This is our penultimate Rapid update, and as I start thinking about its departure, one thing keeps cropping up in my mind.
Its gigantic boot really is incredibly useful. As a reminder, it can swallow 550-litres without any adaptations, 170-litres more than a Volkswagen Golf. In fact, it’s such a distance from the boot opening to the seat backs, you have to be careful not to stretch too far and fall in, much to the amusement of anyone passing. Flipping the rear seats forward doesn’t leave a completely flat loading bay, however it does free up even more space, with 1,270 litres on offer. During the last year, some notable cargo includes a two-level rabbit hutch (don’t worry Skoda, it was thoroughly cleaned), snowboarding gear for four people, almost the entire contents of my loft, and a set of four tyres. In fact, because I live in a fairly compact house, it’s a real temptation to use the Rapid as a four-wheeled storage solution. So many odds and ends now call the Rapid ‘home’ that getting it ready to go back to Skoda will be a major operation. A perfectly specified Rapid should definitely include cargo nets, as I know from experience that any vaguely round or cylindrical objects quickly become thudding missiles if left loose in the big boot, once causing me to worry the rear suspension was broken every time I hit a speed bump.
Luckily it is fully intact, and the Skoda’s longest outings this month have been on family day trips to the Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich and Leicester’s National Space Museum. In the Boat Lift car park, the Rapid became the centre of attention as my girlfriend’s two-year-old Niece proceeded to walk around the car and point at every Skoda badge saying, “chicken, chicken!” Being so young, I couldn’t really explain to her the error, and that the Skoda badge actually depicts a winged arrow. Adults tend to be less vocal about the Rapid, not once has anyone commented on its looks without me asking them their opinion first. It’s just not that sort of car. The ‘Simply Clever’ design language comprising of minimal fussiness and clean lines is tidy, but also anonymous, so the Rapid tends to blend into the motoring background. This is a shame from a brand which brought us the quirky Yeti and Roomster, but I’m confident Skoda’s creative streak isn’t lost for good. If the Rapid Sport Concept which appeared at the GTI Wörthersee event in Austria ever makes it to showrooms, it should certainly turn heads. A deep front bumper and huge air-dam, large rocker panels, rear bumper diffuser with two integrated exhausts, 19-inch alloy wheels, carbon boot spoiler and a two-tone ‘Corrida Red’ and ‘Steel Grey’ paint job make the Octavia vRS look weedy. I hope the Rapid Sport (or vRS if it’s badged that way) does happen, because as practical and thrifty as the Rapid is, desirability and excitement are two things which could really do with a boost.
|Whats Hot:||The boot is so large you can literally fall in if you arenít careful. The floor is double-sided, too, for added practicality.|
|Whats Not:||The inoffensive looks are tidy enough, but donít get tongues wagging. Whatís really needed is the Rapid Sport Concept model with 19-inch wheels.|
|Date arrived:||5th April 2013|
|Mileage to date:||12,327 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||70.6mpg (official combined)
54.1mpg (on test)