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Old 21st October 2022, 21:00   #1
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My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

I bought a Skoda Rapid Spaceback in the Netherlands. Its been a few months with the car and so I thought it was about the right time to give a short and personal view.
A disclaimer: The comparisons I make in this write-up are more with my previously owned cars rather than any others, including those I've driven only occasionally, hence my comments views may not be applicable for others. Just For everyone's info, earlier cars were: Alto Lxi, Polo Tdi and Ciaz S Diesel. Thank you.

The Rapid Spaceback is more a cross between a small hatchback and a stationwagon. There is more space at the back(rear seat) than the normal Rapid Sedan(maybe why its called a "spaceback"?)

My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0928.jpg
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There is no big backstory to why we chose this car. With a budget set at 15,000 Euros, we looked for a suitable car for the family. We could get a new small car with this money or go into the vast used car market. Our primary aim was to get a medium sized, safe European car which suited our needs. Also, had to have run within 100,000km. The other probable reason was we had a dealer very close to our house, which made the process easier. With a couple of visits to the Skoda showroom, we had shortlisted two cars, both Rapids, both 2018 models. Yes, the Octavias and Superbs were nice, but were out of our budget and km criteria.

We put the money on a Grey Rapid Spaceback 1.2 TSI 110, with 80,000km on the odo. Grey looked much better than in white(the other shortlist).
I had the chance to drive the Rapid a few times in India some years back. This isn't a comparison, because I am not too sure on the features now present on the Indian Rapid Sedan

The waiting period was a week. Sorted out the registration, insurance and other paperwork on the day of delivery. Overall process was very pleasant and silky smooth.

My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0917.jpg
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Some technical details:-
- 5 door wagon/hatch mix - not exactly a hatchback, but not a proper station wagon as well.
- Petrol 4 cylinder 110HP, 175 NM
- 6 speed Manual( A lot of Europe still prefers the stick. I was surprised!)
- 55 liter fuel tank
- 0 to 100: 9.8 sec
- Top speed of 198km/hr
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Boot space: 420 L
- 17 inch alloys

Exterior look-wise, I am kind of split: The front looks exactly to the Rapid sedan, which is like-able. From the front, you wouldn't be able to differentiate this from a Rapid sedan. The rear is a hatch ,and personally, looks too bulbous. As mentioned above, its more stretched than a small hatchback(like Fabia/Polo), but not the length of a station wagon. I would have preferred a slightly better(flatter) rear look.
Build quality, materials, Paint quality are all standard VW/Skoda quality-high. No gaps, creaks, un-necessary noise anywhere even after 80000km and 4 years of usage.

Wheels/Brakes: 17 inchers, Continental Premium Contact 2 with short(er than usual) side profile. These are noisy, and get louder as the speed increases. With such tires, ride quality is not at comfort standards. Its hard! However, tire grip and feel are excellent, and add to the fun while cornering. Neither myself nor family are complaining.
Disc brakes on all tires. Braking is sharp and excellent when compared to my earlier car(Ciaz). I do feel ABS kicking in a lot more here, than in India. Not sure whether its because of the higher average speeds or due to the roads being wetter most of the days.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0920.jpg

Lights: Standard halogen lights for low/high beams, which I am not so happy with, but not complaining. They do the job. Front fog lights are quite bright. DRLs are bright too, and can be turned off using system settings. I leave them ON always, lights being mandatory at all hours here. This car also comes with cornering lights, which automatically turn on with changes in the steering input. These are helpful and quite bright too. Didn't know the car had this feature until a friend asked why only one of the "fogs" was switched ON when reversing from his home late one night.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0925.jpg

I have had the chance to drive the Rapid occasionally in India a few years back. There is almost no change here, except for a few nice extra touches. The leather wrapped steering wheel is nice to hold. The buttons, as expected are of very good quality. Interiors are for the most part hard and plasticky, however, of excellent quality and feel well built.
*Kindly excuse the dusty pictures. Interior is a serious dust magnet.
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Voice, audio, and track selection on the LHS. The volume(LHS) and MID(RHS) scrollers are knurled and are nice to use.
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Adaptive cruise control button(am a first time user), MID Navigation and telephony on the RHS. Controls for cruise control in the default position in the stalks behind the steering wheel.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0874-1.jpg

