Peas in a Pod: Vento & Rapid

Fabia-resembeling front styling

I know that the twins can be identical. But, what
about step-brothers?? The case in point is the new Rapid saloon from Skoda and
the VW Vento.

It is an undeniable fact that the Rapid is
considerably distinctive front face – the Fabia-resembeling headlamps, grille
and the hood-line, with tad-looking fog lamps. The rear styling has an
additional design line
on both sides of the number plate in the boot lid and the insides of the tail
lamps are more Skoda-like. The Rapid’s rear looks much better
than the Vento’s except the company’s logo, which looks a bit smaller. The rest of the car remains unchanged
compared to the Vento and the same is amply clear when you view the Rapid in
profile! Take a look at the car from the sides, you‘ll be perplexed to tell it
as a different car. The wheel arches, side mirrors, three pillars, door
handles, belt line….. everything remains identical. 

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Then what
about the interiors?? Only the steering wheel and its integrated logo must
remind you that it is a Skoda and not a Vento. The dashboard, the AC vents, the
door trims and even the climate control interface is the same. But missing is
the leather upholstery and the steering mounted controls even in the top of the
line Elegance trim. The clocks too are different and instead of chrome trimming
in the surrounds of AC vents and in the central console, Skoda has decided to
go in for a glossy black finish. Overall the Rapid’s interior is user friendly
and exciting as the VW. In fact, it also comes with Vento’s unique feature of
adjusting the front passenger seat from the rear.
Rapid’s rear looks much better
than the Vento’s
Just like
the Polo and the Fabia hatches, these two saloons also share common engines.
The Rapid comes with the same 1.6 litre four cylinder petrol and diesel motors.
The diesel variant is of the family is obviously more fun-to-drive and
exciting, though the petrol variant is equivalently capable with identical
power outputs.
So, can we
expect the same sort of market response to the Rapid like its step-brother?
Will it gain a good reputation identical to the Vento?? The initial customer
response is encouraging. Provided the fact that the Rapid is priced lower that
the Vento, it is expected to compete mainly in the Etios, Manza and the Dzire class.
Considering the Vento-ish traits and the lower price, the Rapid scores well in
terms of value-for-money.  It is
definitely going to be a successful Skoda just like the departed Octavia.

Dhiyanesh Ravichandran

Editorial consultant (Automotive and Technology), academic, and blogger based in India. He can be reached at

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