The Skoda Rapid is a spacious family car that’s easy to drive. Its interior feels like it will last forever but it doesn’t look particularly stylish and satellite navigation is optional across the range
If you’re after a family car that’s easy to drive and has a loads of interior space as well as big boot then it’s worth looking at the Skoda Rapid. Just be aware that the vast interior feels fairly cheap, and doesn’t have any high-tech touches.
The Rapid was launched in 2012 and updated in 2017 with some minor cosmetic changes and the addition of a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system – although it still doesn’t have satellite navigation as standard, or the option to add Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring systems .
The fundamental reason you’ll choose the Rapid over something like the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus hasn’t changed though – it costs less and has a much bigger boot. In fact, the Skoda’s 550-litre load bay is bigger than you’ll get in a much larger Ford Mondeo (541 litres).
Passenger space is also pretty good in the Rapid. You can have tall adults sitting up front and have space for people of a similar size to sit behind them. The big rear doors also make it relatively easy to fit a child seat.
The Skoda Rapid is a very capable small family car – it's just that there is nothing about it that tugs your heartstrings
That’s about all there is positive to be said about the interior, though. It’s made entirely of hard black plastics that look fine but feel pretty cheap – the saving grace is that everything is robustly screwed together so the Rapid should survive years of family life.
Driving the Rapid is easy too, thanks to comfy suspension, light controls and a good view out – the only fly in the ointment is the high-set rear window that can make reverse parking tricky.
Picking an engine is easy, though. If you do a lot of town driving then pick the nippy 110hp petrol model – it’s cheap to run and quiet at a cruise. If you do lots of motorway miles then consider one of the two diesels is only worth considering – but only if you’ll travel far enough to benefit from its slightly better fuel economy. Avoid the entry-level models that only get five-speed manual gearboxes because they’re noisy at motorway speeds.
The Rapid’s back-to-basic approach means it does without modern safety kit such as automatic emergency braking, although it did get a five-star crash-test score from Euro NCAP back in 2012. The tests have got tougher since then, so more modern five-star cars will be safer. But that said, if you need a lot of car for not much money then you can do far worse than the Skoda Rapid.
You can read more detailed and in-depth analysis of the Skoda Rapid in our following interior, practicality, driving and specifications review sections. And, if you want to see what sort of savings you can expect on the Skoda Rapid, then click through to our deals page.