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Old 25th March 2014, 15:03   #1
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Default A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

This is my first attempt at writing a thread in any form of internet forum/blogs. Effort will be put in to maintain the high standards set by T-BHP while please apologize if otherwise. The contents of this thread are purely based on personal experience and may differ from others' opinions.
Thanks for reading!


The year was 2008. It was a fine December Sunday. The clock struck 6:00 and there was a mad rush to board the train about to leave in 10 minutes. Nostalgic memories of my college life in Coimbatore was killing me. Not sure when I will be returning back, I was just sitting at the window seat pondering how to spend the 8 hour journey from Coimbatore to Chennai.

It was then a magazine vendor pulled up near my window and I spotted the latest edition of Autocar with an Image of Skoda Fabia on the cover. The 8 hour journey seemed to fly with the book in hand.

Relationship with Skoda:

Before I start writing about my new possession, I would like to mention a few words about my previous ride - Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI Ambiente. I dedicate this paragraph to my Fabia.

Parked on the shores of Yercaud lake (01-Jan-2013):
Name:  Fabia 1.jpg
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Our relationship with Skoda started way back in August 2009 when we were looking to replace our pre-worshiped Opel Corsa. The vehicle never gelled with
our family and was with us only for a brief period of time. Being a Petrol variant it was burning our pockets and was a hindrance to our planned long drives.

It was time for Car Shopping and we went on a TD spree . Our options ranged across segments from Tata Nano to Mahindra Scorpio. But it was Fabia which made it finally and became our family member. We were simply blown away by the car. The article in Autocar 8 months back was the major reason in we considering Fabia.

Fabia has taken us across 77928kms in the 4.5 years of service. It took us across TN and we treasured each and every drive in it. We did not face any major issues with the car and as such the machine was a beauty. To deal with A.S.S at the initial stages was bit of a pain, but then after sometime I could manage that as well.

Now it is time to part with my beloved ride. It is now ready to serve its new master.

A day before parting (25th Mar 2014), after a wash (The final one by me):
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-20140325_102829.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-20140325_102855.jpg

Serving its new master (26th Mar 2014). I wish her all the best.
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-20140326_114742.jpg

A Parting shot of my beloved Fabia :(
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-20140326_114758.jpg

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Old 26th March 2014, 14:01   #2
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Default Hunt for a new ride!

Hunt for a New Ride!

Our car hunt started in the first quarter of 2013, yes you read it right - 2013. The requirements were totally different at that point of time and we were looking at SUVs and wanted a second car in our garage.

I do not wish to go into details as that plan was scrapped and we came back to Sedans and also did not want a second car. The requirements changed RAPIDLY you see .

Let us get on with our requirements and hunt then!

After reviving the new car purchase plan in Jan 2014, I put up the Fabia for sale in various sites including T-BHP. In the mean time the requirements were put on paper and it was time for a family round table conference.

One of the main reasons to sell our Fabia was Space at rear for parents and few gadgets to play around for me. This becomes an important factor in choosing our new ride.

  1. The car will be driven ~ 15000 kms a year and hence I am looking at oil burners
  2. The car will be used both in city and highways equally and will be the only ride for the family
  3. The car should offer good driving pleasure. Should pack a punch
  4. The car should be equally comfortable for both the front and rear passengers. My elderly parents need more knee room and that is one of the most important reasons for this upgrade
  5. The car should be stable at high speeds, able to cruise at 120 kmph easily and the braking should be spot on. I am used to Skoda brakes and they inspire lot of confidence. Same applies for handling as well
  6. The car should have decent boot space
  7. The After Sales Service should be decent. I have handled the Skoda guys for past 4.5 years and I am confident of handling anyone now . To be frank, Skoda service has improved and I was able to get the things done even before the improvement
  8. Safety is a must, hence Airbags and ABS
  9. A decent Ground Clearance as I wish to take the car to some off beaten path
  10. In our family we always prefer a fully loaded car and not fond of after market additions. Hence it will be the top variant of the car I choose
  11. Budget - 10 - 11 Lakh OTR after discounts if any

The new car should be an upgrade in all respects from the current one!

The following cars were considered and/or TDed:

Before starting with this I would like to mention that my family is bit biased towards the Germans (Europeans) than the Japs.

Hyundai Verna: Somehow this car never appealed to me. May be I am not a fan of fluidic design and wish to see clear lines. Moreover the high speed stability of the car was enough for me to rule out this one.

Honda City: New kid in the block. Was really eager to finalize the deal on this one even though it was outside my budget. Took a couple of test drives and found that it was feeling light at high speeds and the sheet metal was not like that of the Europeans. Adding to the woes was the thin tires. Even then this was in the contention made it to the last round.

Ford Fiesta: I don't know why, but I did not like this car. Also I wanted to steer clear of Ford after the company asked the EcoSport buyers to cancel their booking.

Ford Classic: Outdated

Nissan Sunny: This was considered for a brief moment by me but dad ruled this out immediately. He was clear about choosing an European car and if a Jap it should be a brand to be trusted (Honda/Hyundai/Toyota).

