Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?

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How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-cheap

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If you photograph it skillfully, the Skoda Rapid looks really sublime. A real advantage of the new grille design, however, is that, unlike earlier Skoda models are visually gaining in breadth.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-series

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In the profile of the 4.48 meter long car, you can initially see a typical modern notchback design with a rather short rear.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-series

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But the trunk lid does not have its hinges under the rear window, as one would expect, but above it. The Rapid is, like the larger Skoda Octavia, a Mischung from notchback and hatchback.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-skoda

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The small accent above the S is also integrated into the brand name on the tailgate – that’s why the S is spoken like a Sch.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-series

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Skoda’s trademark, the stylized arrow with wings, can be seen on the hood of the Rapid without the usual black border.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-cheap

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One of the better ideas in automotive history: there is an ice scraper in the fuel filler flap.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-test

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The beige-colored interior is reserved for the higher equipment versions. The design is – to put it mildly – clear and tidy, you can also call it simple.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-cheap

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Basically you sit on gray upholstery in the Skoda Rapid, but the knee room in the rear is very neat.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-series

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The rear seat cannot be folded down as a whole, only the backrest can be moved. You can either…

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-cheap

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… Only fold one side (ratio 2: 1) or…

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-test

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… use the entire backrest to expand the trunk. This does not create a level loading area.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-series

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The trunk, however, with 550 liters, is big enough not to have to constantly fold down the backrest.

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-cheap

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As an alternative to the Skoda Rapid, the VW Group will be structurally identical…

Source: Skoda

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-skoda

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… offer Seat Toledo. This apparently Spanish car will also be built in the Czech Republic.

Source: Seat

Test series “Autoquartett”: How cheap is the Skoda cheap car?-test

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The Toledo can’t hide the similarity to the Rapid, but it looks a little more angular and more tightly contoured. It should appeal to younger customers.

Source: Seat

Anyone who sees a Skoda Rapid for the first time immediately thinks of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about the ugly little duckling. And would never believe the story would turn out really well.

S.tefan anchor

Once upon a time there was a large German corporation that hurried from success to success. Even his slightly consumptive Spanish daughter couldn’t bother the German parent company, because they still had the strong Goldmarie from the Czech Republic, with whom everything was always sunshine. Only one thing worried the gentlemen at headquarters: why couldn’t they build a really cheap car??

The competition from France was the first to discover the magic formula and kept creating new assembly lines in Romania, from which new cars kept rolling: first one, then two, then three and now four different models. And they’re all cheap, really cheap. Every now and then the prices are even lowered.

What Renault succeeded in doing with Dacia, Volkswagen has to do it first. The new small car VW Up, which are identical in construction as Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, is possibly a start, in any case, the cars do not cost much at 8990 and 9990 euros for the basic versions.

At 13,990 euros, it is significantly more expensive than Dacia

But with such tiny models, that’s no art, and other mothers have significantly cheaper daughters in the small car market.

In Wolfsburg, the cheap car is still an issue, a car is rolling through the rumor mill that is supposed to be very small and cost only 6,000 euros, but is neither Skoda nor Seat – and certainly not VW. As things stand, it can only come from China and not be intended for Europe, at least not for the German market.

Here, the Skoda Rapid takes on the role of the cheap model. With a base price of 13,990 euros, it is still more expensive than a Dacia Sandero, for example, but for what it offers (and for the fact that it comes from the VW group), it is downright a bargain.

With a length of 4.48 meters, it comes close to the next larger Octavia (4.57 meters), and you can hardly find any differences in the interior. 550 instead of 560 liters of luggage space, you can sit in the back like in the larger Skoda model.

Lower level of material selection

What the Rapid lacks is finesse. It must have hurt the Volkswagen bosses, who were in love with the details, to have opted for a lower level of choice of materials and a very, very simple design.

This is how the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen comes to mind when the prospective customer first contacts, or at the latest when they try it out: ugly little duckling. Cheap, hard plastics, a more unpleasant smell than in other group models and a run-of-the-mill design that even the two-tone cockpit in the top model Elegance cannot save. And whoever chooses the simpler gray-on-gray variants is really moping.

But in fairy tales, we remember, the duckling later becomes a proud swan, whose beauty is envious of everyone.

You can’t get that far with the Skoda Rapid, a car stays the way it was. But the car seizes the chance to change the driver’s gaze. He does this on a daily basis by showing his technique.

Extended base of today’s VW Polo

The Rapid does not yet benefit from the new group platform with the beautiful name Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB), on which everything from Polo to Passat size is to be developed and built in the future.

But the extended base of today’s VW Polo is also not the worst framework for the Skoda: In terms of driving comfort and handiness, the ease of movement and precision of the steering, the quiet rolling – a (admittedly: much cheaper) Dacia has to get there first.

The engine range of the group also helps the cheap Skoda. The test car was equipped with the 1.2-liter TSI, a 105 hp petrol engine that makes the Rapid more expensive to 16,110 euros, but also fits the model name, which promises speed.

Somewhat grumpy, but briskly, the four-cylinder accelerates under the hood, and if need be, it can accelerate the Skoda to 195 km / h – cheap cars are different. But the Rapid, as it comes along, shouldn’t be bought by anyone who has an above-average need for driving pleasure.

Less than seven liters per 100 kilometers

What counts more is that the car could move 6.6 liters per 100 kilometers in our daily test. And of course it’s about the practical qualities: With the Rapid, Skoda’s somewhat strange sedan strategy still works best.

What looks like a notchback on the models from Czech production is actually not at all. The trunk of the Rapid, Octavia and even the large Superb is not closed by a classic sheet metal lid, but half of the rear including the rear window is raised.

That doesn’t necessarily make the car more elegant from the outside, but it does make it extremely attractive in everyday use. Firstly, the luggage compartment is easier to access and you don’t have to bend down so low to load it. And secondly, when you fold down the rear seat, a space opens up that, at 1490 liters, is the same size as in the current VW Golf Variant.

In the end it is just under 20,000 euros

In view of these advantages, however, the fundamental advantage of the Rapid can turn into the opposite: glad to have found such a nice, practical car, one is easily tempted to equip the new acquisition with all sorts of extras, because it is so cheap to have.

The basic Active model is quickly no longer good enough, even for Ambition (including CD radio, air conditioning, divisible rear seats) you pay 2150 euros more, Elegance costs another 1400 euros (light alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, seat heating, cruise control), and you are in no time at all 19,660 euros and suddenly has a halfway beautiful swan. But not a cheap car.

"world"-Reporter Stefan Anker regularly tweeted spontaneous car news and observations from everyday driving and testing. He’s happy when you’re here click and follow him. Or check out his Facebook page past.

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