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Skoda Rapid Spaceback: Test Drive Review

Date: 11 December 2013   |   Author:

P11D: £17,725

Skoda launched the Rapid earlier this year, a car that slots between the Fabia supermini and the lower medium Octavia.

Now the saloon-shaped hatchback has been joined by the Rapid Spaceback, a version designed to "appeal to a younger client base."

Confusingly, the regular Rapid gets different equipment at the same trim levels, so the entry S has air con only on the Spaceback and SE gets a front armrest and multifunction steering wheel, while top-spec Elegance and low-emission Greenline are identical between both bodystyles. For this 1.6 TDI SE, the non Spaceback version is £755 less despite the spec difference, and has a larger boot.

There are also extra options available on the Sportback, including Sport and Style packs that enhance the visual appeal of the car.

Inside, there's plenty of space for a lower medium hatchback, and the boot's 415 litres feels big compared to rivals. But if you want huge load-lugging, Dacia's Logan MCV offers 573 litres for several thousand pounds less.

The 90hp diesel is fine but slow on inclines or, we'd imagine, with a full boot. Otherwise the drive is typical Skoda: unremarkable but refined with a comfortable ride.

In terms of sectors and what fits where, Skoda's line-up is a bit out of kilter with most of the market. Above the Rapid, the Octavia is larger than its rivals, while the Fabia is a traditional supermini. Effectively, the Rapid, and the Sportback in particular, compete as budget options against the likes of the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai i30, while the Octavia is a more mainstream core fleet alternative. Either way, the Rapid Spaceback looks smart, especially with the optional styling packs.

As a budget hatchback, the Spaceback ticks the logical boxes, though whether it's worth the extra cost is a question, as the regular Rapid will save you 1.1p per mile in this 90hp SE form.



Cost-efficient and sensible