bound to be a hot favourite for buyers.

Yes, we say
Armed with a 4-year, 1 lakh km warranty from Skoda, the Rapid has moved into the new age with lots going for it. It is spacious, comfortable, powerful and rather efficient. There are well-thought-out, innovative features in the cabin—like the credit card holder, which add even more value to this car. And yes, it is now one of the best looking cars in the segment. This one’s got our two thumbs up!

Rs 9.65-Rs 12.89 lakh
(ex-showroom, Chennai)
For a detailed review of the new Skoda Rapid, log on to  www.motorscribes.com

Muntaser Mirkar @BullSpeech

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