Skoda Rapid First Look Review

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Skoda Rapid Overview

The Skoda Rapid has been in our market for the past five years, but its success rate hasn’t been what the Czech manufacturer was hoping for. Buyers primarily preferred the ever dependable Honda City or the flamboyant Hyundai Verna or the value for money Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The fact that it felt too similar to the Volkswagen Vento and people apprehension over Skoda’s aftersales service quality further put it out of preference.

Now though, Skoda has launched the updated Rapid and the changes aren’t just skin deep. You also get the upgraded 1.5-litre diesel unit which makes more power than before. To address its aftersales issue, Skoda is also offering a comprehensive 4-year maintenance plan with the car. So are these factors enough to get the buyers back in Skoda showroom? We drove the car in picturesque Mussoorie to find answers

Skoda Rapid Design

Adding some sharpness are the new quartz-cut projector headlights. Adding some more drama is the chrome eyelash blending in with the jewel-shadow LED daytime running lights. It might sound complex but it does look good. The bumper has been revised as well with redesigned fog lights and now incorporating a lip spoiler s well.

The side profile remains the same barring the inclusion of the new 15-inch ‘Matone’ alloy wheels and chrome moulding on the deck lid and door handles. At the rear you now get C-shaped smoked tail lights and an integrated spoiler.

Overall the Rapid looks much sharper and definitely in line to take on the fresh competition.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

Skoda have always had a common theme on the insides for all its cars and the Rapid is no different. While the basic dashboard layout is the same, it now gets doused in loads of Skoda overtones. A combination of beige and brown makes the already spacious interiors even more roomy. The front seats are extremely comfortable and offer good support all round. Adjustable for height and reach, finding a good driving position is very easy.

However it’s hard to ignore the carried over parts like the headlight switch, climate control and the aircon vents which could have received a different treatment. Another major miss are the steering mounted controls which Skoda for some reason seems to avoid.

Skoda Rapid Performance

A major change however, is the addition of the seven-speed automatic DSG transmission. This is the same one found on the Octavia and also the VW Vento. The Rapid is powered by a 103bhp four cylinder diesel unit and mated to the new DSG transmission. The Rapid Black Edition is a pleasure to drive car with the DSG transmission. No more shuffling through gears or having to press the heavy clutch, which is painful in city driving. Just shift the transmission to the “D” position and let the car do all the work. The shifts are seamless and there is not too much turbo-lag. The Rapid Black Edition is easy to drive and is comfortable too. Power wise the Skoda responds well to changes in the throttle position as well as deciding which gear to be in. One aspect that should be highlighted is that the seven-speed dual clutch DSG transmission provides a better fuel efficiency than then manual car. At 22.1km/l the Rapid Black Edition is extremely fuel efficient, all because of two extra cogs in the gears.

Skoda Rapid Driving

The suspension setup on the Rapid remains the same as previously, which is good considering the Rapid has always been comfortable on the move. Rapid’s ride settingsseem consistent with the engine characteristics as the petrol Rapid rides considerably softer than its diesel counterpart. For more information on Skoda Rapid visit Tec

Between the petrol and the diesel Rapid, the petrol is lighter than the diesel by about 70kg for the manual version and 40kg for the automatic. The weight gain and stiffer setup results in a better grip for the diesel Rapid which inspires confidence at higher speeds.

The diesel Rapid is also a bit more engaging for the same reasons although the electro-mechanic power steering doesn’t deliver much feedback.

The steering feels light and doesn’t weigh a great dealat higher speeds. That said, the steering never appeared vague at any speeds; it’s just light but precise. Considering that the Rapid rides a bit soft, body roll is well contained and the cabin doesn’t unsettle unless it is driven rash.

Skoda Rapid Safety

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty, 4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

Skoda Rapid Bottomline

When viewed as a whole, there is a strong case to be made for the facelifted Rapid – it looks fresher and drives very well. While those looking for a family car might find more value in rivals like the Honda City or the Maruti Ciaz, those who are likely to spend most of their time behind the wheel will enjoy the punchy, relatively-more-involving drive of the Rapid.

Skoda Superb Facelift First Drive Review

Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb Overview

The previous generation Skoda Superb which was launched in 2009 in India was a big hit. Not only it felt luxurious but thanks to its humongous size it had enough knee room to embarrass many ultra-lavish limousines. Although it had every attribute to make it a phenomenal sedan, one thing it lacked was premium exterior. Its odd proportions made it look like purpose over finesse. The stretched profile, stubby boot and tiny wheels didn’t cut with some people who were paying more than Rs 20 lakh for their luxury sedan. Check for car loan interest calculator.

Well not anymore. The new Superb you see in this review looks as expensive as the amount of cheque you have to sign. And if it drives and feels anything like the old car then Skoda definitely has a giant killer at their disposal. Read our comprehensive Roadtest to know what this pretty looking Superb feels from behind the wheel.

