4-year ownership experience of my Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDi DSG

I have yet to meet an owner who is not impressed with this 1.5L TDI and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic combo.

BHPian GautamJ recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

What I like:

  • Solidly Built, both in and out; 4 years up and still no rattles.
  • Timeless design, the facelift has taken it to another level.
  • DSG gear shifts are still the best in the segment.
  • The level of customisation and upgrades are insane; Don't like it? Simply replace it.
  • A driver's car; responsive engine, go-kart-like sitting, good visibility and sorted dynamics.
  • 6-years Warranty (4+2), 9 years RSA (4+5) and support from Mr Zac Hollis.
  • Anti-pinch and one-touch up-down functionality for all 4 windows. After the Kushaq launch, this is something to write here.
  • 55-litre fuel tank capacity + Acceptable FE = Amazing Range on highways.
  • Noise and vibration are good, actually great when you experience an engine running from outside and then settle in.

What I dislike:

  • Infamous DQ200 is known for mechatronics failure.
  • Interiors have started showing their age.
  • Seats lack lumbar support.
  • Stock headlights are pathetic and till now Skoda has failed to provide any solution. IDK why Skoda is being stingy and not introducing HID for variants with a projector headlight, when the headlight itself has dedicated space for ballast.
  • Few parts are exorbitantly priced; the Front headlight costs ~₹35,000 each and the taillight are ₹4,700 each. I am not sure, but even 16" Clubber Alloys cost a bomb.
  • Only 1 12V socket in the whole car. Sorry rear passengers you are uninvited, we offer average legroom and no source to charge your devices.
  • Under full load, the rear of the car gets bouncy even at 20km/h less than legal speeds.
  • Unrefined engine, anyone can guess it's a diesel car (or tractor?) passing by.
  • Due to the rev limiter in neutral, the PUC machine is unable to record any values.


Back in 2017, we were left with only one car (Tata Tiago) in the garage after selling our 5-year old Tata Manza. For the initial 4 months we never missed having one car, but with age grandparents and sister taking Tiago for college runs we needed a car that can handle medical emergency runs.


  • Should match the feature list with Tiago
  • Needs to be diesel
  • Wanted car with performance. It was high time for dad to experience how good cars can be.
  • Sedan preferred
  • Build Quality was something none of us wanted to compromise on. Hey, you live once, right?
  • After owning unreliable Tata Manza, peace of mind was necessary


  • VW Ameo 1.5L TDI Highline AT - Fits our budget and ticks all our requirements. AT wasn't really required but then no harm in trying. It was ruled out due to our ambiguity related to build quality and no underbody engine protection.
  • Honda City 1.5 i-DTEC - Good car but top variants were exceeding our budget.
  • Skoda Rapid - Ticks most boxes but overlooked reliability. More on this later.
  • VW Vento 1.5L TDI AT - Same as Rapid but I still wasn't able to digest it costing nearly 2 lakhs more than Rapid.


Reliability was indeed something we wanted hence we made an exception to TD Skoda Rapid 1.6L MPi AT. A no-nonsense car, a torque converter will anyway be more reliable than DSG, and an engine that has no injector issues like 1.5L TDI.

But a TD and message to BHPian RavenAvi and BHPian VKumar changed our thoughts. During TD we could manage a single-digit FE which was hard to digest and BHPian RavenAvi said, "If it's Skoda Rapid, it has to be Diesel + DSG combo". So, it was decided that we will be booking a Skoda Rapid Style 1.5L TDi AT. Believe me, when I say, my uncle who purchased Rapid in Petrol+AT combo regrets his purchase and is soon selling his car (Reason? You guessed it right, performance and FE). Choosing paint shade was easy, 3:1 votes for Cappuccino Beige.

Booking Experience:

We chose to book with Autobahn as the JMD dealership was far. Did TD 4 times and the SA was firm on ₹1,00,000 cash discount, but at the time of booking, we managed to get a floor lamination as a freebie. After booking, the delivery date was extended indefinitely, the reason being the car not being in stock and the dealership being unaware of when the car will be shipped by Skoda. As if Autobahn were not aware before making the booking. Fortunately, it worked in our favour as we got a freshly manufactured MY18 Skoda Rapid. At the time of delivery, there was no cake cutting, no ribbons and no big key handover. An abysmal experience and goes well with Autobahn's bad reputation.

4-Years Experience Summarised


I just prefer looking at Rapid all day long, to me even Polo looks S-E-X-Y. Though it doesn’t stand out from the crowd, a design that offends no one.
Back in 2017, we did manage to see all 3 variants and I must say that those expensive projector headlamps and the addition of black elements on all lamps (headlamps, tail-lamps and fog-lamps) enhance the looks contributing to a ‘premium’ feel.

MY18 had 3 more features over MY17:

  • 16” Clubber Alloys (Tyre Specs were 195/55 R16)
  • Soft opening boot button a.k.a. electromagnetic boot release button
  • Reverse Camera

It has been a wise decision by purchasing MY18 for ₹40,000 more. Alloys have vastly improved the side looks. The reverse camera is handy and the best I have experienced to date (wide-angle + resolution).
Even with just 157mm Ground Clearance on offer, and a short wheelbase it manages to clear most of the rough patches without touching its belly. We have managed to scrap a few times, but need to give it to Skoda for providing a rough road package, there has been no major damage. Tyre Pressure as per the OEM and the sticker on fuel lid states 38 PSI, but people at ASC says to keep at 30 PSI, found midway and I keep it at 33 PSI.