Renault Scala: Same as Sunny

Tata Manza: Ruling out this car was completely my decision as I did not want a Tata.

Volkswagen Vento: Wow. This is the reaction when I got on driving this beauty. 3 things that went against this was the OTR of the top end, suspension set up and the presence of Rapid

Skoda Rapid: This is the logical and practical upgrade for me. This ticked each and every box and I took multiple TDs. Projectors on the Elegance trim was icing on the cake. Even my family was very happy with the car and the dealer was also ready to offer few discounts and freebies.This meant that the final price will be 11 lakh after the fitment of reverse parking sensor and camera. If I had sold my Fabia in the last week of February, I would have booked this the very next day. But the Fabia was still with me and I had to hold back the booking.

In the meantime Skoda decided to launch the limited edition Rapid Ultima with the reverse parking sensors and camera which made me happy. But here is where the twist comes. The ex-showroom price of the Elegance Ultima edition crosses the 10 lakh barrier which in turn increases the RTO. The Final price after discount now is 11.75 lakh which is a big margin considering the discounts I was offered in the Elegance trim. I was skeptical by then that the dealer might not accept to offer me the same discounts and fitting the reverse sensors/camera in Elegance trim.

This opened the gates for another option.

Fiat Linea 2014: This is such a capable car which my dad never considered due to the Fiat badge. It took me lot of efforts to even make him take a look at it. The prices were announced and this was a steal considering it offers me more features like auto headlights, auto wipers, cruise control, Parking Sensors and leather seats. The only thing that Rapid has is the projectors.

The Final Round:

Skoda Rapid Elegance, Honda City Vx iDTEC and Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion Pack were the cars which made it to the final round.

We went back to the drawing board and start analyzing the cars all over. I have given marks to each of the 3 cars after each condition/criteria. It is either '1', '0.5' or '0' which indicates the winner of the particular criteria.

The burner under the hood was the first factor and Rapid was a clear winner in this case. I feel that Honda should have tuned iDTEC better. Tuning same as the Amaze was a disappointment. Linea does have a screamer in the form of T-Jet but my requirement was a diesel motor. 1.3 MJD is definitely a capable engine but 1.6TDI was better. Here also I felt that FIAT should have launched the upgraded Linea with 1.6L motor.

Rapid - 1, City - 0, Linea - 0.5

A.S.S was the next factor considered. Honda is a clear winner here even though I do not have a personal experience. This is purely based on user reviews. Skoda and FIAT are similar in A.S.S I guess but I feel Skoda has a slight edge here, only a little though. Since I have first-hand experience with Skoda A.S.S and I am comfortable with it, I will give points to Skoda here. Known devil is better than the unknown.

Rapid - 1, City - 1, Linea - 0.5

One of the important reasons for upgrade was space. Considering this now, City wins hands down. Rapid comes second and Linea the last. It is really puzzling how FIAT could not provide rear bench space in spite of having a longer wheelbase.

Rapid - 0.5, City - 1, Linea - 0.5

Another reason for upgrade is gadgets. Honda wins again. Linea comes second with auto wipers, headlights etc. Saving grace for Rapid is the latest addition of steering mounted controls, projectors, USB and bluetooth. Since my requirements matched with the available options, I am giving equal points to all the 3.

Rapid - 1, City - 1, Linea - 1

Safety is foremost requirement and Europeans win here. The slim tires of City were really bad. Did not inspire confidence. Otherwise, all the three are kitted well.

Rapid - 1, City - 0.5, Linea - 1

Whatever research we do and whatever car we considered, Vitamin M is the most important factor before making a decision. Rapid and Linea came out as winners here. Rapid the most VFM according to me.

Rapid - 1, City - 0.5, Linea - 1

The final scores are as follows:

Rapid - 5.5, City - 4, Linea - 4.5

Rapid emerged as clear winner and there was no hesitation is booking one. The family was in unison when Rapid was chosen. We were naturally addicted to the Skoda due to our Fabia and that also played in our minds during the decision making.

Hence a Skoda makes way for another Skoda

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 26th March 2014 at 15:39.
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Old 28th March 2014, 12:42   #3
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Default Variant & Color Choice and Booking

Color Choice

Normally, once the car is finalized, people will be in a dilemma of choosing the dealer. Skoda saved that pain for me as there is only one authorized dealer in Chennai. This is really frustrating. The margin of negotiation is drastically reduced due to this fact.

Now that the car and the dealer is finalized, I thought that the major decision is taken and it will be a cake walk. But I was wrong. It was down to the color choice now. I still do not understand why Skoda decided not to launch any attractive colors for Rapid! It is offered only in the basic five colors viz., Black, White, Beige, Red and Silver.

Election time now. The rules were pretty simple.
  • There are 5 colors to choose from
  • Each color will have 3 options, 'Yes', 'No' and 'Do not mind'. Each of the 4 members should express their opinion for these colors
  • The color which receives even a single 'No' will be rejected
  • The color with maximum 'Yes' will be selected

White: Yes - 2, No - 1, Do not mind - 1
Result - Rejected

Silver: Yes - 2, No - 1 (Yeah it was me ), Do not mind - 1
Result - Rejected

Black: Yes - 3, No - 1, Do not mind - 0
Result - Rejected

Red: Yes - 1, No - 3, Do not mind - 0
Result - Rejected

Left with no choice now. Let us see how Biege fares.

