Skoda Rapid Diesel DSG Automatic test drive and review

  • Dec 16, 2014
Skoda Rapid DSG

The Rapid has been one of Skoda’s best-selling models in India and recently got an update in the form of a new 1.5-litre diesel engine along with an optional 7-speed automatic transmission (with the diesel motor). We drive this updated version to find out if this new engine and gearbox combinations works in its favour or not.

Note: Our test car came in the Elegance trim level without the Black Package.

Skoda Rapid DSG


Design wise, the Rapid is largely a Fabia with a boot. The front end is pretty familiar but where Skoda has worked hard is to integrate the boot in to the rest of the body. The new version remains unchanged as far as design aesthetics are concerned with the only change being the new alloy wheels. Also, 15-inch wheels are now standard across all versions. Frankly, the Rapid isn’t a beautiful or sporty looking sedan. It has an understated design, one that appeals to a lot of buyers.

Skoda Rapid DSG

Another addition is what the company calls as the ‘Black Edition’. Customers can opt for this version that adds nice looking black alloy wheels, black treatment for body panels including the roof and projector lamps etc. This edition does look fabulous and adds a touch of bling to the car and is surely going to be a hit with the younger generation.

[caption id="attachment_14948" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG The alloy wheel design is slightly different than the outgoing version[/caption]

At 4386mm in length, the Rapid is smaller than the Ciaz and the City but longer than the Ford Fiesta. Width stands at 1699mm, being one of the lowest in the segment and at 1466mm, it is also one of the lowest among the rivals. The Rapid comes in six color options of Beige, Brown, Red, Black, White and Silver. Interestingly, the website doesn’t have a mention of the brown shade. White and Silver are also available with the Black Package.


[caption id="attachment_14947" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG Projector headlamps are only available in the top end Elegance version[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14949" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG Rear design is pretty sober we say[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14946" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG The new logo looks nice[/caption]


This is where the new model has been given a lot of changes. As you step in though, it takes sometime before you start noticing the differences. The first change is the new steering wheel that has been borrowed from its elder sibling, the Yeti. It feels nice and has buttons for the audio system. Behind the steering wheel sits the speedometer console and this now gets white back lightning as standard. The higher modes also get a cruise control and the stalk for this is located behind the steering, on the left side. Likewise, the audio system now supports Bluetooth and you also notice the button for ASR / traction control system (below the air-con vent). Worthy of mention is the comprehensive driver information display that shows a variety of parameters including outside temperature, tank range, gear indicator, average speed et al.

[caption id="attachment_14953" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Cabin design is simple but clutter free[/caption]

The other big addition is the new gear level for DSG transmission – the lever gets part leather and part hard plastic along with chrome inserts. It looks and feels good and ahead of the lever is the storage space including two cup holders.

[caption id="attachment_14958" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Passenger space is decent but way less than the City and the Ciaz[/caption]

Rest of the elements remain unchanged and the Rapid offers comfortable seating with above average passenger room. Rivals like the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz offer far more passenger space and the same goes for the boot. At 460 litres, the Rapid loses out to almost every other car in the segment. That said, the Rapid is more of a driver’s car than an outright family vehicle.


[caption id="attachment_14966" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Generous bottle holders all around[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14965" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Ambition Plus & Elegance versions get standard cruise control[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14964" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Quality of interiors is top notch. Note the 'card holder' and ESC buttons[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14963" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Rotary knob for headlight operation[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14962" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Ambition Plus & Elegance models get steering mounted audio controls[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14961" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Comprehensive driver info display - how we wish other cars had a similar display as well[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14960" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Audio system sounds above average. Climate control works well - again everything feels upmarket[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14959" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS The DSG gear lever. The storage space ahead of the lever doesn't get illumination at night[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14957" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS Door opening lever[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14956" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS All versions get a rear air-con vent. Brilliant! Rear cup holder is also visible in this picture[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14952" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG INTERIORS At 460 litres, the boot space is average for this segment[/caption]


The biggest change in the new Rapid is the 1.5-litre diesel engine which is essentially a down-sized version of the earlier 1.6-litre unit. Power and torque remain unchanged but the engine has lost some of the punch in the higher end of the rev range. Like most VW group diesel engines, this one is noisy too. For number crunchers, this engine puts out a 105PS of power at 4400rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1500-2500rpm.

[caption id="attachment_14950" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG engine The 1.5-litre TDI engine has the same power & torque output as the earlier 1.6-litre unit[/caption]

Start the car, shift the gear level into D mode, lift off the brake lever and the car crawls forward after a fraction of a second. Be gentle on the accelerator pedal and the transmission will start upshifting pretty early. For example, 2nd comes in at as low as 10km/h, 3rd at 20km/h, 4th at 35km/h and so on. There is fair amount of low end juice from the engine and it’s easy to potter around in traffic. Doing so reaps benefits when it comes to fuel economy and we got an easy 19-20kmpl in flowing traffic while doing Delhi – Gurgaon runs.

[caption id="attachment_14940" align="alignnone" width="1194"]Skoda Rapid DSG The 7-speed DSG is mated well with the engine - this car literally flies for a diesel auto![/caption]

At the same time, if you want to drive enthusiastically, going down hard on the accelerator pedal makes the transmission drop a few gears immediately. For an automatic diesel, this car is pretty quick.

[caption id="attachment_14951" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Skoda Rapid DSG Its a noisy engine especially when its cold![/caption]

Being a 7-speed gearbox, ratios as well spread and economy is brilliant too. At 90-100km/h on the highway, this Rapid delivers over 23kmpl while we managed a consistent 16-17km/h in Delhi NCR traffic. The gearbox also has a sports (S) mode wherein the transmission holds on to a gear till a higher rpm. Ofcourse you can also shift gear manually via the TipTronic mode. The diesel engine continues to be offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox as well.


The Skoda Rapid has always been more of a driver’s car in the segment. At speeds, the car feels well planted and responds to driver’s inputs pretty well. At the same time, at low speeds and while negotiating bad roads, it’s pretty much comfortable too. Sharp undulations are felt easily though but nothing that will be of discomfort to the occupants. What could be a bother at parking speeds is the heavy steering. Likewise, at the rear, the high transmission tunnel will be an issue for the middle passenger and we must say, this car is best for four full sized adults. Seat comfort at both the ends is excellent.

Skoda Rapid DSG


The new Skoda Rapid DSG is a wonderful product and the main reason for this is the excellent DSG gearbox. It offers you best of both the worlds – convenience of an automatic and performance of a manual. However, other than that, the Rapid suffers from being under-equipped. Unlike some of the rivals, it lacks features like a rear camera, electrically foldable outside mirrors, keyless entry and start/stop feature etc.
The petrol range starts from Rs 7.22 lakh while the diesel models start at Rs 8.38 lakh, both prices being ex-showroom Delhi.

Skoda Rapid DSG


If you are looking for an automatic diesel sedan, one that is frugal, the Rapid is highly recommended. It is enjoyable to drive and the Black Edition looks great. However, at the same time, it comes with its own share of minor shortcomings. It isn’t the perfect family car but one that will put a smile on a ‘young at heart’ owner’s face easily.

Quick price comparison of diesel automatic models in the segment




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