That is Parking Light in action, DRLs are even brighter at night times. Where Vento looks classy, Rapid is more towards sporty looks. BTW each headlamp costs ~₹38K.

Side Profile is rather simple, aiding in timeless design (?). Can see Clubber R16 alloys fitted with upgraded 205/55 R16 (stock size is 195/55 R16).

I honestly used to hate the rear end of the pre-facelifted Rapid, but facelift getting the revised bumper design and fitting gimmicky rear diffuser, has made me like its rear. Rear Diffuser has helped to protect and hide scare done by 2 and 3 wheeled vehicles.

Other side picture. Unable to source 205/50 R16 due to ban, but even under full load 55 section tyres have never scrapped or touched wheel well/arch.


Have a look at the dashboard

Looks Familiar?

Confused with which car you are sitting in, assuming the steering wheel is covered?

What? You have seen this design 10 years back?

Indeed, its O-L-D and VW/Skoda has done pretty much nothing except to degrade the quality, shuffling colour scheme, newer versions of RCD (HU) and steering wheel.
We have travelled to the worst of roads, met many unexpected potholes at highway speed yet there has been no rattling. Fit and finish are again amazing, no uneven gaps and built that is to last (remember I was coming from Tata).

Rubber beadings which are the main culprit behind door rattles (can be solved), but I want to highlight how well it performed during the flooding scenario. Where cars like WagonR, i20 and A-Star had water seep into the cabin, whereas our car and Innova escaped with not a single drop of water. For better evaluation, water levels were slightly above half the tyre of Rapid. Fortunately, this time we were in Himachal Pradesh with Rapid so no worries with god gifted public pool.

AC Performance has exceeded our expectations and we have N-E-V-E-R experienced this kind of cooling in any of our cars to date, it even beats our Ford EcoSport which is said to be a bone-chiller. Adding to this we got the front two side windows replaced with OEM ‘Dark Green’ Window Glasses, it helps during night drives by cutting glare from ORVMs.

Bird-eye view of the centre console. Center Armrest is one of the best in terms of ergonomics, but as experienced by many owners the armrest lock is very delicate, though in 4+ years never faced this issue. Can see Auto-Dimming and RCD 340 in action. The roofliner is of good quality, made concealing dashcam wire a pain.

Only co-driver side sunshade has a mirror, it is small and aesthetics wise, not good looking. An Airbag instruction sticker can be seen.

Auto-dimming IRVM is a need more than want. It turns green to prevent glare and the area covered is adequate, though the reverse parking aids (reverse sensor and reverse camera) is much needed IMHO.

Headlight rotary control, pull once for front fog lights, twice for switching on rear fog lights. Can see front footwell illumination in action.

Driver controls for windows (all windows are one-touch up and have anti-pinch) and car lock controls. For safety reasons, the car is never locked from inside; front doors can be opened by pulling the lever once, for rear doors pulling action is twice. Fuel lid-locking is connected with the car's central locking. Front door pockets can hold bottles up to 1.5L easily.

Rear Seat with Skoda pillows (pillows are of really good quality). Looks spacious only in pics. The infamous tall transmission tunnel helps rear passengers not to kick each other.

The car just has only one 12V socket, resolved by adding the car charger extension. Rear passengers can at max try to fit only 600ml bottles in the rear door pockets and dedicated space behind the front centre armrest.

Boot Capacity usability is up to the specs of 460 litres. 14" Spare Tyre with tools well packed in styrofoam


I have yet to meet an owner who is not impressed with this 1.5L TDi and 7-Speed Dry Clutch DQ200 combo. I won’t express much as it’s been extensively covered in various 1.5 TDi + DSG threads.

In one word, I will say it to be G-R-E-A-T. It is fast, revs to 5000 rpm easily when demanded and 7 forward gears ensure ‘kitna deti hai’ factor. Some bitter remarks for DSG:

  • Downshifts are slow, one needs to plan overtakes. Shifting to Sports Mode or Tiptronic does solve the issue.
  • D2 => D1 downshift without foot on the gas pedal is jerky.
  • A couple of times I notice GB to be confused. There have been instances where GB dropped one gear, but the very next moment it further dropped two more gears.
  • GB is stubborn to shift to D1 and picks the car from a standstill in D2 itself.
  • Due to the hyperactive nature of upshifting, it lugs the engine. D7 at 73 km/h or D4 at 25-30 km/h.

Note: All precautions were taken, do not imitate the same!

Ride and Handling:

No two ways about suspensions being on a stiffer side, but that is what contributes to confidence aspiring handling. In 4 years we are used to the ride quality now, except the bouncy rear under full load.

Handling is always predictable and upgrading to 205 section tyres improved it further, but it loses on to the light steering, a bit more weight and feel will do wonders. Braking is just okay and at high speeds (over legal speeds) they do not inspire confidence. But after brake pad replacement at ~28,000 km and few VCDS tweaks (ABS and ESP modules) braking is strong. I haven’t done any high speed runs thereafter, hence cannot comment, but within the speed limits, it’s definitely reassuring.

Continue reading for GautamJ's Skoda Rapid ownership review for BHPian comments, insights & more information.

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