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Old 21st December 2016, 18:06   #1
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Default 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

This review has been jointly compiled with Rudra Sen. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!

Since the Skoda Rapid has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2016 Facelift. Click here to read the full road-test, and here to check out the 1.5L DSG. Click here to read about the 1.0L TSI.

Last edited by Aditya : 4th August 2020 at 20:30. Reason: Adding link to 1.0 TSI review
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:07   #2
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The last major update we saw on the Skoda Rapid was the homegrown 1.5L diesel engine + 7-speed DSG transmission. However, the exteriors remained largely unchanged if one were to discount the ‘black’ editions. The Rapid’s genetically identical twin – the Volkswagen Vento - received a facelift in 2015 (link to report). If the Vento takes after the Jetta, dare I say the Rapid facelift looks like a baby Octavia! The Rapid facelift is styled in line with Skoda’s Crystalline design philosophy and the end result is essentially a fusion of the Fabia Mk 3 and European Rapid.

2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look-rapid-facelift-comparosheet.jpg

So, what's new on the outside?

The front fascia has been completely transformed, in line with Skoda’s crystalline design elements. All the curves have been chiselled for sharp creases & contours. The hood, headlamps, grille, bumper & foglamps have changed. Looks smart:

The Rapid also gets a marginally redesigned derrière. The rear bumper has been tweaked, with a prominent lower outline curving at either end, although I feel a black insert would have made it a notch sportier (or perhaps Skoda is saving it for the Monte Carlo edition?). The 3 parking sensors now sit further up compared to the outgoing model:

The facelift is longer by 27 mm while the ground clearance has reduced by 5 mm to 163 mm. The car measures 4413 mm in length, 1699 mm in width and 1466 mm in height. Wheelbase obviously remains unchanged at 2552 mm:

Sloping creases on either edges of the hood no longer blend with the front grille:

The headlamps have shed their curves. They now bear a wide rectangular look and integrate with the grille seamlessly. However, their shape resembles the ones on the Polo & Vento! The crystalline design theme is carried forward into these units as well:

The top-end Style variant gets halogen projector headlamps. Each unit is equipped with a halogen projector for the low beam, a halogen bulb for the high beam, another halogen bulb for the indicator and 6 LED elements which serve as DRLs. Look closely and you’ll notice the chrome slats inside the headlamp (eyelashes in Skoda speak):

Skoda’s signature butterfly grille finally makes the cut! The chrome outline around the vertical slats looks nice (I usually detest too much chrome!):

New airdam with a honeycomb pattern. That thin horizontal slat breaks the monotony:

Honeycomb pattern continues on the foglamp enclosure. The unit gets a gloss black insert inside. Sadly, unlike the Vento, they don't work as static cornering lamps (a missed opportunity):

New five-spoke 15” Matone alloys look kinda bland. They are shod with 185/60 R15 Apollo Alnac tyres. An upgrade to 195 mm tyres is recommended for better grip and safety levels:

No more turn indicators on the fenders. They've moved to...

...the wing mirrors:

Door handles get a subtle touch of chrome (à la Vento):

The tail-lamps get a subtle smoked effect:

A classy lip spoiler adorns the boot:

A chrome strip runs across the length of the boot lid. We don't like this - looks like an afterthought:

The number-plate is now illuminated by LED lights, but the omission of a rear-view camera is glaringly obvious:

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 12th August 2020 at 13:52.
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:07   #3
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So, what's new on the inside?

Step into the car and the interiors will look identical to the outgoing Rapid, save for the new head-unit and colour scheme of the dashboard. The dash now gets a dual-tone grey-beige (Ebony-Sand in Skoda speak) which replaces the cappuccino-ivory colour of the outgoing model:

The facelift gets the newer auto-dimming IRVM seen in VAG cars of today:

The rain sensor is sleeker compared to the outgoing unit (it also doubles up as an ambient light sensor, but that function is unused on the Rapid). Wipers work well in Auto mode (toggle the wiper stalk to INT to enable auto wiping):

Front footwells get amber illumination (utilises a W5W halogen bulb each):

A shocking omission on the facelift – the lever used to move the front passenger seat ahead (reference image) from the rear bench has been dropped !! Why, Skoda?

In-Car Entertainment

The highlight of the newer interiors is perhaps this new infotainment system. The HU is based on the MIB-2 architecture (MIB stands for Modulare Infotainment-Baukasten which translates to Modular Infotainment System). The 6.5” capacitive touch LED display is super responsive – as good as a current generation smartphone display! Seeking through a track by sliding the tab was incredibly smooth & fast. The unit supports playback via Bluetooth, AUX, USB & SD card. The CD player has been omitted for good, which means zero moving parts inside and a more compact unit. It also supports MirrorLink connectivity. The voice operation uses the voice assistant of the smartphone (Siri for iPhones or Google Now for Android devices).

The system has a parking sensor display (ParkPilot in VAG terminology). Unfortunately, the system is not CAN Bus-equipped, nor is there a reversing camera. Overall, the unit looks well-integrated into the center console and the large matte-finished display lends an upmarket feel to the cabin:

When paired with a phone via Bluetooth, the unit displays the battery charge and signal strength. It has an on-screen dialer. Up to 4 contacts can be stored on the homescreen for the quick dial option. Clarity is very good:

The unit supports SMS display & readout:

Shut the car, remove the key and the display reminds you to carry your phone along!