Skoda Superb Look

Evolution is perhaps the best term I could use to describe the exterior design of the new Skoda Superb. The design that made this car so famous has been retained but now looks sharper and more taut thanks to Skoda’s new styling philosophy.

The fascia is defined by the moustache Skoda grille and sleek headlights inbuilt with crystal elements that pay tribute to the Czech glass industry. There are power lines on the bonnet while the chrome has been used subtly around the logo as well as the bumper.The limousine silhouette of the previous generation car has evolved into a sports sedan like appearance.

There is a subtle ring of chrome around the pillars while the flared wheel arches work with the lowered roofline to give the Superb its sporty appearance. Our car was a top-spec Laurin&Klement variant so it also got L&K badges on the side. At the back, its business as usual thanks to the minimal amount of badging and chrome elements. The tail lamps form a C-shape and flow around the edge of the boot.

Since it was launched as Skoda’s flagship model, the Superb has always had an understated design. It is nothing spectacular to look at but has enough to stand out among the crowd of SUVs, hatchbacks and MPVs. Its pursuit as the ‘different’ choice is also aided by the virtual non-existence of large sedans in this part of the market.

Skoda Superb Comfort

Skoda Superb is a quintessential of opulence and luxury. Open the door and it shuts with a solid thump cocooning the occupants from the outside world. The car shares a hell lot of interior elements with the sibling Octavia and if you are asked to differentiate between the two interiors, you would have a tough time doing that. The quality of interiors is unquestionably top notch with glossy black plastics replacing the old faux wood. There is also less chrome detailing as compared to the earlier model.

Moreover, in terms of look and feel, the cabin of Superb is very well comparable to the segment above cars. The ergonomics especially the feel of the buttons and knows echoes well with the image of the vehicle. The 6.5 inch touchscreen infotainment system works fine and can be synchronized with the techs such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. Further, there are connectivity options Bluetooth, USB, Aux-In and SD Card coupled with sound quality featuring 4 front and 4 rear speakers. The same infotainment also relays feeds from the reverse parking camera but the quality of camera seems to be poor.

In terms of interior storage, there seems to be place for everything in this vehicle. The new generation Skoda Superb features horde of compartments, pockets and holders. The jumbo box storage compartment which lies under the front armrest can hold electronic items as well as keep your snacks cool. Ahead of the armrest lies dual drink holder which has an anti-slip design allowing the driver or co-passenger to open the bottle with one hand. The dashboard features a large glovebox compartment which can also be cooled if the AC is on. Then there is rear armrest which can also hold two cups or small bottles and also have small storage space.

This also brings us to the boot space. The luggage compartment has the capacity of 625L and can be extended to 1760L with the rear seats folded down. Here also Skoda has played clever in terms of practicality. At times our hands are full of luggage and items creating problem in opening the boot. The virtual pedal feature allows a person to swipe the foot under the boot and the boot lid opens magically. The feature is exclusively available with the KESSY system (keyless entry and start & exit system).

In terms of seating, the driver gets electrically adjustable seat and the seating position is a lot better than the previous model. The 3-spoke steering wrapped in leather can be electrically adjustable and holds controls for radio phone and gear shifts. The driver seat comes with memory function which can store three different driving seat positions. The rear seats are the area which is a real gem. They are well-cushioned with nice all-round support. The downside here is that the passengers could find discomfort as there are no dedicated air-con blower controls as the 3-zone climate control air conditioning takes some time to cool down the entire cabin.

However, it is compensated by the sheer amount of space at the back. The seats are sumptuous and extremely comfortable with enough room legroom and kneeroom for a passenger as tall as 6 feet. And if still not comfortable then the car allows the rear passengers to shift or slide the front passenger seat to create more space. And the carmaker rightly calls it the ‘Boss Button’. Below the AC vents you will find a storage area along with 12V power socket. Talking about the Laurin & Klement edition, the interiors are exclusively designed in stone beige perforated leather with piano black décor. The L&K branding can be seen on the seats, door sills and the dashboard. And the Boss Button mentioned above is available only in L&K variant while the front seats are ventilated. The touchscreen infotainment in this model gets more powerful 12 speakers 610W Canton surround sound system. The instrument cluster gets colourful display while there is also ambient lighting system.For more  details on Skoda Superb Check Iiit-bh

The car also comes with panoramic sunroof which opens up a large window at the roof with a touch of a button. Other comfort features in the car include cruise control, sunblinds, diffused footwell lighting, two boot lamps in luggage compartment and coat hook on rear door handles among others. Overall, Skoda Superb’s cabin is an awesome place to be in. It cuts out the commotion of the outside world and let you groove into good music and pleasurable drive. Superb is a meticulously practical car which has the potential to beat luxury cars costing as much as twice the price.

