Skoda Rapid: The Czech Golf

Skoda Rapid

Thinking of getting a family car and you’re on a budget, then the Skoda Rapid is just the car for you. It isn’t going to blow you away in the same way a Golf would, however in the VW lineup it’s the next closest thing. Ironically, the name Rapid brings up the idea of a very fast car, however the Rapid’s performance can be underwhelming if compared to the likes of Ford Focus.

The History

The Skoda Rapid goes all the way back to 1935, and it managed to stay in production in some way during and after World War II. Production of the Rapid eventually ended in 1947. It came back in the 80s as a rear-engined coupe, which by the way is held in high regard by Skoda aficionados. Later in 2011 it was introduced as a four-door saloon car in the Indian market and it is still in production there.

Current Model

Before launching the production version of the Rapid, Skoda unveiled the MissionL concept car at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s important to note that the current Rapid which is available in Europe comes either as a liftback or a hatchback. The liftback was unveiled in the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Later, in September 2012 the liftback became available from the dealers in the Czech Republic, later at the end of 2012 it became available in parts of central and western Europe. As for the hatchback which is known as the Rapid Spaceback it was launched later in the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Spaceback’s production started in August 2013 and it was available in some select markets later in September the same year.

The Variants

The liftback version is available in three trims:

  • Active
  • Ambition
  • Elegance

It’s important to note that this trims are available in the UK as S, SE and Elegance, respectively.

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

The Powertrain

Powering the Rapid are a set of four cylinder engines, and a single three cylinder engine. The most powerful diesel engine is the 1.6L TDI CRKB turbo four cylinder that produces 113 hp and 250 Nm of torque. As for the most powerful engine overall that honour belongs to the 1.4L TSI CZEA engine which produces 123 hp and 200 Nm of torque. Depending on the model you’ll get either a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual or a 7-speed auto transmission.


The interior of the Rapid is a little roomier than the Golf, which offers more practicality. However, to be honest the Rapid’s interior is quite not as awe-inspiring as the Golf. It seems the designers of the Skoda were on the quest to maximize the interior’s space, rather than for impressive styling.


The Skoda does stand out but it does feature its iconic grille that looks like an inverted moustache with same aptly designed vertical bars.

Our Verdicts

The Rapid is a great hatchback for those that are looking for affordability and reliability. The other advantage of the Rapid is that it has a wide engine variety to choose from. Though it suffers from an uninspiring ride and bland styling, the Rapid doesn’t pretend to be anything else. It’s simply a nice efficient car that will take you from point A to B, without burning your pocket and in relative comfort. This is a must for any budget family car buyer.

If you are thinking of buying a Rapid, you should start to budget from around £ 13,000.

Sure, the Rapid offers affordability and practicality, but is that enough for you to buy it? Have your say, leave a comment.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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