Skoda Rapid

    The Rapid is a VW Vento under the skin. So how different is it?

    Published on Dec 05, 2011 05:50:00 PM


    Power to the Rapid’s front wheels comes from a pair of 105bhp, 1600cc motors, shared with the Vento. While both the petrol and diesel make the same amount of power, it’s the common rail diesel’s extra 10kgm ◊ ∆ of torque that makes it the more effortless of the two. It’s also tuned slightly differently from the VW, and initial progression is smoother and more immediate. Throttle responses are relatively crisp, the motor revs more easily from medium engine speeds and there seems to be more punch in the mid-range. So driving in traffic is really much nicer, with only some turbo-lag present. The Rapid also lacks that big spike in power you get on the diesel Vento, and this makes it even nicer in traffic. You do miss the thrill of that sudden burst of power and the Rapid doesn’t pull as willingly at the top of its powerband, but we still found it to be just as quick. It matches the Vento to 100kph and by 140, it’s even ahead.

    Skoda has made the petrol version better to drive as well. The 1.6 Mpfi engine isn’t the most modern motor around and doesn’t feel as light and responsive as some of the Japanese units. Still, with shorter gearing and altered tuning, we could have sworn that there was a different engine under the hood. It’s slightly boomy at some points in the powerband, and it moans a bit near the 6200rpm redline as well, but the petrol Rapid still feels better to drive. It’s faster to respond to a tap on the throttle, it pulls slightly harder throughout the rev range and pedaling this car quickly is actually enjoyable. The Rapid is considerably quicker than the Vento in a straight line with 100kph reached approximately one second quicker. It’s still not close to the City though, the performance king of the segment almost three seconds quicker to 140kph.

    VW has always made some of the nicest manual gearboxes, and this one is no different. It is light to use, the throw is short and this makes it one of the slickest boxes around. 

    Skoda Cars

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