New Skoda Rapid Review
The new Skoda Rapid's boot is more interesting than an encyclopedia.
The new Skoda Rapid's boot is more interesting than an encyclopedia. But why? First and foremost, it looks like a sleek saloon which gives the car a sleek profile - but is actually a huge hatchback. Cargo capacity is therefore 550-litres increasing to 1,490-litres when the rear bench is folded flat. That is remarkable considering the Rapid is a “small family” car. To put this capacity in perspective, the Ford Focus Hatchback manages 316/1,101-litres and the Vauxhall Astra Hatchback tips the scales at 351/1,216-litres. And there is more. Boot lovers can have an optional reversible mat that has carpet one side and rubber the other. The former suits expensive encyclopedias and the latter much filthier publications. This complements the bag hooks, storage boxes behind the wheel arches, and an optional net system with securing hooks. Who would have thought a boot could be that interesting?The all-new Skoda Rapid is available with various internal combustion engines, the intricacies of which are explained in encyclopedias. The range starts with the 1.2-litre 75PS petrol that propels motorists to 62mph in 13.9 seconds and averages 47.9mpg. This version can feel a little slow. Next is the 1.2-litre 86PS that hits the mark in 11.8 seconds and manages 55.4mpg. More powerful still is the 1.2-litre 105PS. This propels a boot-full of encyclopedias to 62mph in 10.3 seconds and averages a pleasing 52.3mpg. However, the largest petrol engine is the 1.4-litre 122PS. This model has seven-speed automatic transmission only – whereas others work with five/six-speed manual gearboxes – and hits 62mph in 9.5 seconds. It also returns a fair 48.7mpg. Finally, the 105PS 1.6-litre diesel averages 62.4mpg and hits 62mph in 10.4 seconds. This is the wise choice if funds permit. The Skoda Rapid is available with three trims. The S has: electric front windows, a height adjustable driver's seat, four-speakers, and a parking ticket holder. This model arguably feels basic. The SE adds: tinted glass, fifteen-inch alloys, air-con, two more speakers, and a leather steering wheel. The SE 1.4 DGS automatic also has a hill-hold function to prevent the vehicle – and its boot-full of books – rolling backward on slopes. This trim is far more appealing than the S. Finally, the Elegance adds: cruise control, cornering fog lights, rear electric windows, and chrome interior surrounds. The front armrest also incorporates a storage box. Optional extras include rear parking sensors for £350 and sat-nav for £550. New Skoda Rapid range from £12,900 to £17,850 (excluding encyclopedias). However, it is also available in base-spec 1.2-litre S form via a personal contract plan (PCP). Terms include the £3,751.47 deposit followed by thirty-five monthly payments of £189. At the end of the contract there are three options. One, pay the £4,005 purchase fee to own the vehicle. This totals £14,431.47 including interest and the £60 option to purchase fee - but excluding the £125 acceptance fee. Option two is to return the vehicle and option three is to part exchange courtesy of a new PCP. Pleasingly, if the Skoda Rapid is worth more than its purchase fee – perhaps because of its condition - this equity contributes towards the deposit for its replacement. That might save drivers enough money for new encyclopedias.