Skoda Rapid vs City Comparison Review

Honda City vs Skoda Rapid Comparison Review:

Pricing & Features Comparison:  
Honda City's range-topping variant, the ‘VX (O)' diesel-manual, retails for 14.7 Lakh Rs. on road Delhi. Skoda Rapid's 'Style' manual-diesel, retails for 13.7 Lakh Rs, making it 1 Lakh Rs. cheaper than the equivalent City.
In spite of being 1 lakh Rs. cheaper, the Rapid 'Style' offers numerous extra features over the City 'VX O' like Remote Controlled Window Operation, LED DRLs, Projector Headlamps, Rain Sensing Wipers and Telescopic Steering Adjustment. City on the other hand offers just two extra features over the Rapid, which are Electric Sunroof, Push Button Start & Smart Key.

Pricing of other Variants:

Petrol - Manual:
Rapid Style - 12.10 Lakh
City VX (O) - 13.00 Lakh

Petrol - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 13.25 Lakh
City VX CVT - 13.90 Lakh

Diesel - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 15.05 Lakh

Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Parking Sensors, Stereo: FM, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Rear Defogger, Auto-up Anti-Pinch Driver’s Window, Fog Lamps, Touchscreen, Navigation, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, Automatic Climate Control, Alloy Wheels, Cruise Control, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror, Rear AC Vents, Leather Upholstery

Extra Features in Rapid (Style): Remote Controlled Window Operation, LED DRLs, Projector Headlamps, Rain Sensing Wipers, Telescopic Steering Adjustment

Extra Features in City (VX O): Electric Sunroof, Push Button Start & Smart Key

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:
City petrol-manual, has an ARAI certified mileage of 17.8 kmpl, which is 2.4 kmpl more than Rapid's mileage of 15.4 kmpl. The City petrol-automatic has ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 18 kmpl, which is 3.2 kmpl more than the Rapid's efficiency of 14.8 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests the City manual was consistently 1 kmpl more efficient than the manual Rapid, while the City automatic was just half a kmpl more efficient than the Rapid AT.

City diesel-manual, has an ARAI certified mileage of 26 kmpl, which is 4.9 kmpl more than Rapid's mileage of 21.1 kmpl. The Rapid diesel-automatic has ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 21.7 kmpl, while the City does not offer a diesel-automatic variant in its range. In our back-to-back tests, the City was consistently 1 kmpl more efficient than both the manual as well as the automatic Skoda Rapid

ARAI Mileage (kmpl):
Petrol - Manual:
Rapid - 15.41 kmpl
City - 17.8 kmpl

Petrol - Automatic:
Rapid - 14.84 kmpl
City - 18.0 kmpl

Diesel - Manual
Rapid - 21.13 kmpl
City - 26.0 kmpl

Diesel - Automatic:
Rapid - 21.72 kmpl

Fuel Cost: (for 75,000 km)
Petrol - Manual:
Rapid - 4.75 Lakh
City - 4.10 Lakh

Petrol - Automatic:
Rapid - 4.90 Lakh
City - 4.05 Lakh

Diesel - Manual
Rapid - 2.90 Lakh
City - 2.35 Lakh

Diesel - Automatic:
Rapid - 2.80 Lakh

Performance & Drivability Comparison:
The Rapid petrol is no match to the legendary iVTEC mill of the Honda City. The City is noticeably quicker than the Rapid Across the rev-range. Skoda could've easily outperformed the City, if they wanted to, by using one of their many turbocharged petrol engines in the Rapid, but sadly they have chosen not to. The iVTEC mill is also more refined as well as more rev-happy than the Rapid's.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): City - 112, Rapid – 92 (difference 22%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): City - 136, Rapid – 135

Power (PS@rpm): City – 119@6600, Rapid – 105@5250
Torque (Nm@rpm): City – 145@4600, Rapid – 153@3750
Kerb Weight (kg): City - 1065, Rapid – 1137

When it comes to diesels, Honda has a lot of catching up to do to compete with it's Czechoslovakian rival. VW group has been making small capacity diesel engines for far longer, than Honda, and it shows. The Rapid has a significantly more muscular mid-range and a stronger top-end compared to City's Earth-dreams power-plant. Rapid's engine is also more refined and rev happy than Honda's unit. However, in it's quest for power, Rapid does feel like it has sacrificed a bit on low-end drivability, with quite a bit of turbo lag until 1800 rpm.

