Has there anything that has been “too good to be true”? It is a phrase normally associated with something that turns out much better than it was expected of. Or simply just unbelievable. But when Skoda released the 2017 Rapid, on paper at least, it seemed too good to be true. So is it just spec sheet gimmicks or is the new Rapid actually too good to be true?

 

The 2017 Skoda Rapid now has updated front looks, a slightly tweaked interior, slightly more powerful diesel engine and whole lot more X factor, which the segment actually needs. If you look at the C segment today, the contenders don’t really evoke that feeling of excitement as such. But let me tell you one thing, the Rapid definitely excites the inner soul with its astonishing looks.

The new Rapid looks like a baby Octavia, and that simply cannot go wrong. The new curves and the new headlights complete the very sophisticated look. The integrated DRLs on the headlights further accentuate the serious and the purposeful look. The rear carries a similar look as the previous one but now has a very prominent C shaped design in the taillights. Chic. There are colors now on the shade card for the Rapid and they definitely lighten up the mood. Especially this Silk Blue. It suits the car to the T.

Now to unlock the car with the button on the flippy key. No key fob. Bummer. Anyhow, getting inside, the layout is classic VAG group written all over it. Those automatic climate control switches or the door pads. Unmistakably VAG. The new steering wheel is a pleasure to hold. The new RC330G headunit is extremely beautiful. It is so neatly integrated to the dash. And it has all the possible features that a headunit has these days. Bluetooth, Auxilliary port, USB, Mirrorlink, and a big touch screen. Right.

Twist the ignition and the 1.5 diesel engine comes to life. Cold starts induce quite some clatter but all that settles after a while. Another typical VAG group trait. This new 1.5 engine now has a bigger turbo than the older 1.5 engine so now it has more power. Skoda claims similar power outputs but some internal number crunching shows that there is in fact more BHP and more torque than before. That is just music to any enthusiast.

So how does this new engine perform? In a word, superlative. The DSG works extremely well with this diesel engine and it enables the engine to always be in the rev band by always picking the right gear to be in. Stomp your heavy foot and there is no delay in thrust. The car just rockets off and the little terrier keeps pulling till redline fairly easily. Torque is pretty linear but that is the party trick actually. The torque delivery is so linear, in fact, that you feel like you’re cruising but one glance on the speedo, you are so close to getting your license revoked. It is seriously that good. And the best part is that all this is done in the D mode. S mode is still left to explore… S mode just makes it livelier by 25% for sure. It holds the gear till red line willingly and delays each upshift to maintain the steady acceleration. This engine mated to this gearbox is definitely a match made in heaven. It almost works on telepathy. And with all the performance, the car still gives 14-15 kmpl in the city. Crikey.

Approach a corner, and the chassis will pass all the tests you can probably think of. It is very pliant and stable at high speeds. Hard cornering does not unsettle the car in any way and just brushes them in to the middle of last year. The steering feedback is phenomenal and it greatly adds to the driving experience. The suspension absorbs all the bumps beautifully and it does not get thrown around. There is a silent thump of the speed breaker you just went over but that is about the only sign the passengers would be able to tell.

I am really astonished at what a brilliant car the Rapid is turning out to be. It handles extremely well. It has superlative performance. It has looks that could kill. It delivers phenomenal gas mileage. It is extremely well equipped. And all this for a price of 14.5 lacs on road. It pretty much seems like the bargain of the century. And it brings me back to the original question… Has there been anything that is “too good to be true”? I think the 2017 Skoda Rapid might just be it

 

And if you think that was it… then find our video review of the Skoda Rapid below!
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