The MID contains a load of information. I normally have the digital speedometer as standard, however, the options are multitude.
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Turn, by turn navigation which is shown when you start navigation using the center console digital display. You can also choose to show distance covered, distance remaining, time of arrival, total time taken etc here.
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The center Console contains the digital touchscreen display. Its very responsive, fast and intuitive. Coming from laggy displays in my previous cars in India, this was such a pleasant experience. Gets proximity sensor as well, with the Option-bar at the bottom of some screens coming up when you move your fingers/hands close to the screen.
The only issue with this system is that it doesn't come with Android Auto/Apple Car play by default. This has to be enabled at Skoda service center, which requires a 250 Euro payment. I chose to skip.
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The "My Car" view gives a lot of information, about fuel range, distance, "how I am driving" etc.
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Other car settings can be changed on this screen.
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Default Skoda maps available. Use it sometimes for shorter distances within the city.
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With split-screen option enabled, though not used much:-
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Traffic status, also can be viewed on the navigation screen or at a higher level on this screen, though I am not too sure how this functions. I find it works sometimes, but then doesn't at other times. I prefer to stick with google maps on my phone.
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Sorry, no android auto/apple carplay. Has to be enabled at the dealer for a sum of 250 Euros.
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You can switch off the screen too, or have this nice looking clock.
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Climate and heating controls are below the display screen. Comes with heated seat function for the front seats. Great boon in this climate. Climate function works effectively and quickly. I normally keep the temperature between 18 to 20 degrees.
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Exterior mirror controls with heating function. Features like this which I didn't notice initially but later realized how valuable they are in these conditions make the ownership experience fulfilling. With outside temperatures dropping quite fast these days, I use this almost every time when starting up. Turn the rotor all the way around and the mirror de-fogs within a minute.
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Rotary light switch controls. No automatic lights here. DRL controls are in the system settings in the center screen.
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Audio: The audio system is from Skoda. 4 speakers and 2 tweeters on either door. For my preference, sound is very good. There is no rattle or graining either. The sound settings can be changed with the center console.
Balance/Fade adjustment screen:-
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0900.jpg

Tweeters on either door:-
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0895.jpg

Seating: Seats are not soft, but comfortable, both at the front and rear. Both the front seats offer manual height and lateral adjustment. I feel the driver seat goes much lower than the Ciaz. Under-thigh support felt a little better as well. Along with the heated seats, getting into a good driving position is easy.
Rear seat room. Enough for 2; tight for 3. Mid seat has 3point seat belt.
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More space at the back than the Rapid sedan, with a little more legroom, but of-course not comparable with the Ciaz.
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Split seat arrangement liberates more space when needed. Very easy to drop either side of the rear seats(or both). However, the seats don't fully fold flat.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0893.jpg

Last edited by libranof1987 : 24th October 2022 at 18:49. Reason: Typo
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Old 23rd October 2022, 23:56   #2
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

ABC Pedals with aluminum finish. Love the looks. There is enough space between the dead pedal and clutch. Clutch travel is small and easy, a big change compared to my earlier VW Polo, which was long and had a strong kickback.
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The USP of the interior: All glass roof. It cannot be opened, however, the extra viewing space and roominess feel make up for that. My kids love this, especially at night while driving around in the city. Pictures seem a bit skewed here.
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Boot: The boot-lid is manual, and being very heavy, takes a bit of strength to close. Wish this were electronic. Boot space is about 420 l, which is more than what we need. Unlike in India, where even the Ciaz's 500 L boot wasn't enough to carry our stuff when we visit our parents' home, this space was perfect for holiday outings and grocery runs.

Some boot extras including Light, holders, net, and extra space to keep stuff upright.
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Driving and Handling: The switch to LHS driving was the scariest part of the initial ownership period. I simply couldn't stop my left hand from searching for a gear knob. But it took less than a couple of days to transition and it was without incident. Now, I get more nervous thinking about driving when I am back in India, but that is for another day.
Having mostly driven diesel cars earlier, the smooth 1.2 TSi was a refreshing experience. Peak figures are 110 BHP and 175 NM. Its not very silent, however, there are no rumbles and shakes when starting up. The silence is mostly broken by the tire noise. The car is quick(0-100 in less than 10 seconds, never tested personally), but comparing it with the much quicker cars on these roads is irrelevant.
A note on the speed limits in the Netherlands: Pretty strict monitoring here. Highway speeds are at 100kph between 0600 to 1900, and 120kph for the remaining duration. In city limits, depending on the road and area, limits range between 30kph to 80kph. On such amazing roads, its very easy to go over. I did and got heavily fined once From then on, have always followed them, no matter how big the urge to go hard.

