The Rapid and Spaceback are located in the range of the Czech firm between the successful Fabia and Octavia. Tight exterior dimensions but with a very spacious cabin and "simply clever" solutions, two typical Skoda features that appear in all its products.
The new 2017 versions differ in aesthetics, interior qualities, technology, connectivity, equipment and mechanics. However, the changes made are quite slight.
First of all, Skoda has modified several exterior details of both cars. The grille and lights are connected by a chrome strip and the fog lights have been redesigned. At the rear, LED headlights are installed. The headlights on both cars can be halogen or bi-xenon, have LED daytime running lights and feature a new high beam assistant. On the side, the side indicators have been relocated from the front wings to the mirrors. At the rear, LED technology lights have been installed and, in the case of the Skoda Spaceback, the size of the glass has been increased to improve visibility. The aesthetic changes end with new wheel designs, with sizes ranging from 15 to 17 inches.
The automatic high beam assistant will be activated when the ambient brightness is very low, no other vehicle is detected and the vehicle is traveling at a speed of over 60 km/h.
On the other hand, the interior features changes to the front moulding and air intakes on the dashboard, as well as an update to the multimedia equipment and the redesigned multifunction steering wheel, now with a flattened bottom. New door moldings complete the interior with good packaging.
Thanks to the new multimedia system we now have WiFi connectivity via a SIM card, with mobile devices and two USB ports in the rear row of seats. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems for synchronizing smartphones with the dashboard display are also available. Some "Simply Clever" details - which are not a novelty - are an ice scraper, a reversible mat for the trunk, a holder for the drink holder suitable for a mobile phone or an umbrella under the passenger seat.
In the mechanical section, the big news is the incorporation of the new 1.0 TSI petrol three-cylinder we have already tasted in the Volkswagen Golf. This engine will be offered with both 95 hp and 110 hp. In both cases can only be associated with a manual gearbox. Its performance is not that they are heart-stopping, but moves both cars with enough dignity and with a more than reasonable consumption. The 95 hp version takes 11 seconds to do 0-60 mph, while the 110 hp version does it in 9.8 seconds. Their respective fuel consumption figures are 4.4 and 4.5 l/100 km.
The range is completed by the 125 hp 1.4 TSI, 90 hp 1.4 TDI and 116 hp 1.6 TDI. The entire mechanical range has regenerative braking and Stop&Start system to reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.
Regarding safety systems we find multi-collision braking, trailer stabilization, tire pressure control, fatigue detector, Front Assist, hill start assist, front and rear parking sensors and six airbags. Later we will know the prices and equipment details for Spain.