Beige: Yes - 2, No - 0, Do not mind - 2
Finally, Beige it is.

Choice of Variant

As I already mentioned in my previous posts, our family always prefer to go for the fully loaded versions. Hence the obvious choice here is 'Elegance'. But wait, there is something called 'Ultima'. So thought I will check that out and if it is a decent deal, I will book that.

The Ultima turned out to be a car with many hidden costs. It was just like a roadside vendor increasing the prices upfront and giving discounts to please the customer.

These factors made sure that I booked Elegance instead of Elegance Ultima.

Booking Experience

I did take more than 3-4 comprehensive test drives during the decision making phase. I would like to say that I had a good experience with Gurudev Motors, Arumbakkam each and every time. May be because I was an existing customer, not sure about it. The SA Arun Kumar was really patient and helpful. He called me back only when I asked him to and not before that. This is something which I miss with many showrooms. I do not like being pestered. He also made sure that I get the car within a week, more on that later.

Rapid was finalized well before the actual booking date, but I was holding back for the Fabia to be sold. I had a target date in my mind and before which if I could not sell my Fabia, it will be accessorized and used instead of a new car. This meant I will have to wait. This is the time when Skoda decided to launch the limited edition Ultima with all the goodies I had wish to add to my Elegance.

Fabia's deal was finalized on 21st Mar 2014 and I went to the showroom armed with my negotiation skills. SA was ready to offer free insurance and attractive finance schemes on Ultima but not a penny on Elegance. This was a blow for me. After a discussion of over 2 hours with the SA, GM and MD they accepted to give me free extended warranty and 5k cash discount. Apart from this they offered me loan for 5 years at the rate of 8.10%.

The SA clearly told me VIN would be allocated only after receiving full payment. I was left with no choice but to accept as there was no other dealer in the city to bargain. Paid the amount other than the loan through cheque and left the showroom.

Arun promised to deliver the car either on 28th Mar 2014 or 31st March 2014. This solely depended on the loan approval and disbursement. The deal was to deliver the vehicle 3 working days after the complete amount is paid. I can perform the PDI in the mean time. Since the loan is from VW finance itself, the processing will be quick and the loan disbursed soon which means I can get the car on 29th March 2014.

Overall my booking experience was good and I would rate 4/5. The only grouse was the lack of discounts.

Unusual PDI and delivery part in the next post.

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 31st March 2014 at 12:25.
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Old 31st March 2014, 13:05   #4
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Default Unusual PDI and Delivery!

Surprise Surprise!

As many people out there, we in our family normally perform a customary pooja on an auspicious day before the car commences its duty. Taking delivery does not matter as long as we are able to perform the pooja in a temple on the auspicious day.

The car was booked on Friday (21 March) and on Sunday (23 March) my dad checking for auspicious day reported that there is one on Thursday (27th March), Sunday (30th March) and the next was only on 6th April . This means, if I miss to get delivery by Friday (28th March), I will have to wait till 6th April to get my hands on the beauty. Frantic calls started flying to the finance people and SA, But as Mr. Murphy would have it, all plans are just plans. The finance people informed me that it will take 2 business days to prepare and sign the agreement, 2 business days for approval and 1 business day for cash disbursement. I submitted the loan papers on Friday evening and as per their calculation, the amount will be disbursed only the next Friday (28th March). This is ridiculous, 5 days for loan to be disbursed? SA Arun informed me that he can give the car only on 31 March.

Took some time to get back my cool and started thinking of different possibilities. I even thought of taking delivery of the car before registration and leave it back in the showroom after the pooja. This is against their rules it seems and this was ruled out. The only option SA gave me was to perform the customary pooja at the yard itself. Dad was not ok with this and we started to push around. After few calls daily to the SA and finance, SA accepted to deliver the car on Friday, 28th March. I had to forego the PDI now. The SA promised to push the car for registration on Friday morning and deliver the car the same evening. The risk he took was to push the car for registration before the cash disbursement but after approval. Hence I too took the calculated risk of foregoing the PDI. Is that so?

Unusual PDI

I went to the showroom to sign the registration papers on Thursday (27th Mar). SA gave me the VIN and after verification it turned out to be Jan 2014 and I was ok with that. Signed the papers and left the showroom.

On the day of registration, I called up the SA and got the details of the driver taking my vehicle to the RTO and approximate time when he will be there. The RTO office is just 2kms from my home and office.

Went to the RTO ground at 1pm. Imagine the hot sun in Chennai, uff. Did a quick PDI before the vehicle went for RTO inspection and was with the car till the inspection was done. Everything looked good except for a broken wiper . This was the work of the people washing the vehicle in the yard. Promptly informed it to the SA and left. SA promised to replace it and deliver the car same evening.

Delivery Experience

The PDI and registration done, my beauty went to get dressed up in the showroom and I went to office to wait for the evening. Received a call from SA at 5pm asking me to come to showroom to take delivery.

