There are keener drives in the class, including the Hyundai i30, so the Rapid is best viewed as a fuss-free, uncomplicated and easygoing small family car. Although it lacks the vibrant character of other cars in Skoda model range, such as the popular Yeti, its appeal lies in its no-frills attitude, straightforward engineering and useful standard kit.

Near the top of the range, the competition starts to look quite fierce for the Rapid, with models sitting a long way above this car’s starting price. Towards the bottom end of its range, the Skoda seems to have more to offer. It shows impressive levels of space and good performance and economy for its price. That’s where we’d point our recommendation.

Matt Saunders

Deputy road test editor
The Rapid is a worthy car; it just lacks the sparkle that enthusiasts look for

There are those for whom the Rapid will make perfect sense. We can even imagine ourselves recommending one as a used buy in the near future. But, given where Skoda has been recently, and given the innovation and perceived quality of the products it otherwise offers, the Rapid fails to satisfy quite as much as it potentially could have done.

Instead, the Rapid is the car reduced to the level of a supermarket’s own-label loaf of bread, or an unbranded fridge with no egg holder. Its practicality and value is unquestionable, but there’s nothing to make you want one other than the price on its nose and the inches in its cabin. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that, as enthusiasts, we look for something more in a car.

 

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

  • Seventh generation Volkswagen Golf
    More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

    1
  • The popular Ford Focus in 1.5 TDCi Zetec form
    The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

    2
  • Seat Leon
    Seat offers five engines for the Leon, ranging from a 104bhp 1.2 petrol to a 181bhp 2.0 diesel

    Seat Leon

    3
  • Mazda 3
    The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

    Mazda 3

    4
  • Peugeot 308
    The 308 marks the first time a carry-over name has been applied to an all-new Peugeot

    Peugeot 308

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range

Driven this week

  • Lotus Elise Cup 250
    First Drive
    29 April 2016
    The fastest, most track-focused and most expensive Elise ever made. It's simple, raw and immersive
  • Porsche 911 Targa 4S
    First Drive
    27 April 2016
    Slick looks, open-top fun and 911 handling sound brilliant, but the Targa has historically trailed the Coupé. How does the new model fare on UK roads?
  • Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d
    First Drive
    26 April 2016
    Jaguar's debut SUV wowed us abroad, but does it still impress as much here on the UK's roads?
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Electric saloon is ramped up beyond ‘insane’ for yet more effect
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Is this a genuine supercar slayer for top-rank sports car money?