Skoda Rapid

The Essentials

  • Price from £12,900
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 64.2mpg
  • What is it? Skoda's newest small family car is a little smaller than an Octavia and will be easier on the wallet than a VW Golf.

Great

  • Lots of room inside for people and luggage
  • Cheaper than a VW Golf or Ford Focus
  • Comfortable, well-organised cabin

Gripes

  • Ride is on the firm side
  • Wind noise becomes an issue at higher speeds
  • High bootlid restricts rear visibility
  • Drive

    High bootlid restricts rear visibility

  • Inside

    Comfortable and classy

  • Safety

    Six airbags and stability control are likely to be standard fit

  • Reliability

    Skoda has a good reliability record so we're not worried

  • Space

    Easy-to-access rear seats are spacious and there's a vast boot

  • Standard and extras

    Too soon to say

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Rapid is good to drive and feels solid on the road. While this is reassuring and means there's no nausea-inducing body roll in corners, it's thanks to the firm suspension settings which let you feel the bumps on unsettled road surfaces. The lower-powered engines need some encouragement to get going but are refined. The most powerful engine on offer is a 1.4-litre petrol which offers plenty of power from the start.

  • What's it like inside?

    Avoid the all-black colour scheme and the cabin feels classy - some of the materials aren't the plushest but it's all well laid out. Getting comfortable is easy with plenty of adjustment - rear visibility is a slight issue thanks to the high boot line, however. Clever features include a mobile phone pocket and fuel cap with built-in ice scraper.
    Rear passenger space is fantastic - as good as it gets in a small family car - and six-footers will have enough headroom. The boot is vast - even bigger than that in a Ford Mondeo; it's just a pity the rear seats don't fold quite flat and that there's a high boot sill to haul items over.

  • How reliable is it?

    Skoda scored well in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey and has a great reliability record, so we expect the Rapid to be a sound buy. Safety kit includes six airbags and stability control, and the Rapid scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, including 80% for child occupants.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Rapid is competitively priced and all engines are economical to run, though none falls below the 100g/km emissions level which would make it an appealing company car.