I was at the showroom by 5:30pm and my wife was already there. This is what welcomed us.

The gleaming beauty waiting for its Master:
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I had specifically told them not to apply any wax or teflon coating as I knew they would spoil the vehicle and will not be like the professional finishes. As in the case of every showroom, they never listened and the so called coating was applied. This resulted in flakes all over the body, especially near the window panes. The broken wiper had been fixed and the car was set to be delivered.

I was asked to wait for 30 more minutes to complete the paper work and final delivery. I had waited 1 week, but these 30 minutes were the most difficult.

Finally, The Moment 28th March 2014; 6:30pm:
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Distributed sweets to everyone in the showroom, tipped the drivers and drove the beauty home. It was bliss. After a 10km run, I will have to wait for one more day for the customary pooja. The fitment of reverse camera was not done as I had hurried the delivery. I will have to take the vehicle back to them anytime next week to fit the camera.

Again a 4/5 for the delivery experience. Special mention about SA Mr. Arun Kumar and Finance guy Mr. Uday Kumar for speeding up the process and delivering the vehicle a day before the schedule. In fact the welcome board mentioned the next day's date against my name. Would have given 5/5 if the wax polish was not done. In this process, Mr. Arun Kumar gained another customer - My cousin who was looking to buy a Petrol sedan. That is a different story altogether.

Initial impressions, good bad and ugly in the next post!

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Old 1st April 2014, 15:19   #5
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Default Good, Bad and Ugly

Initial Impressions

Took home the ride on Friday evening and the customary pooja was done at a nearby temple on Sunday. It was an exciting and happy moment in the family and everyone was happy.

Mr. Ganesh sitting pretty on the dash:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-lord-ganesha.jpg

A goat pulled the garland and tried eating when we were inside the temple:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-front.jpg

Spot the culprit:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-side.jpg

Once the pooja was done, it was time for branding the car with T-BHP stickers.

Yes, I Live to Drive:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-ltd-rapid.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-ltd-rapid-1.jpg

All the below mentioned points are my opinion and will mostly be compared to Fabia, my previous ride. I will not be going into technical details as that has been extensively covered in the official review.

  • I loved the clear lines and prism cut on the boot. I am not a fan of fluidic designs anyways. Moreover the front resembled Fabia and we loved that bit.
  • The projectors add character to the front. The visibility has a lot of improvement over my Fabia and it feels good.
  • The windshield washer is neatly tucked in and does not make a 'black dot' on the hood
  • The boot is a spacious one and there is no need to pack light now.
  • Was skeptical about the 5 spoke alloys, but it looks great in person
  • The color choice is really a blessing. Our area of residence is such that a lot of dust accumulates even inside the garage.
  • The antenna is kind of cute
  • The side view mirrors are big but flimsy when compared to my Fabia
  • Step inside and there is lot of space when compared to Fabia. The seats and upholstery feels upmarket
  • The Climatronic operates flawlessly and is a boon in Chennai Summers.
  • The new 3 spoke steering looks classy and great to hold. The response is also great
  • The arm rest will be immensely helpful in long drives
  • MID is an addition when compared to my Fabia
  • Rear blower is great and it was one of the requirements for my parents. The rear arm rest is very comfortable as well
  • The ICE loaded with Bluetooth, USB, AUX and SD card slot is fantastic
  • There were not rear speakers in my Fabia and I never had the need to add one. Now I get speakers on all four doors
  • The most pleasing thing for me is the horn pad. Used to use my PALM in Fabia to horn. It was so hard.
  • The ride has been a vast improvement when compared to my Fabia. Parents at the rear feel very comfortable
  • The handling is on par with Fabia
  • The NVH levels are great compared other cars. Especially for a person upgrading from 3 pot Fabia engine which is notorious for the noise it produces.
  • The GC is good in comparison to the Fabia

Bad/Could have been better:
  • I am sorely missing the dead pedal
  • Provision to close the rear AC vent would have been great. Most of the times only 2 persons travel
  • There is no safety bold provided for the alloys. This was available as standard in my Fabia
  • Cooled glove box absent. Again a feature which was there in my Fabia
  • Vanity mirror for driver missing. Also there is no slider for the passenger vanity mirror. Fabia had it
  • A parking ticket holder/clip present in the windshield of Fabia would have been a nifty feature if present in Rapid.
  • Heated driver side view mirror could have been better. My 2009 Fabia had it. But today, Fabia does not even come with electrically adjustable mirrors .
  • Bluetooth is not syncing contacts. Only number is getting displayed.
  • The side view mirrors are flimsy in comparison to Fabia
  • The cup holder at the rear will soon break I suppose.
  • It is a low floor car when compared to Fabia and parents finding it bit difficult. Did not complain during TD though.
  • The gear shift is very notchy. Fabia has one of the best I guess. It feels as though it has been dipped in butter.
  • The rear parcel tray is useless.
  • I feel that rear view camera is mandatory. Have already paid for one and will be fixed in a day or two.
  • One cannot lift both the wiper blades at the same time. If the hood is closed, the passenger side wiper can be lifted and if the hood is open the driver side wiper can be lifted but not the other. In order to lift both wipers, one needs to bring it to service position.

