From £14,0157

Skoda bridges the gap between Fabia and Octavia with a new hatch, but keen drivers will find more rewarding alternatives in the class

Skoda is going places. So much so that it might need to revise its production targets upwards, even from a stated goal of making 1.8 million cars per year by 2018.

Globally, Skoda has hit a chord with the buying public. Its products mean the same thing everywhere: they’re good value, they’re more spacious than you’d expect and they’re adorned simply inside. It is an image that has resonated in a crisis-ridden world.

The Skoda Rapid, with its 'notchback' styling, sits between the Fabia and the Octavia

The Rapid kicked off a latest production expansion that was followed by the current Skoda Octavia range, new Skoda Fabia, new Skoda Superb and, a first for Skoda, the Skoda Kodiaq SUV. That pace of change means that in summer 2017 it’s the Rapid’s turn for a facelift.

It’s the Rapid that brings some balance to the line-up, sitting as it does in the gap between the Fabia, which we’ll now think of as a conventional supermini, and the Octavia, which has hitherto been small for a Ford Mondeo-segment car, or large for a Ford Focus-sized one.

Skoda Scala 2018 prototype review

Skoda's Rapid – a straightforward, spacious, good value C-segment competitor – will occupy the ‘small family’ ground and push the Octavia up into fleet territory.

Back to top

To that end, it’s average-sized, of average weight and wears the kind of keen price sticker you’d expect to find on a car that is aimed mainly at private buyers.

Skoda Rapid 2012-2018 First drives