Make / Model Search

New models - Skoda - Rapid - Spaceback

Driven: Skoda’s Rapid relief

The go between: Skoda's Rapid joins the fight to boost sales alongside smaller Fabia big brother Octavia.

Wagon-like Rapid Spaceback eases the ache of no small-car in Skoda's line-up


Click to see larger images

7 May 2014

AFTER nearly seven years without a competitively priced and positioned small-car proposition in Australia, Skoda has finally made amends with the Rapid Spaceback.

Priced from $18,990 plus on-road costs for the entry-level NH-series Ambition 77TSI 1.2-litre turbo manual, the five-door hatchback slots between the fledgling Fabia light car and established Octavia midsizer.

The expected volume-selling Ambition 90TSI 1.4-litre turbo DSG ‘automatic’ will kick off from $21,890 – its $2900 premium explained by the larger engine and sophisticated dual-clutch transmission.

A better-equipped variant dubbed the Elegance 90TSI DSG from $23,750 completes the trio of Spaceback variants on offer.

Facing the top-selling Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, Skoda admits the Rapid may take “years” to establish itself in Australia’s most popular and hotly contested new-vehicle segment.

It has no plans for the sedan-shaped Rapid Liftback five-door alternative, nor is there a turbo-diesel or RS performance version in the pipeline for the time being, as Skoda Australia eases itself into the small-car segment maelstrom.

“About 65 per cent of all small car volume is hatchback in Australia,” said company director Michael Irmer. “So we have no plans to bring in the sedan.”

The Spaceback has just been awarded an ANCAP five-star crash-test rating, in part due to its six airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic diff lock systems.

Standard 77TSI Ambition features include 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, power windows, air-conditioning, remote central locking and a full-sized spare.

At the other end of the range, the Elegance 90TSI DSG adds 17-inch wheels, climate control air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, privacy glass, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and cornering lights.

However, no reverse camera or satellite navigation options are available.

Made in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic, the Rapid is loosely based on the Volkswagen Group’s A05+ platform – a larger evolution of the existing Polo’s PQ25 architecture that’s designed to maximise rear-seat passenger space and luggage capacity.

Lining up a Spaceback with the current Corolla Hatch, it is clear that the longer Skoda matches or exceeds its Japanese foe in every field bar body and track widths – where the Euro cannot quite break clear of its B-segment roots.

The length, width, height, wheelbase and front/rear track measurements are 4304mm versus 4275mm, 1706mm versus 1760mm, 2602mm versus 2600mm and 1441/1478mm versus 1525/1525mm respectively.

Interior dimensions are correspondingly similar, although the Spaceback is slightly narrower overall, while luggage space is a real Rapid forte against the Toyota, rated at 384 litres versus 280L with the seats upright and 1349L versus 1120L with them folded.

The latter is aided by the Spaceback’s space (and money) saving torsion beam rear suspension layout, which is typical of a Volkswagen Group car that prioritises low pricing. The front suspension consists of MacPherson struts with coil springs.

On the other hand, like the upcoming Polo V GP facelift, the steering system features a new rack-mounted electro mechanical rack and pinion set-up rather than the older electro hydraulic item.

Volkswagen orthodoxy also prevails beneath the Spaceback’s bonnet.

The base variant has its front wheels driven by a 1197cc 1.2-litre direct-injection overhead-cam four-cylinder 77TSI petrol engine developing 77kW of power at 5000rpm and 175Nm of torque between 1550rpm and 4100rpm.

Available solely with a six-speed manual gearbox, the 77TSI Ambition requires 95 RON premium unleaded to help the 1155kg Rapid hit 100km/h from standstill in 10.2 seconds, a combined average fuel consumption figure of 5.4 litres per 100km and 125 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions.

For an auto Spaceback buyers must step up to the 1.4-litre direct-injection overhead cam four-cylinder 90TSI unit delivering 90kW at 5000rpm and 200Nm from 1500-4000rpm via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

The 90TSI raises the top speed by 10km/h to 203km/h, fuel consumption by 0.6L/100km and CO2 emissions by 14g/km, but slices 0.8s from the 0-100km/h-sprint.

After a strong response in the Octavia launched last December, Skoda is hoping for a similarly high take-up for the Spaceback’s specialised package options.

The Sport Pack – costing $1600 extra in the Ambition and $1000 in the Elegance – adds Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, front sports seats, rear parking sensors (where not already fitted), a double-sided mat in the boot and stainless steel pedals.

Stumping up for the racy Style Pack – $1800 more in the Elegance and a $2100 premium in Ambition – ushers in 17-inch alloys, a glass panoramic roof, darkened tail-lights, fog lights in a dark finish and blacked-out side mirror cappings.

However, note that no reversing camera or satellite navigation systems are on offer.

Finally, every Spaceback is covered under Skoda’s capped price servicing regime while an extended factory warranty is also available for extra outlay.

The Rapid Liftback was unveiled in April 2012, followed by the Spaceback last year.

Skoda Rapid pricing*
Ambition 77TSI$18,990
Ambition 90TSI (a)$21,890
Elegance 90TSI (a)$23,750
*Excludes on-road costs.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Quick tests

Read more

GoAuto can help you buy a new Rapid

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Skoda models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here