A word of caution for prospective Rapid DSG-diesel buyers. Volkswagen group's dual-clutch transmissions have developed a fearsome reputation for early failure, with numerous instances of bank-breaking replacements, outside of warranty.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): City - 86, Rapid – 91
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): City - 172, Rapid – 207 (difference 20%)

Power (PS@rpm): City – 100@3600, Rapid – 110@4000
Torque (Nm@rpm): City – 200@1750, Rapid – 250@1500-2500
Kerb Weight (kg): City - 1165, Rapid – 1210

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:
The city is no match to the Rapid in terms of dynamics. The Rapid has genuine European dynamics, with outstanding high speed stability, well-controlled body roll and a slightly stiff suspension setup. The City on the other hand is more softly sprung, giving it a better low-speed ride than the Rapid, but loses out to the Rapid in terms of pliancy and composure as the speed rises. Rapid's steering is also more well weighted than the City and has slightly better steering feel and feedback as well.

Ground Clearance (mm): City – 165, Rapid - 163

Wheelbase (mm): City – 2600, Rapid - 2552

Tyre Size:
City: 175/65R15
Rapid: 185/60R15

Space & Comfort Comparison:
City has a big advantage over the Rapid, when it comes to cabin space and ergonomics. Honda's monovolume chassis architectures are a lesson in space optimisation. You would be surprised by the sheer amount of space Honda has managed to carve out inside the City's cabin compared to the Rapid, in spite of both the cars being more or less equal in dimensions. City's big windows and incredibly supportive seats also give it an edge in terms of comfort, over the Rapid, especially on long drives. But that's not all, City's boot is also a touch bigger than the Rapid's.

Boot-space (lit): City - 510, Rapid - 460

Length (mm): City – 4440, Rapid - 4413                                                                   
Width (mm): City – 1695, Rapid - 1699
Height (mm): City – 1495, Rapid - 1466

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison:
Skoda has really squandered its brand equity in India. It has failed miserably at controlling the quality of service provided at its politico-mafia owned dealerships. The fault lies with the corrupt executives it poached from age-old Indian auto companies, expecting ethical and sincere efforts from people who were least inclined to do so. Honda's dealerships also are no better, but Honda's cars themselves are engineered in such a way that they can sustain far more abuse. European cars on the other hand are engineered with expectations that their service intervals will be meticulously adhered to. Hence, Honda's service centres have to deal with lesser problems in the first place, giving an impression of better service support, to their customers.

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison:
Thanks to the City nameplate's legendary status in the Indian market, it is bound to fetch slightly better resale price, than the Rapid, after a usage of 5 to 7 years. Overall, the manual geared versions of both the cars work out to be more or less similar in terms of their Overall Ownership Costs. However, the City CVT (petrol-automatic) works out to be around 70,000 Rs. cheaper than the Rapid AT in the long run, because of the immense efficiency disadvantage of conventional automatic gearbox compared to today's cutting edge CVTs.

Resale Value (after usage of 5 to 7 years)
Petrol - Manual:
Rapid Style - 4.50 Lakh
City VX (O) - 5.00 Lakh

Petrol - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 4.50 Lakh
City VX CVT - 5.00 Lakh

Diesel - Manual:
Rapid Style - 4.50 Lakh
City VX (O) - 5.00 Lakh

Diesel - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 4.00 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Petrol - Manual:
Rapid Style - 12.35 Lakh
City VX (O) - 12.10 Lakh

Petrol - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 13.65 Lakh
City VX CVT - 12.95 Lakh

Diesel - Manual:
Rapid Style - 12.10 Lakh
City VX (O) - 12.05 Lakh

Diesel - Automatic:
Rapid Style AT - 13.85 Lakh

The Rapid is a charming piece of kit. It is hoot to drive in the twisties and has a solid, satisfying feel to it. If it weren't for its shortcomings on the practical aspects, it would easily trounce the City, in this comparo. But in the real world, the real customers have no choice but to see past performance and dynamics evaluations done by magazine folk and consider aspects like after sales service and resale value, which never ever get mentioned in those glossy mags. The City is still a long way out of reach for the Rapid in terms of practicality as well as its overall ownership experience. The availability of the silky smooth CVT, has only made it more deserving of its own name, 'City' thanks to the sheer ease and convenience of driving it around city streets. So until Skoda gets its act together, India's middle-class status symbol remains the winner of this shootout.

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