We tried playing some tracks in the FLAC format from a USB drive, but the system refused to recognize them. It does however recognize the WMA format. We then played a few electronic tracks, fiddled around with the various preset equalizer settings and the manual option as well. Sound quality is very good with tight bass and clear vocals:

Individual volume settings available. I especially like that you can set the startup level:

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 21:44.
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:07   #4
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Driving the 1.5L Diesel MT

The Rapid gets the updated 1.5L diesel which also does duty in the VW cars:

Honeywell variable-geometry turbocharger designed & developed in India:

The homegrown 16-valve, 1498 cc diesel mill uses a variable geometry turbocharger. It now develops an additional 5 horses. Power ratings are 109 BHP (@ 4000 rpm) and 250 Nm of torque (between 1500 - 2500 rpm). Start the engine and you’ll feel the clatter inside the cabin, albeit it's not as much as the retired 1.6L diesel. NVH levels are well controlled; however, the engine does get noisy at higher rpms. There is noticeable turbo lag at lower rpms; once the turbo wakes up and spools, the car leaps forward! But make no mistake, this isn’t the 1.6L engine which would throw passengers back into the seat! Overtaking is effortless and all you need is a slight dab on the throttle without any downshifts.

The 5-speed manual gearbox has a short throw and the gearing feels spot-on just like the earlier generations of the VW / Skoda diesels. On the flip side, the clutch continues to be heavy and can get tiresome in stop-and-go traffic. There are no changes to the underpinnings of the facelifted model, so the ride feels compliant and the car absorbs minor road undulations exceedingly well. Body roll is controlled at regular speeds, but throw the car around fast corners (like we did during our drive to Mussoorie) and you'll notice some amount of roll creeping in. Stability at high speeds continues to be excellent and the car remains poised. There are no changes to the EPS unit either and the steering feels very light and effortless to operate. The braking is confidence inspiring and the Rapid had no problems coming to a halt from triple digit speeds or while entering tight corners. Kudos to Skoda for giving ABS on all variants .

ARAI rates the fuel efficiency of the diesel MT at 21.12 km/l and the diesel AT at a marginally higher 21.72 km/l. Skoda claims a top speed of 188 km/h and 10.3 seconds to the ton for the diesel MT. It's 190.8 km/h and 10.7 seconds for the diesel AT.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 21:43.
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:07   #5
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Other Points

• Download the Rapid Facelift’s user manual here - Skoda Rapid - Owner's Manual.pdf.

• Skoda is offering a 4-year Service Care package which includes a 4 year/1,00,000 km warranty (applicable even in the event of resale of the car), 24x7 roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited km and a 4-year maintenance package which covers 4 periodic services (1 year/15,000 km intervals) at a price of Rs. 29,999. While this is certainly a welcome move to bolster customer confidence in the brand, we wish Skoda had additionally provided an unconditional 10 year/unlimited mileage warranty for the 7-speed DQ200 DSG transmission, given its long-term reliability concerns. Now, that would really be something!

• Aimed at improving the ownership experience and transparency between Skoda and its customers, the company had launched the MySkoda smartphone app last month (Link to article). This app helps owners access various details about their Skoda (e.g. service due date, warranty and extended warranty details, RSA details etc.), the service history of the car, authorized dealerships across the country, service appointments, calculating the service and spare parts’ costs and ongoing offers & updates.

• All variants get 15” wheels – the entry level Active variant gets steel rims with wheel caps, while the Ambition and Style variants get alloys.

• When the interior lights are turned on or the reverse gear is engaged, the automatic dimming of the IRVM is disabled. It's always the small details with ze Germans!

• As a safety measure, the electrically-foldable wing mirrors cannot be folded-in once the speed of the vehicle crosses 40 km/h. Skoda also advises not to fold or unfold the mirrors manually (i.e. with your hand). If the mirror folds outward in an impact, it is advised to use the knob to fold it back in.

• The LED DRLs in the projector headlamps turn on when the ignition is switched on; their intensity dims when the headlamps are activated. Halogen projectors have a good throw and spread.

• As is the norm with all current generation VAG cars, a whole host of settings can be tweaked at the dealership level or using the VCDS software (Related discussion here).

• Available in 6 colours - Brilliant Silver, Candy White, Cappuccino Beige, Carbon Steel, Silk Blue and Flash Red.

• In addition to the diesel variant, the petrol variant also gets insulation under the hood.

• Skoda is betting big on its next launch - the Kodiaq SUV that is due next year. The Octavia RS is also slated for a 2017 launch. Will we get the Monte Carlo edition of the Rapid as well?!

• All variants get a foldable key-fob as standard. Long-press the lock button on the key to close all the windows and long-press the unlock button to open them up. Incredibly useful to vent out heat trapped in the car after being parked under the hot sun.

