The Skoda Rapid gets updated with a new 1.5-litre diesel engine with the option of a DSG automatic transmission, but get no cosmetic updates (other than new wheels). However, the company is offering a Black package that adds new elements to the sedan for a sporty appeal.
Skoda India has launched the updated new Rapid sedan in the country priced from Rs. 7.22 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company’s most successful model yet by volumes, the Rapid gets a new and improved diesel engine that replaces the older 1.6-litre unit and is also paired to a DSG automatic gearbox. With no cosmetic changes to boast off (except new wheels), Skoda India is offering a new ‘Black’ package for the Rapid that lends a sporty new look to the sedan with the addition of certain new elements.
Sharing its underpinnings with sibling Volkswagen Vento, the new 1.5-litre TDI diesel motor comes from the Volkswagen family and has been specifically derived for the Indian market. A downsized version of the 1.6-litre unit, the 4-cylinder engine produces 105 PS of power between 3500-4500 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-2500 RPM, despite losing 100cc of capacity. The vehicle is also available with a 5-speed manual transmission with the new engine and also comes equipped with the 7-speed DSG automatic unit that is also available on the Vento TSI and TDI models as well as the Polo TSI in Volkswagen’s lineup.
Skoda states that there have been mild tweaks to the suspension that needed to be done to accommodate the weight change caused by the new engine and gearbox. Nonetheless, the ride quality is as pliant as ever. The Rapid gets no other changes and the sedan continues with the same interior styling retaining the beige and brown interiors, while quality is top notch. On the outside, Skoda is offering the option of a new ‘Black’ package that spruces up the existing design of the sedan with some sporty elements.
At an additional cost of Rs. 13,000-15,000/-, buyers can add gloss back hood garnish, a matte black grille, 15-inch black alloy wheels and black accents for the fog-lamp and headlamp housings as well as the outside rear view mirrors. You can also avail a black roof along with side foils that are available as an accessory. While automatics are said to be guzzlers, Skoda says that the new Rapid diesel automatic is more fuel efficient than the manual and claims an ARAI certified mileage of 21.14 km/l on the manual and 21.6 km/l on the automatic variant. The automatic variant also weighs 20 kgs lighter than the manual, which makes for a spirited drive.
Furthermore, Skoda is also offering several new features including reverse parking sensors as standard on all variants, cruise control; new card holder for credit cards, driving license, hotel keys, and electrically adjustable ORVMs. Skoda is also offering an all-new app called ‘Skoda Remote’ that needs to be downloaded on your phone which then doubles up as a controller for the infotainment system. In addition, the company will launch a new toffee brown colour on the Rapid that will be available from October in time for the festive season. Skoda has also added new 15-inch alloy wheels and has made 15-inch wheels standard on all trims.
With competition in the form of sibling Vento and the Hyundai Verna, the Skoda Rapid diesel automatic definitely has a good chance of survival. While the Verna uses a conventional 4-speed automatic, the Rapid comes with a 7-speed unit that is not only more fun and engaging to drive but is also more frugal at the same time. Skoda will commence deliveries of the updated Rapid in the coming days. The company is also working on a facelifted version that will see inputs from Indian engineers, while also lowering production costs.
Make sure to read our review of the new Skoda Rapid TDI DSG HERE.
2014 Skoda Rapid Update Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –
* Rapid 1.6 Petrol MT – Rs. 7.22 lakhs (Active), Rs 8.17 lakhs (Ambition +), Rs 8.72 lakhs (Elegance), Rs 8.85 lakhs (Elegance Black Package)
* Rapid 1.6 Petrol AT – Rs. 9.15 lakhs (Ambition +), Rs 9.67 lakhs (Elegance), Rs 9.82 lakhs (Elegance Black Package)
* Rapid 1.5 Diesel MT – Rs. 8.39 lakhs (Active), Rs 9.25 lakhs (Ambition +), Rs 9.74 lakhs (Elegance), Rs 9.87 lakhs (Elegance Black Package)
* Rapid 1.5 Diesel AT – Rs. 10.34 lakhs (Ambition +), Rs 10.84 lakhs (Elegance), Rs 10.97 lakhs (Elegance Black Package)