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Skoda Rapid Spaceback Review

David Ross

Written by

David Ross

Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Skoda Rapid Spaceback

1/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

2/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

3/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

4/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

5/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

6/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

7/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

8/9

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

9/9

1 / 9

00/10
heycar rating
"Quirky but practical family hatch"
  • Launched: 2013
  • Small hatch
  • Petrol, Diesel

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Quick overview

Pros

  • Lots of room inside for what is a small car
  • Excellent 1.2 TSI engine
  • More practical than the standard Rapid

Cons

  • Interior lets it down with hard plastics
  • 1.4 TDI is slow and noisy
  • Poor ride quality around town

Skoda Rapid Spaceback cars for sale on heycar

21
Number of cars available
£6K - £13K
Price bracket of these cars
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Colours available on heycar
5 doors
Door options available

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Skoda Rapid Spaceback front

Overall verdict

Skoda Rapid Spaceback interior

On the inside

Skoda Rapid Spaceback driving

Driving

Skoda Rapid Spaceback side

Cost to run

Skoda Rapid Spaceback boot

Prices and Specs

Overall verdict

"While Skoda may have had much success with the quirky Yeti, that wasn’t repeated with the rather oddball Rapid Spaceback. Designed to sit between the Fabia and the Octavia, it drifts in a no man's land. "

Skoda Rapid Spaceback front

It does at least make more sense than the standard Skoda Rapid - and it’s better looking (or at least less bland) too. With a more conventional hatchback shape, big boot and lots of space for those sat in the back, the Rapid Spaceback has some good strengths as a family car.


Unfortunately the interior quality isn’t one of them. There are lots of hard and scratchy plastics that mark easily and make the Rapid Spaceback feel like a cheap car from behind the wheel. Compared to Skoda’s later models, the interior feels very much stuck in the past.


That’s not the be all and end all of course. What the Rapid Spaceback does offer is space. It has a bigger boot than your common-or-garden Focus-sized hatch and plenty of room for those sat in the back. This is also good news if you want to fit child seats.


The boot is bigger than a Golf and the hatch makes it very useful. True the seats don’t fold down flat and there's a big drop over the boot lip to the load floor, but it’s nonetheless practical in a no nonsense way. And as this is a Skoda there are lots of  ‘simply clever’ features such as an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and an umbrella under the passenger seat. 


It’s also cheap to run with low VED rates, cheap insurance and economical engines. There are TDI diesels but they’re pretty coarse. We’d suggest going for the impressive little 1.2 TSI engine which is smooth yet sprightly. The 1.6 TDI is the champion for economy but is hardly the last word in refinement.


The ride isn’t the best around town but the Rapid Spaceback does at least handle neatly making it easy and reassuring to drive. The light steering isn’t great for corners and there’s not much in the way of fun to be had, but makes parking in a multi-storey a doddle. 


It’s good value too, although we’d avoid the basic S model and look for an SE (or SE Tech) which are much better equipped for the money. They have better standard kit including things like navigation, cruise control and rear parking sensors.

Is the Skoda Rapid Spaceback right for you?

If you value practicality and space above driving excitement or the latest technology, the Rapid Spaceback is a good choice. In fact that is one of its strengths, it’s a very simple and no-nonsense hatchback so for people who want a straightforward car that’s not complicated to get to grips with, the Rapid Spaceback will tick lots of boxes.


The big and practical boot makes it ideal if you’re enjoying your retirement but still want to take the grandkids on a day out or nip to the local garden centre to buy an awkwardly large plant. The Rapid has more space than your average Golf-size hatch and while it may not have the same image, it’s also much better value.

What's the best Skoda Rapid model/engine to choose?

The Rapid Spackback has the familiar engines used in many a small Volkswagen, SEAT and of course fellow Skoda models.


The 1.2 TSI is our choice, in particularly the higher powered version which is a great little engine in our opinion. The 1.0 TSI which later replaced this isn’t as smooth but is equally as good to drive. Unless you’re doing big mileages, give the TDI diesels a swerve as they’re noisy around town. 


Skoda trim levels are nice and simple with S the basic model followed by SE which we’d recommend as the one to go for. SE Sport models look good and are well equipped so worth keeping an eye out for.

What other cars are similar to the Skoda Rapid?

The Rapid is a bit of an oddball car to pigeonhole. Indeed, it’s sort of confusing even in the Skoda line-up, even though it’s supposed to fit between the Skoda Fabia and the Skoda Octavia


If it’s practicality you want, a Kia Soul would be a good alternative with the same feel of lots of space in not a big package. See also the Citroen C4 Cactus which is very good value and nicer inside. Of course the Fabia Estate has a massive boot too.


If you want rear passenger space, look at a Nissan Pulsar while the Fiat Tipo is a similar no nonsense hatchback that’s cheap to buy and run. Of course if reliability is your priority, the answer is to go Japanese and look for a Toyota Auris.

Learn more

Skoda Rapid Spaceback interior

On the inside

Skoda Rapid Spaceback driving

Driving

Skoda Rapid Spaceback side

Cost to run

Skoda Rapid Spaceback boot

Prices and Specs

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