• On the 1.5L diesel DSG variant, a steering wheel with paddle shifters would have been the icing on the cake! I bet a lot of enthusiasts will swap their stock steering wheels for these. It’s a plug-n-play swap without any modifications to the wiring harness.

Disclaimer: Skoda invited Team-BHP for the Rapid Facelift test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 21:42.
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:07   #6
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The Smaller yet Significant Things

Spare is a space saver 14” steel rim:

In standby mode, the HU displays an analogue clock. The unit has a driver-friendly feature – the display can be made to turn off after 10 seconds, resulting in one less distraction during night drives. Touching anywhere on the display or any of the buttons wakes it up:

Tiny rubber bump stops on either side of the HMSL, between the rear windshield and parcel tray – one of the many things that go on to provide a rattle-free ride:

The coolant expansion tank comes with a low level sensor which throws a warning on the instrument cluster if the coolant level drops too low:

Headlamps are made in the Czech Republic. Replacement bulbs for headlamps? Each unit uses a pair of H7 bulbs for the low beam projector and high beam duty, and a WY21W bulb for the indicator:

The petrol variant is missing the relevant labels on the fuel cap – be sure to tell the fuel pump attendant what to fill:

Here’s the new Carbon Steel shade which replaces the Deep Black Pearl colour:

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 21:40.
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Old 21st December 2016, 21:59   #7
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing this fantastic report, guys. Rating thread 5 stars!

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2016 at 22:01.
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Old 21st December 2016, 23:29   #8
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Thanks for the report - nice & crispy, topped up with beautiful pictures.
Rudra-da's photography alone can make a report, a treat to go through! I was staring at the driver side headlamp pic for long and still couldn't have enough of it! The DSG is a great addition to the rapid, I hope it works faultless in the long run.

The Rapid became all the more smart. It looks so yummy now! Every time I keep looking at it, the desire to own one becomes stronger. Only if they didn't have such a bad reputation - Sigh!

A close friend of mine recently bought the Vento and this guy (as I wrote in another post) is going nuts over the DSG + diesel combo. He says he has never driven another lovely diesel car. Though I mentioned about the DSG issue, he says that his friends in the A$$ guarantees there have been no problems offlate. Hope it stays true for a long time to come.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 00:55   #9
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Excellent report Gannu and some really awesome clicks Rudra Sir.

With the facelift the Rapid becomes wee bit desirable. I love the new headlights but feel they could have given the rear some styling changes as well. Though it now looks a lot more like the Vento than before. Equipment list is also decent.

Having owned the 1.6 TDI in the past it's always sad to hear that the new 1.5 engine tough similar in specs to the 1.6 doesn't give you the thrills.

It also beats me as to why the Rapid won't get the 1.2 TSI + DSG combination. Till when will they continue to give the 1.6 MPI engine!
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Old 22nd December 2016, 01:15   #10
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

I never liked the front look of old Rapid, black edition looked better though. New Rapid looks really good and elegant. Skoda could have given few more features in this face-lift.

Coming to the engine, there is 5 HP bump in power. But it uses a locally made Honeywell turbo ( little bigger??). Previously it had imported turbo charger, I think Borg Warner make. Also it's good to see that the car is faster now. 10.3s to 100 is almost 1 second quicker than previous Rapid.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 05:16   #11
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Nice review. VAG, even when they have no new launches, have constantly updated all their models and thus are able to maintain sales numbers. This update has given a much needed refresh to a dynamically excellent car.

Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
An upgrade to 195 mm tyres is recommended for better grip and safety levels.
Does this really improve safety for a (legally) responsible driver? I have seen many recommending the same for Honda City too. I feel, for driving within legal speed limits for various stretches of roads, the grip level provided by City's tyres to be adequate. I have not driven the new Rapid, that is why the question.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 08:07   #12
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Honeywell variable-geometry turbocharger designed & developed in India:
This review comes at a time when I was thinking of buying Rapid for the second time. Honeywell call these turbo as VNT and should be from the tried and tested GTD12 family. It was a pleasure working in the lab with these turbo's during the development stage couple of years back. The previous turbo had a ball bearing but not sure of this one, this can be the reason for small turbo lag and slow response compared to the previous model. The sore point still visible in the facelift version are the 2 black foam pieces near the apron on LHS and RHS.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd December 2016 at 09:56. Reason: Making thumbnail smaller, thanks!
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Old 22nd December 2016, 08:53   #13
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Thanks for the report – short and very well summarized!

This indeed is a very smart face-lift from Skoda, especially the exteriors. They managed to make it look more modern than its sibling Vento.
An all-black interiors would have been nicer compared to the oh-so-boring beige.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 09:17   #14
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

It's about time Skoda came out with a new model and this looks extremely classy. The price is also very competitive but I honestly still won't go for a Skoda because of its severely limited aftersales support.

Last edited by qr20de : 22nd December 2016 at 09:19. Reason: Wrong word
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Old 22nd December 2016, 10:17   #15
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Default Re: 2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look

Front grille,tail lamp and alloys are the saving grace, the Rapid looks a lot more Vento now. A common man shall identify this a Vento with aftermarket grille. While the car as such looks classy, it appears a lot similar to Vento now.
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