  • The only ugly thing I found till now is the lack of 2 remote keys. It is baffling why the customer is given only one remote key and the other is a normal key. . I did not know this till I took possession of the ride.

More good, bad ugly will be added as and when I find one.

Clear Lines:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-url-left.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-url.jpg

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Old 3rd April 2014, 18:42   #6
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Default My Views

Hereby I present my views about my new acquisition. I have done 900kms in 10 days of ownership and hence I feel I can pen down some merits and demerits of the ride.

Exteriors and Build Quality

As already mentioned by me in the above posts, the clear and straight lines of the Rapid are pretty impressive. No nonsense designs which appeals to the eyes and definitely not a sore. The front looks similar to my Fabia but is more bold and sharper. This increases the character of the car. The longer bonnet also feels good to look and makes the car bit longer. The projectors are a fantastic addition to Rapid and give the upmarket feel in addition to the better visibility, a clear upgrade for me from Fabia. It also answers the lighting woes of Vento owners. Come down to the fog lamps and the XL size fog lamps serve its purpose well. The fog combined with projectors gives perfect illumination. I am a fan of the new Skoda badge. Again Skoda's design language is seen here. The new logo is more crisp and bold. The monochrome design suits well. Mission L is around the corner I guess. The windshield washer is placed near the firewall and there is not 'Black dot' on the hood. My grouse here is, why can't they provide a wiper setup which can be lifted easily instead of some 'bringing it to service position' circus?

Come to the side and one can see the lines neatly integrate with the headlights. The side view mirrors are again sharp as against the rounded one in the Fabia. It is wider and offers sufficient visibility. I feel it is lighter than the Fabia. The 'B' pillar has glossy finish and is not a sticker. It is the frame itself which is Black. The stickers in my Fabia were peeling off in a year and started fading too. This is far better. The 15" alloys look great on the car and there is no need for any aftermarket alloys. I won't say Apollo tires are bad, but it is time Skoda changes the vendor to either Bridgestone or Michelin. They have been providing the same since the time I got my Fabia 4.5 years back. Nonetheless, the tires offer super grip and control. The doors open wide enough and it is a typical european three stage door. Ample ground clearance is provided IMHO.

Move back and we can see the sharp prism cut on the number plate garnish. The XL size reverse light offers super visibility in the night. The 'C' motif tail lamps are typical Skoda. I would have preferred a boot open button instead of a keyhole. The silencer pipe is neatly tucked in and doesn't protrude.

Coming to the build quality, everyone here in this esteemed forum are well aware of the European build quality and Rapid doesn't disappoint. The solid thud is pleasing. Just a firm push is enough to close the doors. There is no uneven panel gap and the fit and finish is just perfect. The bonnet is quite heavy and the engine bay is neatly packed. The insulation is great. My grouse here is that I could see the road beneath from the engine bay, meaning there is no sump guard . All the rough road package stuff is of minimum use when there is no engine guard. This is going to be easy access for the rodents and I need not say about the Indian potholed roads. The sides are guarded but not the engine! Why? All the other Skoda models including the lower priced Fabia has it. I am now looking at DIY engine guards.

Interiors and Equipment

There is a lot to talk about the interiors where one will be spending whole lot of the travel time. More important to give priority to it than the exteriors. I will talk about it in detail.

Step inside and you are welcomed with a clean and neat dashboard. The chocolate brown interiors may not appeal to the masses and few even feel they can't take it. But it is not that bad either. This is compensated by the thoughtful application of chrome over the dash and steering wheel. There is no over application anywhere. The chrome strips around the AC vents are far better than the black bordered one in previous versions. The new 3 spoke steering wheel has its share of chrome around the spokes. The leather wrapped steering wheel is great to hold and is responsive. The handbrake and gear lever are also leather wrapped with the gear lever getting its share of chrome. It is nice to hold the lever. The Dials are neat and it is clear and legible both during day and night. The plastics are of good quality and will last long. To my liking, the floor is with black carpets and not beige as in Vento. Peace of mind.

It is easy to find a comfortable driving position, thanks to the steering adjustable for reach & rake and long range of driver seat height adjustment. The passenger seat does not have height adjustment - My Fabia had it. Lack of dead pedal is a shocking omission. The fabric seats are less premium to look at but are very comfortable. There are lots of aftermarket leatherette seat covers available to customize the interiors. I am waiting for my black U-Fly seat covers. Black is easy to maintain than the light color OEM seats. The comfortable driver armrest is also beige in color. One will not find the need to remove the hand from armrest to change gears. Right hand controlling the steering with elbow on the door, and left hand on the arm rest controlling the gear - Wahh... should not sleep now :P. Move to the rear and you find ample space for 2 pax. Third person will find it difficult due to the transmission line hump. Already we are used to it in Fabia and do not mind it, moreover, 5th passenger is going to be a rarity moving forward. The rear arm rest has not been used till now, but I was told by my parents that it was comfortable during TD. The seats are comfortable and have good under thigh support. Rear AC vents will be useful in my hot city. The rear quarter glass adds airy feel to cabin. The only grouse is that the car is low floor and my parents are finding it difficult to come out of the car. In tight spots, even I feel the same.

