In our experience, the Rapid is a car that is particularly reactive to the type of engine it is fitted with. We noted that the 1.2 TSI model rode, steered and handled considerably better with the petrol engine than the 1.6-litre turbodiesel equivalents.

With the heavier diesel lump under the bonnet, the Rapid has an underlying heft to its body movements that this lighter 1.2-litre car does without, leaving this our choice in the range dynamically.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The ESP reigns-in both understeer and oversteer firmly but never aggressively

Everything it does, it does with ease – and not only more ease than other models within the Rapid line-up, but also with more ease than most of its rivals. A Kia Cee’d and Hyundai i30 have intentionally had a feel of greater dynamism engineered into them. Ditto a Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

The Rapid, meanwhile, goes about its business in a slightly old-fashioned, easygoing way. The control weights are all consistent and light and it rides with medium pliancy, trading a loping gait for some body control but ending up neither truly comfortable nor truly deftly damped.

It displays, in its handling, the same sort of thing it exhibits in so many other areas: middle-of-the-road competence. If that’s where Skoda was aiming, and we strongly suspect it was, then it has hit the mark.

It just seems a shame that, for a company whose other products manage to incorporate value for money with a driving experience that feels like some effort has been poured into it, the Rapid feels like a retrograde step compared with, say, the Yeti.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?