Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 85 SE
Week ending September 27
Current mileage 5366
Miles driven this week 148
The Rapid doesn’t have particularly comfortable seats. They’re pretty flat and unsupportive, and there’s no lumbar adjustment, so on long journeys I often fidget about to get comfortable.I usually end up with backache after a couple of hours, too.
Sports seats are a £300 option, so if I had my time again, I’d test drive a Rapid with them fitted to see if they solve the problem.
If you’re thinking of buying a Rapid, give the sports seats serious consideration; they may end up being £300 extremely well spent.
Week ending September 20
Current mileage 5218
Miles driven this week 445
Like many modern cars, my Rapid doesn’t have a spare wheel. Instead, there’s a tyre repair kit and a deep underfloor storage area in the boot. A temporary space-saver spare wheel was £375, so I didn’t tick that particular option when I ordered the car.
Does not having a spare wheel matter? Well, it makes the car fractionally lighter (and therefore fractionally more efficient). Touch wood, I’m also pretty unlikely to get a flat tyre – the average driver supposedly has one every five years or 50,000 miles – so hopefully I won’t need to worry about it.
The thing is, if I do get a flat tyre that I can’t reinflate on the spot, I’ll certainly regret not going for a spare wheel.
Would not having a spare wheel – or having to spend nearly £400 to get one – put you off buying a car? Let me know what you think.
Week ending September 13
Miles driven this week 723
I recently drove the Skoda Rapid’s bigger brother, the Octavia.
It has the same 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, albeit with a bit more power, and costs £2540 more in equivalent SE spec. If you’re leasing the cars, though, the difference is just £12 a month.
Is it worth the extra money? Oh yes! Sure, the Octavia has more space for people and luggage, but its cabin is also far nicer than the Rapid’s. All the buttons and switches feel more substantial, and the plastics are higher quality. The seats are more comfortable and supportive, too.
It’s a similar story on the road. The biggest difference is how much better the Octavia’s ride is. You don’t feel anywhere near as many bumps as you do in the Rapid, and those you do feel aren’t nearly as harsh. It’s also noticeable how much quieter the Octavia is.
Of course, you’d expect the Octavia to be better – it costs more, after all – but the difference is far more than you’d imagine.
Put it this way, the Rapid is a car you sometimes need to make excuses for; the Octavia isn’t.
By Barnaby Jones
Week ending September 6
Miles driven this week 337
I’ve spent quite a bit of time with our Rapid recently, and its first job was to transport five people and their holiday luggage to Gatwick airport.
As expected, two large and two small suitcases fitted with ease and there wasn’t any complaining from the back seats, either –although it was only a short journey.
Back from holiday, it was on two longer trips on my own that I started to notice just how poor the Rapid’s ride is. It doesn’t like patchy road surfaces in town and at high-speed coarse surfaces and expansion joints are felt and heard often enough to annoy.
That said, the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine is strong and smooth, and the standard cruise control and decent footrest meant a motorway journey home was completed in relative comfort.
By Rory White - Rory.White@whatcar.com