While Skoda calls it the ‘New Rapid’, it is just a facelift of the existing model. The present Rapid was the last one which had not yet received the sharp lines and the faceted look of the current crop of Skodas, which this facelift rectifies. So instead of the oblong shaped headlamp of the old car, there is a cleaner rectangular unit in the new design, LED Daytime Driving Lights, the V-shaped indentation for the Skoda badge and a C-shape for the tail-lamp elements. While the side-profile gives away its Vento roots, the Rapid now looks pretty sharp from the front and back.
Inside, the infotainment system gets an upgrade to the latest from the VAG parts catalogue, with it being a 6.5 inch touchscreen unit and it comes with their ‘Mirrorlink’ technology which allows it to become an extension of your smartphone. Skoda has also reworked the interior colors and materials with a new dual-tone ebony and sand interior with leatherette seats available on some of the trim levels. Also, dependent on trim levels, is the list of standard features like cruise control, rain sensing wipers, climate control and an air-cooled glovebox.
While mechanically, the new Rapid is similar to the old one, the only big change is that the new car receives the updated 1.5-litre diesel from the Volkswagen range. This engine produces 108.5 bhp and 25.5 kgm, a smidge more than the previous 1.5. Happily, this new engine also gets paired with the rather excellent seven-speed DSG, although, should you want, the regular five-speed manual is also available. The other engine is the same 104 bhp petrol, displacing 1.6-litre and is available with a five-speed manual and a six-speed torque converter.
Skoda has generously equipped the new Rapid with safety features with dual airbags, ABS, ESC and Hill Hold with the last two safety features exclusive to the automatic variants. Also, for convenience, the new Rapid comes with rear parking sensors, and one-touch (anti-pinch too) for the all the power windows.
There are three trim levels on offer, the cheapest being the Active, the mid level Ambition and the top-end Style. While the petrol Active with the manual is the cheapest Rapid at Rs 8.35 lakh, the diesel Active with the manual is Rs 9.57 lakh. While the least expensive way to get yourself Rapid with the double clutch gearbox is the Ambition diesel, priced at Rs 11.71 lakh; if you prefer a petrol automatic, you can save yourself Rs 1.4 lakh and buy the Ambition petrol. Compared to the pre-facelift model then, the prices have remained almost the same, with all prices being ex-showroom, Maharashtra.