Skoda Rapid a real

space ship

Skoda Rapid Spaceback, front
Skoda Rapid Spaceback, side, static
Skoda Rapid Spaceback, rear
Skoda Rapid Spaceback, interior
Skoda Rapid Spaceback, boot

THESkoda Rapid Spaceback combines the looks of a hatchback with the practicality and space of many estates.

It is a sister car to the Rapid saloon and shares that car's long wheelbase, meaning that interior space is much better than some competitors.

It slots into the company's range between the Fabia and the Octavia, making it a direct competitor to the Vauxhall Astra or Peugeot 308.

I drove the latest 115bhp version of the the VW group's 1.6 TDI - and was impressed with the way it performed and with its economy.

By modern engine standards, this one is on the noisy side, but this is only really noticeable when it is cold or when its being pushed hard.

At the cruise it is perfectly fine and it never felt short of puff. There's enough urge under the right foot to cope with almost every need and, in the gears, acceleration was quicker than I expected, making overtaking a breeze.

The handling and road-holding are both very good and very safe. Some writers have said they didn't find it much fun to drive but all I can say is, they didn't push it hard enough.

The grip is excellent, the steering full of feel and the handling balance absolutely marvellous. It is a joy to drive in every way, and could easily handle more power.

The impressive thing about its suspension is that it also rides very well over even the worst of roads in town and at speed in the country.

Few car makers achieve this, but Skoda is getting to be one of them, not fitting sports suspension but making the standard suspension better.

The SE Tech I drove comes with safety systems such as stability and traction control, unpteen airbags, climate, alarm and alloy wheels.

It also has cruise, 60/40 fold rear seats, a boot cover that stows out of the way when not in use, parking sensors and sat nav.

FAST FACTS

Price: £17,320

Mechanical: 115bhp, 1,596cc, 4cyl diesel driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 123mph

0-62mph: 10 seconds

Combined MPG: 67

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating: 17%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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