Our cars: Skoda Rapid - October

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  • The Rapid has gone back to Skoda – we're not sad to see it go

    The Rapid has gone back to Skoda – we're not sad to see it go

  • Rapid's radio had Euan reaching for the manual

    Rapid's radio had Euan reaching for the manual

  • You have to use the key to unlock the Rapid's fuel filler cap

    You have to use the key to unlock the Rapid's fuel filler cap

  • Spaceback looks smarter than standard Rapid, but is smaller and more expensive

    Spaceback looks smarter than standard Rapid, but is smaller and more expensive

  • No spare wheel as standard; a space-saver costs £375

    No spare wheel as standard; a space-saver costs £375

  • Flat, unsupportive seats aren't particularly comfortable

    Flat, unsupportive seats aren't particularly comfortable

  • Our Skoda Rapid is a bargain family car

    Our Skoda Rapid is a bargain family car

  • The Rapid isn't the most comfortable car in its class

    The Rapid isn't the most comfortable car in its class

  • The Rapid's boot is huge

    The Rapid's boot is huge

  • The Rapid has a simple, uncluttered cabin

    The Rapid has a simple, uncluttered cabin

  • A trip to the garden centre is no problem for a Skoda Rapid

    A trip to the garden centre is no problem for a Skoda Rapid

  • Our Rapid is narrow, which helps when parking

    Our Rapid is narrow, which helps when parking

  • Got a bike to move? A Skoda Rapid is ideal

    Got a bike to move? A Skoda Rapid is ideal

  • The Rapid (left) is a car you sometimes need to make excuses for; the Octavia isn’t

    The Rapid (left) is a car you sometimes need to make excuses for; the Octavia isn’t

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Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 85 SE

Read the full Skoda Rapid review

Week ending 25th October
Current mileage 6097
Miles driven this week 294

The Rapid has gone back to Skoda. After 6000 miles in a little under five months, the car is off to find a new owner.

Truth be told, I’m not sorry to see the Rapid go. It wasn’t comfortable or quiet enough, and the plasticky cabin had little appeal.

Yes, the Rapid offered an awful lot of cabin and boot space for not much money, but I’d struggle to recommend it to anyone, especially when you can buy far better new and nearly new rivals for a similar amount.

Family car space for supermini prices sounded like a fantastic combination, but sadly the Rapid was too compromised in other ways.

Keep an eye on whatcar.com in the next few weeks for my full report on my time with the car.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Week ending October 18
Current mileage 5803
Driven this week 53 miles


I am a typical bloke, with typical bloke idiosyncrasies. Therefore, my sense of direction is always right (even when the prevailing evidence suggests otherwise), I never need to ask for directions (even when the prevailing evidence suggests otherwise), and I’ve never yet needed to read an instruction manual (even when the prevailing evidence is a pile of ‘spares’).


However, Barnaby Jones’s Skoda Rapid gave me cause to doubt my blokishness this week because its audio system almost made me explore the depths of its owner’s manual.

You see, Barnaby’s a bit of a Radio 4 (FM) aficionado, but on the night I borrowed his car I wanted to listen to some football on 5Live (AM). Try as I might, and no matter how many buttons I pushed, I was utterly unable to work out how to change the radio from FM to AM. The system proved indecipherable.

I was at the point of pulling over and seeking solace in the pages of the owner’s book, but as fortune would have it I reached home and watched the football on TV instead. I still haven’t sussed out how to do it.

I have to say, there were other reasons I was glad the journey was at an end – namely the gruff engine, spongy pedals, unacceptably hard ride, incessant thrumming from the rear suspension and general joylessness of the whole experience.

Were any of my friends in the market for a new Skoda Rapid, I would tell them they’d taken leave of their senses and point them in the direction of a used Ford Mondeo instead. It’s by far the better car.

By Euan Doig
Euan.Doig@whatcar.com


Week ending October 11

Current mileage 5750
Driven this week 246

The Rapid surprised me at the petrol pumps this week. I pushed the fuel filler door and it popped open, as I expected it would. The shock came when I saw that I needed to unlock the fuel cap with the key.

I expect to have to do that on my £9000 Dacia Sandero, but wasn't prepared for it on a car that costs more than £14,500.

By Matthew Burrow - Matthew.Burrow@whatcar.com

Week ending October 4
Current mileage 5504
Driven this week 138

A few weeks ago I compared the Rapid with Skoda’s larger family car, the OctaviaFinancial considerations apart, the Octavia is better in every way, and by more than the £2540 list price difference would suggest.

Now there’s another in-house rival for the Rapid – the Rapid Spaceback. It’s essentially a funkier Rapid that looks like a cross between an estate and a hatchback, rather than my saloon-like standard model.

You can read the full review here, but it’s safe to say that I’d rather have my version. Yes, the Spaceback looks better and has more equipment (including rear parking sensors and a front centre armrest), but it has a 25% smaller boot and the equivalent 1.2 TSI 85 SE model is also £830 more expensive than my car.

At this end of the market, that’s a lot of extra money, especially when the Rapid’s biggest selling point – space per pound – is compromised.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

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