• Skoda Rapid was previewed by the Mission L concept
  • 15-inch alloys are standard; 16-inch items, seen here, are optional
  • Gaping grille is partly for effect, partly for cooling
  • Skoda badge is bonnet rather than grille mounted
  • An ice scraper lives in the fuel filler cap
  • Cabin is unimaginative but functional
  • Interior packaging is exceptional
  • Large, analogue dials are simple and easy to read
  • Rear seats don't fold flat
  • Material quality is acceptable - nothing more, nothing less
  • Rear legroom is generous for the class
  • Rapid is effortless and uneventful to drive
  • Five-speed gearbox is acceptable in the 1.2 TSI, but more powerful models could do with an extra ratio
  • The 1.2-litre TSI engine develops 84bhp
  • At the limit, the Rapid errs towards understeer
  • Oversteer can be provoked in the wet, but the ESP soon calls time
  • The car as white goods. Utterly competent, but equally unengaging

A dead-straight driving position? Check. Chunkily designed and predominantly hard-to-the-touch cabin plastics? Check. Large, analogue dials? Check. Big, round headlight switch? Check and check.

Skoda buyers, according to the company, like things simple. There’s less to go wrong and less to worry about. Skodaphiles getting into a Rapid, therefore, will feel quite at home. The seats are relatively flat but generally comfortable, while the steering wheel is large and the overall ergonomics clearly meet VW Group standards.

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Thankfully, the Skoda Rapid's handbrake is actuated by a conventional lever

The rather plain standard radio display can be upgraded to a flashier colour monitor with navigation, but it doesn’t feel worth having here, even if it would add a dash of colour to what is otherwise a fairly austere cabin.

At the price, however, it would be churlish to criticise. Boredom would appear to be designed in, but so is exceptional interior packaging. The Rapid may be based on the Fabia, but when it comes to its interior it’s the Octavia with which it has more in common.

The saloon-like rear actually features a big hatch, which opens to reveal a 550-litre boot with a high, wide opening. The rear seats don’t leave a flat floor when folded, but otherwise it’s a practical, versatile cabin.

A big one for occupants, too, with rear headroom being the only hint of a compromise. This is a cabin that could accommodate four large adults, easily (with the usual caveat that three abreast in the back is cramped in seemingly any vehicle that comes from this side of the Atlantic).

Top 5 Family hatches

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range

Driven this week