Our cars: Skoda Rapid - August

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Skoda Rapid
Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 85 SE

Week ending August 30
Mileage 3710
Miles driven this week 153

Skoda Rapid review

The search continues for a load that defeats the Rapid’s boot.

This time it was a selection of greenery from a garden centre, and as usual the Skoda was easily up to the task. I had to remove the parcel shelf so the plants had enough room and fold down the rear seats to get a five-foot frame in, but then everything fitted a treat.

Not even the firm ride could upset the plants on the journey home, so everything made it back to base safely.

Sure, a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf would also have done the job, but neither would have done it as easily as the Rapid.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

 

Week ending August 9
Current mileage 2759
Driven this week 116


I've driven a fair few cars ever since I worked at our sister title Autocar in 2001. A few have been spectacular, some have been good, most have been average and a handful have been pigs.

Into the last category I have placed the original Lexus IS, the Kia Shuma, the VW Beetle (even the current car) and, I'm afraid, the Skoda Rapid.

I'm a big fan of what Volkswagen has done with the Skoda brand since it was reinvented. All of its models have piqued my interest at some time or other, and the latest Octavia is particularly good.

However, having driven the Rapid earlier this week, I have to say it's the runt of the litter. I don't take any pleasure in saying that. I was pretty excited when Skoda announced the Rapid. A small family car for less than £13k? Fantastic.

I won't go into specifics here, because my complaints mirror everyone else’s at What Car? (and you can read their comments below), but essentially my grumbles concern the Rapid’s cabin and how it drives.

It's almost as if Skoda had decided to bring a car that had been engineered for developing countries to Europe. In fact Dacia, which has done just that, has done a reasonable job with the bargain-basement Sandero and Duster. How has Skoda managed to mess up so badly with the Rapid?

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com



Week ending August 2
Current mileage 2643
Driven this week 81


A few weeks ago I mentioned how easily the Rapid’s huge boot took my bike with both wheels still on. I also said that the steep angle at which the folded rear seatbacks lie could pose a problem when transporting something more fragile.

I helped with a house move recently, so had the chance to put that to the test.

As predicted, the sloping load bay meant it took a fair bit of furniture and box juggling to get everything in securely, but I was impressed by how much space there was to fill.

Sadly things weren’t quite so good once the Rapid was on the move. The firm, fidgety ride made the furniture jostle about, and because one of the pieces was a display case with glass doors and shelves, that meant a lot of noise.

So the Rapid certainly has the space to be a handy removals car, but it doesn’t have the comfort.

Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

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