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The Škoda Rapid has always played second fiddle to the Volkswagen Vento, but as far as the updates are concerned, it has been edging ahead of its German sibling. After last year’s mild facelift, the new 2015 model already promises more improvements – outside, inside and underneath the skin.

The new Rapid gets a 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic that also underpins the updated VW Vento. Just so you know, the 1.5-litre engine is the stripped down version of the old 1.6-litre TDI that powered the old Rapid and Vento. Well all this performance doesn’t cost efficiency and the ARAI rates it at 21.14 kpl for the manual and 21.66 for the automatic version.

????????Skoda don’t skimp on interiors and everything feels nice with beige soft touch plastics on the central console. The main dashboard plastic feels a bit rough and doesn’t feel good to run your hands across. Door panels are upholstered and premium looking especially the handles, which are a necessity to pull that heavy door shut. The ORVMS are electronically adjustable and the door side switches are backlit so you don’t need to go fumbling for them at night.

What you’ll like:

• Smooth & convenient 7-Speed DSG Automatic. Lightning fast upshifts
• Competent 1.5L diesel engine. Good driveability & performance
• Safety kit: ESC (electronic stability control), hill-hold function, ABS & dual airbags
• An automatic that provides excellent fuel economy too
• European build quality is more solid than most competitors
• Mature suspension. Balanced ride & handling package
• Features such as projector headlamps, rake & reach steering, cruise control, adjustable driver armrest, rear air-con etc.

If you are in the market for a diesel automatic you wouldn’t go wrong with the Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDi with 7 Speed DSG. When it comes to diesel automatics in the sub 15 lakh segment, you are pretty short-changed with options like Hyundai’s Verna and Tata’s Zest AMT, but both of them won’t be as smooth as the DSG on the Rapid. Efficiency figures will also be poorer in the Verna, which has a traditional 4 speed auto box.

SKODA RAPID IS AVAILABLE IN INDIA AT INR7.5-11.3 LAKH($12172.27-$18339.56)



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