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

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).

As for the trim levels there are four to choose from – S, SE, Sport and SE-L. Opt for the entry-level model and you will find a steel wheels, USB connectivity, heated wing mirrors and electric front windows, while upgrading to the SE models while include the additions of alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth and the inclusion of an umbrella as standard.

The mid-range Sport trim gains sports seats, steel pedals and 17in alloy wheels, while the range-topping SE-L models adds luxuries such as floor mats, rear parking sensors, climate control and an adjustable passenger seat.

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