Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 85 SE
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
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
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 Octavia. Financial 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