A Class Of Its Own

2020 Skoda Rapid TSI review, test drive

What is it?

The 2020 BS6 Skoda Swift, facelifts notwithstanding, seems common to the 1st product introduced way back again in 2011. Nevertheless, though the new vehicle receives no exterior or interior improvements to converse of, there is a huge transformation beneath the bonnet. Out goes the ageing 1.6-litre obviously aspirated petrol, and in comes a fashionable 999cc, three-cylinder TSI motor. This compact and gentle direct-injection turbo-petrol belongs to the EA211 motor loved ones of the VW Team and will electrical power foreseeable future Skoda and VW compact autos. With the 1.5 TDI diesel now discontinued, there is a whole lot using on the 1. TSI – the sole motor powering the Swift vary.

New power-fed 1.-litre motor is a lot more highly effective than the outgoing 1.6-litre petrol.


This motor, shared with the Polo and Vento TSI from sister (and rival) model VW, has an outstanding spec sheet. It provides a sturdy 110hp and 175Nm of torque, which is a 5hp and 22Nm bump up about the former 1.6-litre. A new 6-velocity handbook replaces the outdated 5-velocity device but all those hunting for an computerized variant will have to wait around right until September for the new 6-velocity torque converter vehicle.

The 1. TSI Swift appeals to the pocket as effectively, with considerably better fuel performance than the discontinued 1.6 motor. The official exam figure of eighteen.97kpl makes it a lot more productive by a massive 3.56kpl. But the huge shocker is the rate – the foundation Rider variant commences at just Rs. Rs 7.49 lakh, which drops it smack in premium hatchback territory, indicating it really is less expensive than even the VW Polo 1. TSI powered by the exact same motor.

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New 6-velocity handbook has a gentle and quick toss.


What is it like to travel?

The new 1. TSI is just about 600cc down on the Rapid’s former 1.6-litre motor, showing to be at a appreciable downside. This, nevertheless, isn’t the situation. To dispel this myth, just glimpse at the overall performance figures. A scant -100kph time of ten.09sec makes it a single of the quickest autos in its course, and it really is a whole next quicker than the earlier 1.6 Swift. Press on to 140kph and the gap improves by about 3sec. But to be honest, the out-of-date EA111 1.6-litre, two-valve-for each-cylinder, one-cam motor was in no way the last term in overall performance, so to get a good point of view, it makes a lot more feeling to stack the Rapid’s figures from the phase benchmark, the Honda Town.

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The 2020 Swift is a single of the quickest midsize sedans.


In the dash to 100kph, the Swift pips the Town (ten.13sec) and widens the gap a little bit to 140kph (19.6sec vs 19.93sec), but, for all functional purposes, they are evenly matched in a straight drag. These figures, nevertheless, are now educational as the following-gen Town, because of following thirty day period, will get a marginally a lot more highly effective 1.5 petrol motor and a 6-velocity gearbox.

What is obvious is that the Swift, which goes on to strike a prime velocity of 195kph is… effectively, quite Swift. So if you want uncooked acceleration and velocity in a midsize sedan, this most current a single won’t disappoint you.

Even a lot more outstanding is the sturdy mid-vary overall performance. With the turbo nicely spooled up, it basically operates absent from the Honda Town and each and every other midsize sedan  in our in-gear acceleration exams. In the forty-100kph slog in 4th gear, the Swift is nearly 3sec more quickly than the Honda!

These figures replicate the simplicity with which the Skoda Swift builds up velocity. The magic formula is the wide unfold of torque and effectively-judged gear ratios they perform effectively collectively to extract the most from this compact, big-slaying motor. From just beneath 3,000rpm, this motor pulls challenging and sturdy with no permit up right until the 6,700rpm redline. In truth, it is an motor that loves to be revved and it is all way too simple to strike the rev limiter. In truth, the a lot more you rev it, the smoother it receives, and that attribute three-cylinder thrum is the only giveaway that it has a single cylinder considerably less. This superbly well balanced motor is largely vibration-free and it really is only at idle you experience it gently rocking on its mounts.

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Good overall body handle and significant-velocity manners have been hallmarks of the Swift.


If there is a weak point with this motor, it is at minimal speeds. Mash the throttle under two,500rpm when the turbocharger is off boost, and you will get a tepid response and it tells you why the aphorism ‘there’s no substitute displacement’ is so overused.

On element-throttle, this 1. is quite responsive, but it is when you want a burst of acceleration in gradual-moving traffic that you will find oneself fumbling for a decrease gear. In truth, you have a tendency to shift between third and 2nd gears a lot more usually in town traffic to hold the motor in the thick of the powerband. The good point is that the new 6-velocity handbook transmission has a gentle and quick toss but it does experience a touch notchy when you go the stubby lever throughout the gate.