Handling is amazing with these tires. Cornering and lane changes are done with much more confidence (than the bulky Ciaz). The tires hug the roads well. City driving is fun, and very predictable, hence braking and gear changes though frequent, are not an irritant to the overall driving feel. Also, there is bit of the turbo lag, but nothing compared to the diesels i've driven earlier.
Ride quality is hard, as expected, mainly because of the thin profile tires. But the smooth roads make up for the harsh ride. As mentioned, none of my family members have complained. Infact, feels much more fun and planted than the bobbing Ciaz especially on the highways.

Personally, however, highway driving has become boring in Europe. I find myself moving to the highest gear as early as possible and remaining there for the entire duration of the trip almost till the destination. Enable adaptive cruise control and that's it! You don't feel like you are "driving" at all. Maybe I am too used to the "Indian roads" or I need to take some country routes here.

Gear shifts: 6 speed manual gearbox is fun to use. Gear throw is on point, short and smooth. Find myself switching very quickly to higher gears, something I wasn't very used to in Bengaluru traffic.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0911.jpg

Fuel efficiency: I am actually surprised with myself as to why I am not checking this. Maybe because I don't drive a car daily. After we moved, the primary mode of travel within the city became the cycle, till date. Earlier, my Ciaz MID was pretty much set standard showing average fuel efficiency. Nowadays, I rarely see this, but from what I've seen on the MID and center console, it ranges between 12 to 18km per liter.
Center screen with a Green score to show how you well you are driving.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0902.jpg

Safety: One of the reasons to go with an European brand during the initial choosing phase. However, when I think about it now, most cars here come with pretty high safety standards. This version of the Rapid Spaceback comes standard with 6 Airbags, ABS, Electronic Stability Program(ESP), Parking Sensors, Alarm System, TCS, Anti-Slip regulation, TPMS.

Clean, neat dashboard, typical of VW/Skoda family.
Click image for larger version

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Lifehammer mandatory in all cars here. A pair(one on each door) at all times
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0906.jpg

And that's a short intro about my car, something I didn't expect to own. But I am enjoying every bit of driving it here in the Netherlands. There's a lot of Europe to explore, hopefully she gives us the company for a lot of these.
A few closing shots of my car for this intro. Thank you for having taken the time to read. I do intend on keeping this thread alive with more notes about the car and my drives around the country and Europe.
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Last edited by aneezan : 24th October 2022 at 00:24.
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Old 24th October 2022, 07:37   #3
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 24th October 2022, 11:00   #4
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

How refreshing! Though I have a soft corner for estates, this one strikes a chord as well though it has a slightly truncated rear end! Lovely car. Liked it. It's got a certain personality and charm which is rare today since cars are being made into appliances now. Thank you for choosing something like this when the world has gone SUV, pseudo-SUV and crossover crazy. A man of fine taste indeed. Hope this serves you well. Good luck.
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Old 24th October 2022, 15:10   #5
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

This looks like a Rapid from the back, Octavia from the side and a Karoq from the front.looks sweet!
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Old 25th October 2022, 15:28   #6
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

Our first trip in the car was to The Hague, early May, a couple of weeks after we'd got the car and I was quite nervous driving on the highway. It was, however, quite un-eventful. We started at about 6.30 AM.

The Hague - Den Haag as its called here - is the administrative capital of the Netherlands, where most government offices are present. Almost all the embassies of different countries have their offices here.
The International Court of Justice is also present here:-
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0321_original.jpg

We also visited Madurodam, a miniature park. Contains small scale replicas of famous landmarks and attractions in the Netherlands: the airport, Rotterdam port, Windmills, bridges, tulip fields, the canal houses etc.
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We rounded off the trip with a visit to a friend at Haarlem, which is about 20km from Amsterdam. Reached back home at around 10.00 PM
Haarlem town:-
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August saw further road trips to Brussels, Ghent and to Paris. This was a 3 day trip.
Brussels was a short 2 hour stop-over for break-fast. Spent a couple of hours here walking around the very clean city.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_0527_original.jpg

Post break-fast, we continued onto Paris where we had booked a hotel for 2 nights. The hotel - Novotel suites - wasn't great. It was summer, but we couldn't get the cooling down to the level we wanted. Couldn't sleep much during the first night. Changed our room the second day.
Eiffel Tower
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Arc de Triomphe
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On the final day, we decided to visit Ghent and have a break. Spent a couple of hours here. Nice, medieval architecture buildings, some which are from the 5th century.
Saint Nicholas Church
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Gravensteen castle, complete with a moat
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My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-4624734cf97b43f5a6118716a7be3170_original.jpg
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Old 16th January 2023, 16:57   #7
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

My car has just tipped over 90,000km. (I bought at 82,000) and the service reminder has just appeared. I wanted to go with Skoda service and tried to book an appointment, but what astounded me was that the earliest service slot is in March 2023. So no option, but to go ahead and book that slot.

