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The diesel engine is not refined and has the usual diesel clatter

Performance – The Rapid Onyx Edition is available in both 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel powerplants with manual and automatic transmissions. The car which we have had the 1.5-litre TDI diesel motor which puts out 110 BHP and 250 Nm of torque mated to the superb DSG gearbox.

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The engine has a good low-end and mid-range punch

The Onyx Edition is available in both petrol and diesel engine options with manual and automatic transmissions

Start the engine and you are greeted with the usual diesel clatter. The engine is not as smooth or as refined initially as the 1.6-litre diesel in the Hyundai Verna. This is a bit of a downer but what is certainly not is the engine’s brilliant performance. There is loads of low-end torque which makes the car get off the line briskly. The mid-range is so good, it almost feels sporty. The linear and unfettered manner in which the car builds torque makes it excellent on the highways. Even in urban conditions, the engine feels smooth and the turbo-lag is well masked by the DSG gearbox.

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The 7-Speed DSG gearbox and the torquey diesel engine complement each other well

The 7-Speed DSG gearbox is a gem in itself and we would go so far in saying that it is one of the best gearboxes we’ve ever tested. The upshifts are bearly perceptible and the downshifts are much faster than your conventional torque-converter gearbox found in the Verna. There is also a Sport mode which makes the car hold the gear longer giving an even better response. We found the manual mode to be a little counter-intuitive as it did not let us choose the gear and continued upshifting on its own. Factor in the torquey diesel engine, this is one of those cars you wouldn’t mind driving all day along. Truly, the engine and the gearbox are a match made in heaven.

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The Rapid Onyx feels stable and planted at high speeds

Driving Dynamics – The well-built nature of the Rapid has a long-list of benefits and the very assuring highway stability is one of them. The ride is softly sprung but never does it feel floaty. There is an amazing sense of confidence when driving at high speeds. The soft ride makes the Rapid smother over the bumps and potholes with robustness. It tends to bob around a bit on the highway but it never feels like a bother.

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The Rapid Onyx has good ride and handling dynamics

The high speed stability of the Rapid inspires a lot of confidence

The superb stability also adds to the car’s cornering prowess. There is a fair bit of body roll but the tyres grip well and the Traction Control system ensures you stay in the right line. The engine with its ever-ready nature makes chucking this car in and out of corners a breeze. What is a misfit in all this is the steering which feels a bit vague and not as consistent as we would’ve liked. The brakes have a fantastic bite giving great stopping power. The steering aside, the Rapid remains one of the best cars in the segment when it comes to dynamics.