My experience owning a Skoda Rapid Spaceback in the Netherlands

With a budget of 15,000 euros, we put our money on a Grey Rapid Spaceback 1.2 TSI 110, with 80,000km on the ODO.

BHPian aneezan recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I bought a Skoda Rapid Spaceback in the Netherlands. Its been a few months with the car and so I thought it was about the right time to give a short and personal view.

A disclaimer: The comparisons I make in this write-up are more with my previously owned cars rather than any others, including those I’ve driven only occasionally, hence my comments views may not be applicable for others. Just For everyone’s info, earlier cars were: Alto Lxi, Polo Tdi and Ciaz S Diesel. Thank you.

The Rapid Spaceback is more a cross between a small hatchback and a stationwagon. There is more space at the back(rear seat) than the normal Rapid Sedan(maybe why its called a “spaceback”?)

There is no big backstory to why we chose this car. With a budget set at 15,000 Euros, we looked for a suitable car for the family. We could get a new small car with this money or go into the vast used car market. Our primary aim was to get a medium sized, safe European car which suited our needs. Also, had to have run within 100,000km. The other probable reason was we had a dealer very close to our house, which made the process easier. With a couple of visits to the Skoda showroom, we had shortlisted two cars, both Rapids, both 2018 models. Yes, the Octavias and Superbs were nice, but were out of our budget and km criteria.

We put the money on a Grey Rapid Spaceback 1.2 TSI 110, with 80,000km on the odo. Grey looked much better than in white(the other shortlist). I had the chance to drive the Rapid a few times in India some years back. This isn’t a comparison, because I am not too sure on the features now present on the Indian Rapid Sedan

The waiting period was a week. Sorted out the registration, insurance and other paperwork on the day of delivery. Overall process was very pleasant and silky smooth.

Some technical details:-

  • 5 door wagon/hatch mix – not exactly a hatchback, but not a proper station wagon as well.
  • Petrol 4 cylinder 110HP, 175 NM
  • 6 speed Manual( A lot of Europe still prefers the stick. I was surprised!)
  • 55 liter fuel tank
  • 0 to 100: 9.8 sec
  • Top speed of 198km/hr
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Boot space: 420 L
  • 17 inch alloys

Exterior look-wise, I am kind of split: The front looks exactly to the Rapid sedan, which is like-able. From the front, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate this from a Rapid sedan. The rear is a hatch ,and personally, looks too bulbous. As mentioned above, its more stretched than a small hatchback(like Fabia/Polo), but not the length of a station wagon. I would have preferred a slightly better(flatter) rear look.
Build quality, materials, Paint quality are all standard VW/Skoda quality-high. No gaps, creaks, un-necessary noise anywhere even after 80000km and 4 years of usage.

Wheels/Brakes: 17 inchers, Continental Premium Contact 2 with short(er than usual) side profile. These are noisy, and get louder as the speed increases. With such tires, ride quality is not at comfort standards. Its hard! However, tire grip and feel are excellent, and add to the fun while cornering. Neither myself nor family are complaining.

Disc brakes on all tires. Braking is sharp and excellent when compared to my earlier car(Ciaz). I do feel ABS kicking in a lot more here, than in India. Not sure whether its because of the higher average speeds or due to the roads being wetter most of the days.

Lights: Standard halogen lights for low/high beams, which I am not so happy with, but not complaining. They do the job. Front fog lights are quite bright. DRLs are bright too, and can be turned off using system settings. I leave them ON always, lights being mandatory at all hours here. This car also comes with cornering lights, which automatically turn on with changes in the steering input. These are helpful and quite bright too. Didn’t know the car had this feature until a friend asked why only one of the “fogs” was switched ON when reversing from his home late one night.

Interior

I have had the chance to drive the Rapid occasionally in India a few years back. There is almost no change here, except for a few nice extra touches. The leather wrapped steering wheel is nice to hold. The buttons, as expected are of very good quality. Interiors are for the most part hard and plasticky, however, of excellent quality and feel well built.

Voice, audio, and track selection on the LHS. The volume(LHS) and MID(RHS) scrollers are knurled and are nice to use.

Adaptive cruise control button(am a first time user), MID Navigation and telephony on the RHS. Controls for cruise control in the default position in the stalks behind the steering wheel.

The MID contains a load of information. I normally have the digital speedometer as standard, however, the options are multitude.

Turn, by turn navigation which is shown when you start navigation using the center console digital display. You can also choose to show distance covered, distance remaining, time of arrival, total time taken etc here.

The center Console contains the digital touchscreen display. Its very responsive, fast and intuitive. Coming from laggy displays in my previous cars in India, this was such a pleasant experience. Gets proximity sensor as well, with the Option-bar at the bottom of some screens coming up when you move your fingers/hands close to the screen.

The only issue with this system is that it doesn’t come with Android Auto/Apple Car play by default. This has to be enabled at Skoda service center, which requires a 250 Euro payment. I chose to skip.

The “My Car” view gives a lot of information, about fuel range, distance, “how I am driving” etc.

Other car settings can be changed on this screen.

Default Skoda maps available. Use it sometimes for shorter distances within the city.

With split-screen option enabled, though not used much:-

Traffic status, also can be viewed on the navigation screen or at a higher level on this screen, though I am not too sure how this functions. I find it works sometimes, but then doesn’t at other times. I prefer to stick with google maps on my phone.

Sorry, no android auto/apple carplay. Has to be enabled at the dealer for a sum of 250 Euros.

You can switch off the screen too, or have this nice looking clock.

Climate and heating controls are below the display screen. Comes with heated seat function for the front seats. Great boon in this climate. Climate function works effectively and quickly. I normally keep the temperature between 18 to 20 degrees.

Exterior mirror controls with heating function. Features like this which I didn’t notice initially but later realized how valuable they are in these conditions make the ownership experience fulfilling. With outside temperatures dropping quite fast these days, I use this almost every time when starting up. Turn the rotor all the way around and the mirror de-fogs within a minute.

Rotary light switch controls. No automatic lights here. DRL controls are in the system settings in the center screen.

Audio: The audio system is from Skoda. 4 speakers and 2 tweeters on either door. For my preference, sound is very good. There is no rattle or graining either. The sound settings can be changed with the center console.

Balance/Fade adjustment screen:-

Tweeters on either door:-

Seating: Seats are not soft, but comfortable, both at the front and rear. Both the front seats offer manual height and lateral adjustment. I feel the driver seat goes much lower than the Ciaz. Under-thigh support felt a little better as well. Along with the heated seats, getting into a good driving position is easy.

Rear seat room. Enough for 2; tight for 3. Mid seat has 3point seat belt.

More space at the back than the Rapid sedan, with a little more legroom, but of-course not comparable with the Ciaz.

Split seat arrangement liberates more space when needed. Very easy to drop either side of the rear seats(or both). However, the seats don’t fully fold flat.

Continue reading BHPian aneezan’s review of his Skoda Rapid Spaceback for more insights and information.

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