High bootlid restricts rear visibility
Comfortable and classy
Six airbags and stability control are likely to be standard fit
Skoda has a good reliability record so we're not worried
Easy-to-access rear seats are spacious and there's a vast boot
Too soon to say
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.
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.
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.
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.