Since I am used to Fabia, I did not find it difficult with the control switches and stalks. All the controls are conveniently placed and ergonomically designed. The only button which seemed out of place for me was the boot release button. It is placed near the bottle holder and is similar to the power window switch. The center console is inclined towards the driver and feels great. The steering mounted controls work flawlessly and the rotary control for the volume is better than the buttons IMO. The electronic wing mirror adjustment is but I miss the heated driver side wing mirror. This is another omission which was present in 2009 Fabia. I heard that Fabia does not come with electronic wing mirror adjustment anymore, not even in elegance variant. Cost cutting measures I guess! One touch up and down for all the windows is really useful in the era where many cars in a segment higher do not provide this feature. Most of them provide only one touch down and that too only for the driver window. The MID offers lots of information like average consumption, real time consumption, average speed, current speed, distance to empty, distance traveled, time traveled and outside temperature. I don't think I will need more from the MID. The headlight switch with chrome on it is conveniently placed. There are certain features I miss here. There should have been another charging point. With GPS connected to one, the phone connected via bluetooth is gonna drain soon. Additional charging point would have been of great help. I also miss individual map lights. But I like the way the lights dim out and come on when I the ignition on. The Climatronic AC is a boon for my city already the mercury touching 100 degree Fahrenheit. The blower at the rear helps cooling the cabin faster. There is no way I can switch off the rear blower and I prefer to switch it off since 90% of the time only 2 people travel.

Now let us talk about the storage spaces in the car. The boot is humongous. Can swallow luggage pretty easily and there is no need to worry about heavy packing anymore. The loading bay is comfortable as well. Inside the car, there are bottle holders on all four doors. Front can hold 1l bottle while the rear doors can hold 0.5l bottles. There are cup holders just below the center console and some extra space as well. Small compartment is provided inside the arm rest which can be used to keep loose change. There is a rubber pad which will make sure there is no noise due to the coins. The glove box is pretty big. Just behind the armrest, there is a cup holder which can be folded when not in use. Nice feature this but feels flimsy and is bound to break soon. The rear parcel shelf is useless as whatever kept there slides down. I personally miss 3 things in this car. There was a small compartment just below the headlight switch in Fabia in which I used to keep my wallet. That is missing here. I miss the parking ticket holder on the front windshield. I do not understand why this is missing in Rapid while this is available in every other Skoda car model? What does is take Skoda to provide a small plastic clip? Does it cost a bomb? There is no ash tray - not that I smoke, I use it as a dustbin inside the car. My wife missed the storage compartment just above the glove box.

Engine, Ride and Handling

Skoda has plonked a beautiful 1.6l engine to the Rapid. I am in love with this after upgrading from the 3 pot 1.4l engine in my Fabia. This engine unleashes 104 horses and it is a screamer. There is slight engine clatter in cold start but as the RPM builds up and the engine reaches the optimum temperature, this becomes better. After spending ~ 900kms with the car, I felt that there is a sort of vibration in the clutch pedal. You can feel it at the clutch biting point. Hopefully this settles down soon.

The low end torque is very good. There is no need to press the accelerator to move this car. Just release the clutch slowly and you are off. Immensely helpful in bumper to bumper traffic. Once we reach 1800 rpm, one feels the power surge. The engine growl is fantastic at this range. After around 2000 rpm, the vehicle rockets ahead - POWER. This is addictive and I am itching to complete the run-in soon. I am still holding back and maintaining 1500-2000 rpm (only twice I did 2500rpm). Rapid effortlessly cruises at 80-90 kmph below 2000 rpm and there is no doubt that it will effortlessly cruise at 120-130 kmph the whole day. The gear shift is notchy in comparison to my Fabia but the gear ratios are fantastic, especially the 5th gear has a vast range - no need to downshift during overtaking, just a tap of accelerator is enough. Fabia's engine used to be a very noisy one, and as the rpm builds up the noise shoots up. This engine is really quite and calm. The NVH levels are fantastic. Could not say the same about i-Dtech of Honda and surprisingly Vento, with the same engine is noisier. I am enjoying every bit of the drive within the city. The steering response is spot on and is delightful. In the limited high speed runs of 90 - 100 kmph I can vouch for the handling and ride of this beauty. It is absolutely confidence inspiring during cornering at high speeds. The suspension tuning is another talking point of the Rapid. It is stiffer in comparison to Vento. It simply absorbs the bad roads at high speeds and there is no need to slow down. Gobbles up the Indian roads without breaking sweat.

The brakes are spot on as in any Skoda and are confidence inspiring. The ABS and Dual-rate brake assist does show its presence during hard braking and is good to have.

