- Class-leading practicality
- Low running costs
- Cheaper to buy than rivals
- Conservative styling
- Not especially great to drive
- Entry-level S is sparsely equipped
Spacious family hatchback that’s practical and cheap to run
The Skoda Rapid, first introduced to the UK market in 2012, is a practical family hatchback that takes on the likes of the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf. Despite its name, it isn’t as fun to drive as the Focus, nor is it as classy as the Golf, but it beats both hands down when it comes to price. It’s cheap to run as well, with some impressively efficient engines in the range. Interior quality isn’t the finest, and it’s not the most attractive aesthetically, but practicality is king for a lot of family buyers, and there are few that can match what the Skoda Rapid offers.
Solid build quality and impressive practicality.
The interior of the Rapid is a model of simplicity. It might not have the most inspired design, but it’s certainly built to last. Equipment is relatively generous across the range, whilst the spacious cabin and sizeable boot make for a family-focused practical package.
If you’ve set foot in any Skoda in recent years, you won’t be surprised with the dashboard design of the Rapid. It’s a simple design that favours usability over striking aesthetics. Build quality is excellent, whilst soft-touch materials give the dash a classy feel, though there are some harder plastics used in key areas. Controls are also well-laid out and are nicely damped, making the Rapid an easy car to control when on the move. Some reviewers have suggested that the driver’s seat can be uncomfortable for longer journeys however.
Practicality is of huge importance in a family hatchback, and thankfully the Rapid excels in this area. Rear leg and headroom is excellent, and there’s more than enough room for three adults to travel comfortably, even over longer distances. The 550 litre boot capacity is also one of the biggest in the class, easily eclipsing the Volkswagen Golf (380 litres), the Ford Focus (316 litres), and the Vauxhall Astra (370 litres).
Equipment levels are decent across the Rapid range, though the entry-level S trim might be a little too basic for some buyers. Despite this, you’ll still get front electric windows, and electric door mirrors. The majority of buyers will want to upgrade to the SE trim, which adds important features such as rear electric windows, air-con, alloy wheels, and Bluetooth. Range-topping Elegance trim adds climate control and parking sensors.
All in all the inside of the Rapid is an extremely well thought out family package. The huge practicality that it offers will please most family buyers. Interior quality might not be a match for the class-leading family hatchbacks, but it’s certainly made to withhold the rigours of day-to-day family life.
Disappointing comfort and refinement.
The Skoda Rapid is not a family hatchback that will thrill petrolheads, but it’s easy to drive around town. Body roll is well controlled as well, though the steering offers little in the way of feedback, so there’s not a great deal of driver involvement. What the steering lacks in feedback, it makes up for with lightness. That means the Rapid is an easy car for maneuvering in busy city centre traffic, whilst getting into tight parking spaces should be a doddle.
Suspension and Chassis
Unfortunately, ride comfort and refinement are a little disappointing in the Rapid. It’s a shame, because it’s such an excellent car in other areas. The suspension setup is on the stiffer end of the spectrum, which makes potholes and loose surfaces a sometimes uncomfortable experience. Road and wind noise are apparent at speed as well, so you’ll have to make sure you turn the radio up if you’re planning on doing lots of motorway miles.
Gearbox options in the Rapid come in two guises. The majority of the Rapid range comes with a five speed manual transmission, that’s decent enough, though you’ll wish you had a sixth gear for motorway journeys. The 1.4 litre petrol and diesel engines are also available with a seven speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, borrowed from the Volkswagen family. It’s great to use, though it does reduce fuel economy, and cost significantly more than some of the manual models.
A good range of petrol and diesel engines.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Rapid, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s four petrols on offer, and two diesels, but we’d avoid the lowest powered petrol as it doesn’t have enough power.
If it’s all out performance that you want from your Rapid, the most powerful engine in the range is the petrol-powered 1.4 TSI unit. It produces 123bhp, and accelerates from 0-62mph in 9 seconds flat. It might not look incredible on paper, but it feels quick enough for a family-focused hatchback. This model is the least fuel efficient however, and it is the most expensive, which is something worth considering.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pretty pleased with the Rapid range. All of the models have low CO2 emissions, though the stand-out is undoubtedly the diesel-powered 1.4 TDI engine. It produces just 94g/km, which is low enough for it to be road tax exempt. This model also happens to be the best option for money savers. Not only will it cost no money to tax each year, you won’t have to spend much money on fuel either, thanks to an impressive 79mpg fuel economy.
Whichever engine you go for in your Rapid you’re going to get a balanced engine that’s suited to family motoring. The 1.4 TDI diesel is the pick of the bunch, offering the best running costs, whilst still having enough power to get your from A to B.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with decent standard safety kit.
Like nearly every car in its class, the Skoda Rapid easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 94% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, 69% in pedestrian safety, and 71% in safety assist, the Rapid is one of the safest family hatchbacks on the market. Safety equipment is also decent, with six airbags, stability control, and Isofix points featuring on all models. Some of the more modern electronic aids don’t feature however, which a lot of other family hatchbacks now offer.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Skoda Rapid is one of the best value family hatchbacks currently on sale. Not only is it significantly cheaper than the majority of its key rivals, it’s also cheap to run. This does vary between model to model, but even the least efficient 1.2 TSI 110PS model can achieve 58mpg. Road tax cost are also low, with no model costing more than £30 each year, whilst the two diesel models are road tax free.
Insurance groups for the Rapid are low across the range, though there are differences between model to model. Whichever Rapid you go for, it’s likely to be cheaper than an equivalent rival however. The cheapest Rapid to insure is the entry-level 1.2 MPI S, which is in group 7, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping 1.4 TSI SE DSG, which is in group 19.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Skoda Rapid, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Skoda Rapid is one of the best value family hatchbacks currently on sale. It’s spacious, well-built, and cheap to run, which are all major advantages for family buyers. The Rapid isn’t great to drive however, and if you’re after thrills, you’re better off going for a Mazda3 or a Ford Focus. All in all though, the Rapid is a great family car that’s worth your time considering, particularly if you’re on a budget.
Buying a used Skoda Rapid online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Skoda Rapid for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Rapid. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Skoda Rapid online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Skoda? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Skoda Rapid, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Rapid, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Skoda to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.