Meanwhile, we covered a few trips around the Netherlands and Belgium over the past 3 months. First I had an airport drop to do, hence decided combine it with a day out for the kids: Visit the Nemo science museum in Central Amsterdam. The building is easily recognizable from the outside as a big green ship-like structure.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1174_original.jpg

The temperatures dipped drastically during the 2nd week of December. With a lot of vacation days in hand, and the kids bored at home, an interesting choice came up: Valkenswaard, famous for the Christmas market in a cave. So along with a couple of other friends and family, decided to make an afternoon visit. Valkenswaard is in southern Netherlands, a 50 minute trip from home.
Roads were powdered with snow in the morning.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-b4a5708889414f1985b79bb2f2819bd6_original.jpg
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Walking towards the caves.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-9e885cb80f624ebebbc3fa27668a71de_original.jpg

Last trip of the year was to Brussels along with a friend and his family in his rented Volkswagen Up. Apart from a rough stretch of road just as we enter Belgium, the journey was smooth. The Rapid felt lovely to drive on the highways.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1363_original.jpg

As the new year begins, I am drawing up further plans for further road trips in the coming months, first of which is mid Feb: approximately a 2000KM round trip.
Till then...
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1238_original.jpg
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Old 22nd January 2023, 21:14   #8
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback - Tyres changed to All Season

My car came with Continental Premium Contact 2 - 215/40 R17 tyres. The profile is is thin, but haven't complained since because performance, grip, braking have been good. But with the onset of winter, things changed drastically. A number of times, when it rained or in snow and slush, they've struggled for grip especially when starting off from traffic lights.

The past week, it snowed a lot. Driving on such roads was a task on these tyres. Though I was very slow(everyone was), I lost control twice, the second where the car didn't stop when i braked for a traffic light. Luckily, I managed to stop it a few cm before it hit the car in-front. That was the last straw. Decided to change tyres the same day.

Heavy snow through-out the week.
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Maintaining distance between vehicles is a must(IMO, even this isn't enough)
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-9ec7979b0bd04a389aaf579918537ba6.jpg

Called up a number of tyre dealers/workshops nearby, and the best quote was given by Rene, whose shop is about 20 minutes away in Geldrop. He was referred by a friend. I had the option to to with either winter or all season tyres, so I chose the latter. Didn't want to have the hassle of changing them twice a year. Rene also gave the option of changing the rims to a size or two smaller.(16" or 15") This gives more tyre options, but this means more immediate expense. Gave this a pass.

So, These are the Kleber Quadraxxer 3 All Season Tyres. I chose these simply because I liked the V shaped profile and they were a little cheaper than Michelins.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1642.jpg
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Important check: Must have "M+S" symbol. Having both the M+S symbol AND the mountain snowflake symbol, means these meet snow traction requirements and have been designed specifically for use in cold weather and severe snow conditions. You can be fined in a lot of countries across Europe if checked and found to be without this standard.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1647.jpg

Rene's team quickly went to work and switched the tyres.

Car on Stilts
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1646.jpg

Old tyres off. These are still good to run, hence decided to keep them.
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Balancing and Alignment done and we are good to go.
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Have driven a about 20KM post the switch and they feel real good. Grip levels are excellent and I have much more confidence on the slushy and snowed over roads. The shuddering in start-stop traffic has vanished. Just in time for the planned trip in a few weeks' time.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1652.jpg

Last edited by aneezan : 22nd January 2023 at 21:15. Reason: typo
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Old 30th January 2023, 18:35   #9
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Re: My Skoda Rapid Spaceback

Just a pic showing what we face every morning these days. Good thing Skoda provides a ice scraper inside the fuel lid. Takes between 5 to 10 minutes to clear up the ice/snow on the windshields and windows. The doors also seal shut due to the ice. It takes some force to open them. Not good when you have to leave urgently.
My Skoda Rapid Spaceback-img_1617.jpg
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