The 2020 Swift receives no mechanical improvements other than the TSI motor, so the suspension is the exact same as in advance of, which, in truth, complements the excess electrical power. The damping is a touch on the rigid aspect, so big bumps make their presence felt with a thunk. General, while, the ride high-quality is quite absorbent. On an particularly undulating road, the Swift pitches a little bit but with this lighter motor, it doesn’t experience as nose-significant as in advance of. In truth, tight overall body handle and self esteem-inspiring significant-velocity manners have been hallmarks of the Swift, and now merged with a punchy motor and taller gearing, it really is an even a lot more powerful highway cruiser. The steering is not bristling with experience or isn’t specifically responsive but it is exact and has a reassuring quantity of heft that presents you the self esteem to appreciate oneself on a winding road.

What is it like inside?

The cabin is unchanged as effectively, and though you do value the solid build, the challenging-putting on high-quality of plastics, the spot-on ergonomics and the fuss-free design, there is no question that interiors glimpse dated. With this prime-spec (and quite posh-sounding) Monte Carlo trim, Skoda has experimented with to invigorate the cabin employing some racy bits. The flat-bottomed steering with a chunky, perforated grip and purple stitching seems and feels great, but the jazzy seat trim with purple accents and ‘Monte Carlo’ embossed on the headrests seems considerably less convincing.

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The interiors do glimpse dated, while there is certainly a whole lot to like in the ergonomics and fuss-free design.


The seats are quite supportive and cozy as constantly. Legroom at the rear is good while not as generous as in the Ciaz and Town but the spot-on cushioning, the significant seating place and good underthigh support a lot more than makes up for that. There are a lot of useable storage bins scattered in the course of the cabin, and welcome additions to the Swift vary are mildly tinted home windows and rear window shades.

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Rapid’s seats are comfortbale and supportive.


Taking centre phase (literally) is Skoda’s eight.-inch Android-based infotainment process which is squeezed into the centre console as a retrofit. The significant-res screen is sharp, simple to read and doesn’t pick up reflections but it is not quite intuitive. There is no Android Car or Apple CarPlay customers do get telephone screen mirroring by way of a third party ‘EasyConnection’ application but the working experience is not specifically seamless. The one USB port, situated inconveniently in the glovebox, is an afterthought.  

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Legroom at the rear is good while not as generous as in the Ciaz and Town.


Top-spec Swift Monte Carlo variants get vehicle headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, 16-inch alloy wheels, tilt-telescopic steering, rear ac vents, vehicle-dimming inside mirror, rear-view camera and local weather handle as notable attributes. The a lot more-very affordable Design variant receives aspect airbags, which the Monte-Carlo misses.

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New eight.-inch touschscreen infotainment system is sharp, simple to read and doesn’t pick up reflections but it is not quite intuitive.


Functions like LED headlamps, cooled seats, sunroof, motor start out-prevent button, 6 airbags, ESP and tyre strain observe, all of which opponents give, are not an option on any Swift variant.

Need to I purchase a single?

The Swift was last presented a facelift in 2016 but its thoroughly clean and sharp design has aged relatively gracefully. It now receives a refreshing lease of everyday living with the strong 1. TSI which complements the good chassis and significantly lifts the car’s appeal. It is a good town vehicle, a great highway cruiser and quite productive way too.

The prime-spec Monte Carlo version is reasonably outfitted for the rate (Rs. 11.seventy nine lakh) but the Rider variant that has grabbed plenty of notice with its Rs 7.49 lakh rate tag, has no touchscreen or alloy wheels. Nevertheless, for all those willing to shop around for these as aftermarket package, this variant is a actual discount.

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The Swift has aged gracefully because its last facelift in 2016.


The Skoda Swift doesn’t have the most current gizmos or the electronic tech presented by rivals, and it feels a touch analogue in comparison but therein lies its allure. Several autos combine great build high-quality, excellent dynamics and practicality like the Swift. It is a vehicle that nevertheless has its fundamentals ideal. If you like to travel and want a protected and solid midsize sedan that won’t break the bank, the 2020 Skoda Swift 1. TSI is the a single for you.

Also see:

Skoda confident of retaining marketplace share with petrol-only Rapid

Skoda Rapid vs rivals: Rate, specs comparison

Turbocharged petrol autos for beneath Rs ten lakh

Volkswagen Polo, Vento AT deliveries likely to start in August

Skoda Rapid