Skoda Superb Gearbox

The Superb is being offered with two engines and two gearbox options. There is a 1.8-litre petrol which can be had with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. In the former it produces 178bhp/320Nm while the latter has an output of 178bhp/250Nm. The diesel is a 2.0-litre unit that produces 175bhp and 350Nm of torque and can only be had with the seven-speed DSG.

We were only able to get our hands on the diesel but had a decent time driving it from Mangaluru to Madikeri. The four-pot motor revs cleanly and in a linear manner but is loud and the clatter is very audible within the cabin. Shifts take place at different RPMs according to the amount of throttle given and for a quick overtake two or even three gears are dropped to build up the necessary momentum. Skoda offers three driving modes – eco, sport and normal and depending in which mode you are in, the throttle response changes accordingly. There is also an individual drive mode where you can set the responses according to your preferences.

The all-important ARAI fuel efficiency has been pegged at 14.12kmpl for the petrol manual, 14.67 for the petrol AT and 18.19kmpl for the diesel. On the ride and handling front, Skoda has managed to find a good balance between the two. Our route gave us a sample of almost all multiple terrains and the Superb managed to emerge victorious the whole time.

Skoda Superb Riding

Where the old Superb had the ability to really surprise you with its agility despite its humongous size, the new one unfortunately has no surprises in store and it feels big and in some ways cumbersome to drive. The biggest disappointment is the steering, which simply doesn’t feel as precise as the old car anymore. It’s got a dead zone around the straight-ahead position and it simply misses the feel that the old car had. Skoda has also gone for a much softer setup and as a result the new Superb rolls considerably more and it feels like a heavy car too. On the plus side, the wide Hankook tyres provide loads of grip and confidence. Don’t be mistaken, the Superb is not a bad handling car, but it doesn’t feel as willing or as nimble as the old one. Book Skoda Superb Test drive.

On the contrary, the ride has taken a step in the right direction and the old car’s stiff-kneed low-speed ride is replaced by a plush one and soft suspension dismisses the biggest of potholes with ease. But at higher speeds the Superb does tend to pitch and bounce especially over uneven surfaces and it feels best when driven at moderate

Skoda Superb Safety

The sedan comes with all disc brakes and the capability is phenomenal especially halting the car from high speeds. And with electronic aids such as ABS with EBD, multi-collision brake assist, mechanical brake assistant and hydraulic brake assistant, the driver and the passengers are rest assured of safety ahead.

Skoda is known for providing utmost safety to its passengers and this car is no exception. Other crucial safety aspects in the car include 8 airbags, anti-slip regulation, traction control, electronic differential lock, electromechanical parking brake, electronic stability control, parking sensors at both front and rear with rear camera, pedestrian protection, fatigue detection system, central locking and cornering lights.

Skoda Superb Price in Pune

Skoda Superb On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 28,08,271 to 41,03,666 for variants Superb Corporate Edition and Superb L and K 2.0 TDI AT respectively. Skoda Superb is available in 8 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Skoda Superb variants price in Pune. Check for Superb price in Pune at Autozhop.

Skoda Superb Bottomline

The new Superb is a convincing piece of evidence that this Skoda is well capable of being a credible option to the likes of the much more expensive Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4. That’s a great compliment for a car that is around Rs 20 lakh cheaper and like its predecessor, the new Superb still remains a giant killer.Obviously it doesn’t have the premium badge, the charismatic warmth and dynamic verve of say a Mercedes C-class or the BMW 3 Series. Still, its combination of space, visual presence, apparent quality, sophisticated technology, strong performance, supple ride and relaxing demeanour sets it apart. This new luxury sedan from Czechoslovakia is a huge step forward over its predecessor and it has a wide arsenal to take on cars even twice its price.

Skoda Superb is available in three trims including Style, Sportline and L&K. The price for the vehicle starts from Rs. 25.99 lakh and goes up to Rs. 33.49 lakh. As the car is available in both the diesel and petrol versions, the pricing also varies. The base trim Superb Style 1.8TSI MT is tagged at Rs. 25.99 lakh, its 2.0 TDI AT is available at the price tag of Rs. 30.29 lakh. The Sportline 1.8 TSI AT is offered at the price tag of Rs. 28.99 lakh while its top-selling L&K TSI AT is available at the price tag of Rs. 30.99 lakh. The Superb Sportline 2.0 TDI AT is tagged at Rs. 31.49 lakh. The top of the line trim Superb L&K is available at the price tag of Rs. 33.49 lakh, ex-showroom. In terms of competition, Skoda Superb does not fear much as it lies in the competitive pricing zone. The Skoda Superb competes against Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat in the segment.