Day 2 – Skoda Rapid Interiors
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
After reading the exterior review, I am sure you are eager to find out what’s in store inside the Rapid. Skoda India did not do enough justice to the interiors of the new Fabia. Have they done the same mistake with the Rapid? Is the interior also heavily influenced by sibling Vento?
Let’s find out:
Open the three stage doors of the Rapid and it is quite evident that Skoda India went parts-hunting in VW’s garage. A truck load of components are lifted from the Vento and the Fabia and they are quite evident at first glance.
First thing that demands your attention is the ‘HUGE’ steering wheel fitted to a relatively small cabin space. The 4-spoke steering wheel comes with an embedded Skoda logo and chrome garnish. Lovers of small steering wheel will find this one slightly out-of-place.
More importantly, there are no steering mounted controls which were recently gifted to Vento’s highline diesel trim. The two stalks behind the steering wheel are lifted from the Polo’s parts bin and they are European style – left for turning on the indicators and right for wipers.
Next things you notice is the range of colors on the dash – right from beige, black to chrome – they are all present. The dial readouts are crisp and provide distance to empty, fuel economy, trip distance, total kilometers and so on. A switchgear to the right of the steering wheel controls the headlamp.
Moving on to the center console, you will notice the same unit present in the Fabia has been donated to the Rapid. It serves your media needs such as FM, MP3 etc. There is no driver info aids in this console. It has an AUX port, SD slot and plays CD.
We were not happy with the FM radio quality of this unit as it struggled to catch radio stations even within city limits despite of a huge antenna on the roof. The buttons on the console feel strong and can sustain abuse without complaining. However, the lack of USB and Bluetooth connectivity will be sorely missed.
Above the console are two AC vents which are black in color with some chrome fixtures. Below the console, you will find the AC controls. Climate control is provided in the top end and the cooling is very good.
Glove box is adequately deep and can swallow a lot of daily items.
The height adjustable seatbelts are very easy to use. The gear lever is unique to the Rapid.
Some people may like to rest their arms when cruising, I found it mostly obtrusive when changing gears. It has a small storage pocket to keep all the toll tickets and change.
The pedals are placed adequately apart but there is no dead pedal. The pedals are borrowed from the Polo/Vento.
There are so many buttons on the driver’s door which lock-unlock, adjust the mirrors, operate the windows and operates the trunk lid.
Moving to the rear, you will notice that the Rapid has adequate space but not ample like the Nissan Sunny. You will be comfortable on long drives but you can’t fold your legs like you can do in the Sunny. A rear AC vent is provided for the passengers but it has a very weak blow. It has a unique bottle holder below it.
Something startling has been carried from the Vento to the Rapid. The USP lever which could adjust the front passenger seat has been given to Rapid.
The 460L of boot space is adequate for most long journeys that you might embark on.
Overall, the interiors are not as startling as the new Fiesta but very much on the conservative side. However, they do feel as the less premium version of the Vento’s interior, like as if they were scaled to a cost. Some parts are flimsy but overall the build quality is adequate – not superb – but adequate.
Tune in tomorrow for the driving impressions of the Rapid. This one will truly surprise you!