Review: Skoda Rapid 1.0 TSI AT

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A short while after Skoda launched the refreshed Rapid 1.0 TSI with a manual gearbox, Skoda introduced the automatic model as well. The engine now comes with the option of a 6-speed torque converter gearbox and comes on all auto variants, including the Rider Plus. It’s also the most affordable sedan you can buy with a turbo petrol motor and an automatic gearbox. We drive it to tell you if it’s a better option over the manual model.

Any tweaks?

The Skoda Cars automatic looks the same as the manual; no changes and the black highlights you’ve seen on the Monte Carlo variant are missing on this ‘Style’ variant. The alloy wheels are silver and do get a dual-tone finish. Inside the cabin, you’ll a black-and-beige combination and doesn’t sport contrast stitching on the upholstery and gear lever. On the Style variant, you get features like four airbags.

The little turbo motor

The most important part of this review, is its 1.0-litre turbo petrol that is mated to a 6-speed torque converter transmission. The three-cylinder engine is quite peppy and loves to rev. The gears shift smoothly, and this gearbox strikes a perfect balance between being frugal and a strong performer. In ‘Drive’ mode, the engine is free to rev up to 2000rpm. Somehow, the turbo lag isn’t prominent from this small engine that churns out 175Nm of torque. The Rapid automatic leaves no room for complaint as far as the performance is concerned.

In ‘S’ mode, the gearbox holds on to the gear a while longer, managing to make the most out of the motor. However, in these modes, the transmission makes a bit of a fuss when downshifting, but that’s nothing to fault with in particular. Also, it does tend to jerk a little, and doesn’t upshift as quickly as you’d like it to, particularly when you’re gaining momentum. But this is a gearbox that’ll serve well in the urban jungle, for it is user-friendly and relieves one of the use of a clutch. We do, however, miss the lovely the DSG gearbox. Leave your foot off the brake, and the Rapid leaps forward – something you’re going to have to be careful about in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Let’s close the issue

The Rapid, in itself, is profound product, and one that doesn’t need second thoughts. And introducing an automatic gearbox all variants, will find many buyers. In Rider Plus form, it is also the most affordable car in its segment. The manual variants are a lot cheaper, but remember, you’re missing out on the ease-of-driving whilst making do the same amount of performance.  Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars in India, only at autoX.

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