|Tripartite Tussle, Yet Again - RAPID vs RIVALS|
A few months ago, we compared the Honda City and Hyundai Verna. Now, we have the Skoda Rapid in competition with these two attractive options in the mid-size sedan segment.
The C-segment cars have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent times with the rise in the spending power of the Indian consumer. People are increasingly looking at moving from their hatchbacks on to the more spacious, comfortable and powerful sedans in the Rs 10-lakh bracket. The rising importance of this segment has also given rise to considerable competition as well.
Whereas Hyundai relaunched the Verna in a completely new avatar, Skoda introduced the Rapid to claim their share of the market. With these two latest offerings vying to make their mark, we wonder if the ruling champion, Honda, will be shaken off the top spot. It was with a view to settling this fight that we decided to take the petrol and manual transmission versions of these three cars and pit them against one another to figure out if either of the recent entrants has the potential to give Honda a run for their money.
Design & Styling
The Rapid is the newest of the lot, but it definitely doesn’t look like one. The reason is simple: the design of this car, which we have been looking at for quite some time now. The Rapid’s front looks like that of the Skoda Fabia while the rear end looks pretty much like the Volkswagen Vento. Bringing these two elements together to make a new car doesn’t endow freshness of design to it.
The Verna, on the other hand, is an all-new design wherein Hyundai have taken forward their 'fluidic' language and made a car that looks stunning. No doubt, even the Verna shares a lot of styling characteristics with its younger siblings, the i20 and i10, but still manages to give the impression of a modern looking car, which the Rapid fails to do.
The Honda City has been around for a few years now. But when it came, it had a futuristic design that lives up to the current times too. It has minimalistic styling elements, but an aggression that doesn’t fail in any respect.
Inside, the Skoda Rapid has a lot of Volkswagen feel to it, especially the dashboard and switches, which make you feel that you have been in this car before. The steering wheel is very much like the Fabia's. However, the fit-and-finish and the quality of material used in the interior of the Rapid are top class. The aspect of new styling might be lacking, but the interior certainly has the quality the Germans are known for.
The Verna looks very techy and modern with all the buttons and gizmos laid out on its dash. It gives you the feeling of driving around in a car belonging to a higher segment. The Honda City stays minimalistic here too, but offers the basic functionality in the interior while keeping it clean, neat and simple.