Eagerly waiting to unleash the 104 horses

Other Tit-Bits

  • Black floor carpeting means easy to maintain.
  • You cannot pull the bonnet release lever when the driver door is closed.
  • Open the fuel tank lid and cap, top it up till the brim, push the small button inside to see the magic unfold. The air gets released and you can fill atleast another 2 liters of fuel. No need to rock the car up and down. This has been carried over from Fabia
  • There is a loose cable hanging below as mentioned in the official review. This is for hand brake it seems
  • Rear windows does not open fully
  • All 4 windows can be opened or closed from the key remote
  • If you turn down the audio volume to zero, the audio pauses and resumes when the volume is increased
  • The MFD has a gear shift indicator which is useful
  • If you stall the engine, you need to turn the ignition off completely and then back on again to start the engine
  • There is no anti-theft bolt as default for the alloys in Rapid. It is listed as accessory in the Skoda website though. This was default in Fabia
  • There is no dead pedal which is shocking. Need to check how comfortable I feel during the long drives
  • All the four windows are equipped with anti-pinch
  • All the four windows have auto up and auto down

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 17th April 2014 at 15:39.
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Old 10th April 2014, 17:08   #7
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Default Let the Pictures Do the Talking - Exteriors

Enough of my verbose and I will now let the pictures do the talking.


The new monochrome badge:
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The XL size fog lights and Projectors to light up the road. The projectors add flair and character:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-fog-projectoe.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-proj-2.jpg

You can see the road below, No sump guard:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-engine-bay-2.jpg

Neatly packed engine bay, but see the dust gathered in just 1100kms due to the big opening below:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-engine-bay-1.jpg

The windshield washer is well concealed:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-windshield-washer.jpg

The sharp and wide wing mirrors offers nice visibility:
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The parking ticket holder in Fabia which is absent is Rapid:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-parking-ticket-holder.jpg

The matt finish in the B pillar of Fabia wears off soon while the gloss finish frame is Rapid is much better:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-b-pillar-fabia.jpg

Rapid's B-Pillar with Gloss finish and it is not attached to the door. Subject to less wear and tear:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-bpillar-rapid.jpg

The 'C'-motif tail lights:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-c-motif-2.jpg

Got 2 XL sized reverse lights helpful at nights:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-reverse.jpg

The alloys look great on the car:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-alloys-main.jpg

The exhaust neatly concealed below:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-silencer.jpg

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 25th April 2014 at 14:23.
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Old 17th April 2014, 15:56   #8
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Default Let the Pictures Do the Talking - Interiors


The new 3 spoke steering wheel. Leather wrapped and nice to grip. The chrome is applied thoughtfully. The steering mounted controls are nice to operate, especially the volume control:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-steering.jpg

The AC vents are mariginated by chrome unlike the older versions which had black margins:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-chome-ac-vent.jpg

No over application of chrome in the center console. Looks great. The Audio unit is good for OEM and there is no need for an upgrade. It supports CD, USB, AUX, SD Card and Bluetooth audio:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-center-console.jpg

Easy to read dials, both during day and night:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-dials.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-1000km-mark.jpg

Black carpet, easy to maintain. The omission of dead pedal is baffling though:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-foot-well.jpg

Autoform U-Fly seat covers. Spent 10500/- for this neat work. The arm rest is real useful during drives:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-front-seats.jpg

A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-arm-rest.jpg

Rear seats are really comfortable, especially during long drives:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-rear-bench.jpg

Check out the rear leg room. The center hump will make it difficult for the 5th occupant:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-tall-hump.jpg

Useless rear parcel shelf. Nothing will stay up there:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-parcel-shelf.jpg

Rear AC vents and the flimsy bottle holder. Innovative though. There is no way to switch off the rear vents:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-rear-ac.jpg

Huge boot:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-huge-boot.jpg

Check out the lever inside the fuel tank opening. This is what I was talking about in my previous posts. Once you fill to the brim, push and hold it. The air is released and you can fill 3-4 liters more:
A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI-fuel-lid.jpg

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 25th April 2014 at 14:23.
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Old 26th April 2014, 17:16   #9
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th April 2014, 20:55   #10
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Hi Narsi,

Let me be the first to congratulate you for your brand new Rapid. Loved reading your excellently written review. Upgrading to a Skoda from another Skoda makes me to believe that the horror stories we very often hear about Skoda service & the cost of maintenance are not much of a bother now.

I am going for a TD of Rapid TDI next Saturday/Sunday & will try to find out the differences in comparison to my present car- Fludic Verna 1.6 CRDI. One of my colleagues owning a Rapid TDI for last one year was driving my car few days back. He immediately said that Rapid has better pickup but is noisier than Verna. He could not compare the high speed manners , as we could not find open enough a road. He could drive my Verna till 80 kmph & told that he does not feel much of a difference in dynamics . We were only two in the car. Higher speeds & more load would have revealed Verna's weaknesses to my friend.

If I like the TD of Rapid, I may book one, because I am getting a good resale of 8.5 L for my 44 k done Verna 1.6 CRDI SX still on stock tyres- 2.5 yrs old. From your review and my friends comparison, it seems that I will miss:-

- the dead pedal

- electrically folding mirrors (both are extremely useful features, can not be retro fitted either)

- silent cabin to an extent

-6th gear (does 100 kmph @ 1800 rpm)

- company fitted rear sensors & camera

- cooled glove box

- peace of mind of having a Hyundai

- probably cheaper maintenance cost.

- Indian style of wiper/ lighting controls

I will gain-

-lesser turbo lag

- better dynamics at high speeds

-better steering feel

- better suspension set up

- projector head lamps

-rear AC vents

- air release botton of fuel tank

- steering rake adjustments.

Am I wrong or missing any thing important??

Few queries-

1. Verna's driver seat hight adjustment is a waste. It just adjusts the angle of the base rather than height. I am forced to keep it at the lowest position always. How it is for Rapid?

2. If I go for the top end version ( not Ultima ), then I have to install rear sensors & camera as I am so used to it in my Verna. How much extra I have to pay for those add ons and is the quality equivalent to that of Verna.

3. Are the spare parts of Rapid readily available? I presume those should be costly than Verna. If so, by what % ? If the variation is around 10-15 % it's ok for me. If higher, then I have to think hard.

4. How reliable is Skoda. Since you have used one for long, you know the best. I am asking this because Germans are surely less reliable than Japs.

5. You felt that Vento with same engine was nosier. Is the difference significant?

6. Verna has an illumination control for the dash & speedo console. Very useful for night driving. Has Rapid got this feature.

Finally what's your opinion on my thoughts of changing from Verna to Rapid.

Wish you many many years of enjoyable motoring mate with your new car.


Last edited by Chitta Pradhan : 26th April 2014 at 21:24. Reason: addition
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Old 26th April 2014, 20:58   #11
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Last Friday (24th April) happened to be both good and bad for me and my Rapid. Let me talk about the good thing first.

I received the extended warranty certificate and an intimation that the RC book is ready. Till I received the certificate, I was of the opinion that the extended warranty is for 2 years in addition to the standard 2 years making it a 4 year warranty. But when I saw the extended warranty certificate, it was mentioned that it is a 3 year plan and the extended warranty is for 1095 days . Now I have peace of mind till March 2019.

Name:  Exte Warr.jpg
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Coming to bad news now.

As I have already mentioned in my review, there are few plastic parts in the car which are really flimsy owing to the cost cutting measures. One such part which I overlooked is a part of driver arm rest. It is a small plastic cover present at the elbow joint of the arm rest and aids in adjusting the height. While cleaning the car yesterday, I lifted the arm rest and the cover just broke . To make things worse, it went inside the arm rest and locked itself. I was not able to adjust the height and the default one was too high.

This is how it should be. The plastic I am talking about is marked in red rectangle:
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After the lock broke, the plastic cover went inside (arrow mark) and I could not get it out:
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Lost my sleep yesterday and the first thing this morning was to take the car to the workshop. The sales guys had already informed the service people but in spite of that they were not ready to take in the vehicle. They asked me to come on Tuesday but I refused and insisted that a technician take a look. They relented and technician came over to take a look and access the damage.

This is the conversation with the technician

Tech: The lock is broken and we need to change the assembly.
Me: Assembly in the sense the complete arm rest?
Tech: Guess yes. Need to check completely to find out. We have to take the car in.
Me: Boss, first retrieve the part which is inside and then let us talk about replacement.
Tech, after taking out the cover: The lock is broken, I will fix it temporarily now and it should not come off. If it comes off, let us take it up further.
Me: Thanks

Till now the juggaad is working fine. According to me, its not the lock which broke, but a small hinge which connects the cover to the arm rest. Here is snap after the juggaad

If I am not wrong, the small white spec (circled in red) is broken and should be connected to where the arrow is marked. If it connected, the cover will work flawlessly. In that case, I can use some adhesive and stick it.
Name:  after jugaad.jpg
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Any other suggestion friends?
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Old 26th April 2014, 21:25   #12
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Good Write up and congrats on your new ride
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Old 26th April 2014, 21:44   #13
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Congrats! awesome machine with loads of driving pleasure awaits you

A query - Can you describe the functionality of the projector headlight setup?
I am considering swapping my halogen units with these projector units. A fellow bhp-ian informs me that when you switch to the high beam, the low beam(projectors) dims. I don't have any reason not to believe him but it does sound a bit strange to me. I would appreciate if you could confirm this behavior for me.

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Old 26th April 2014, 21:53   #14
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Default Re: Good, Bad and Ugly

Congratulations on your Rapid mate. Looks stunning in cappuccino beige. What an exhaustive thread! Nicely written. Happy mile munching

Originally Posted by narsi_6989 View Post
The only ugly thing I found till now is the lack of 2 remote keys. It is baffling why the customer is given only one remote key and the other is a normal key.
Now, that definitely seems like a cost-cutting measure. Be a bit heedful with the key fob, losing it would warrant the replacement of whole central locking module which costs a whooping ₹16000.

Last edited by Pferdestarke : 26th April 2014 at 21:55.
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Old 27th April 2014, 12:41   #15
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Default Re: A Skoda makes way for another Skoda - My Rapid 1.6L TDI

Congrats! on your new Skoda, It is a handsome looking car and it wears the Cappuccino beige beautifully, though still in my mind red/black are the best colors on the Rapid. That 1.6L TDi is a cracker and wish you many miles of happy motoring.
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