Skoda Rapid is one of the most popular sedans from the Indian subsidiary of the Czech-based automobile maker, Skoda. It’s been around half a decade since the car received a major upgrade, thus losing the sheen that had once attracted many. But not anymore. The new face-lifted Rapid, launched in November 2016, was like a breath of fresh air for those who would consider this sedan over anything else.
Volkswagen Vento, on the other hand, has been one of the most sought after and taken care of from the German automaker. Launched in 2014, the Vento has already undergone a major update back in 2015. And now, another face-lifted version the car had been spied testing in Brazil and is expected to hit Indian roads by 2018.
From an overview, one cannot draw many distinctions between the two. So are they completely the same? Are both the cars built on the same platform? Well, if you are still looking for answers to these questions, read on!
Many of you would have often mistaken the Skoda Rapid to be Volkswagen Vento, or vice versa. Yes, both the car look almost the same if you look at them individually from a side or rear view as both seem to be build on the same aesthetic silhouette. But it’s the front profile that carries significant number of distinctive features. On one hand is the Rapid, which is heavily derived from the discontinued hatchback Skoda Fabia. In fact, to a large extent, the Skoda Rapid could also be called as the sedan version of the Fabia. After the facelift in 2016, the design looks far more urban and mature. The vertical multi slatted grille with chrome outline renders the testimony. The projector headlamps and meticulously designed DRLs adds to the front facia. The front bumper and fog lamps have also undergone a serious revision.
On the other hand is the Volkswagen Vento with its squarish headlamps, which adds to the ever so sleek design. The long horizontally slatted front grille does add to the urban roadster looks. But the lack of chrome borders keeps its low when compared to it counterpart. The base models come with 15-inch steel wheels, while the higher variants have 15-inch alloys.
The first impression when you sit in the Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento one after the other is that both the sedan look identical to some extent, including from the colour scheme. But the story is a lot different than what its looks like. In the Rapid, the finishing on the button and switches are supreme. On the instrument cluster in the centre console, you get a fair amount of detailing like distance travelled, travelling time, average fuel consumption, estimated distance before refueling and average speed. Other features include a multi function power steering, front as well as rear center armrest, rear AC vents, cup holder, electrically adjustable rear viewing mirror, climate control, etc. On the audio instrument cluster you get USB and 2 DIN audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and aux in and SD card support.
On the other hand, even though the Vento looks similar to the Rapid, there is a longer story attached to it. With a similar looking colour tone of black, beige and browning grey, excessive storage spaces like door pockets, hooks for bags, glove box, spaces around the hand brakes and cup holder make it far more efficient. Other than that, there are many other features like keyless entry with alarm warming and MFD. The audio system get the same aux in Bluetooth and USB connectivity. At the rear, there is a large 454-litre boot space which is marginally smaller than that of 460-litre of Skoda Rapid.
Engine, Power and Transmission
The Skoda Rapid offers both engine types – 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel. The petrol engine has a superior 1,598cc displacement and produces 103.6 bhp of power. The diesel engine manages to produce same power of 103.6 bhp while having a lower displacement of 1,498cc. The manual transmission variants of both the engine options are mated with a 5-speed gearbox, while the automatic transmission variant of the petrol engine comes with a 6-speed tiptronic transmission, and the diesel mill features a 7-speed DSG gearbox.
The Volkswagen Vento too offers similarly configured 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines, in addition to a third option – a 1.2-litre petrol mill. While both the petrol mill produces 103.5 bhp of power, the diesel mill can deliver up to 108.5 bhp. All the variants are available with 5-speed manual and 7-speed automatic transmission options.
Mileage and Safety features
Including all the trims, the Skoda Rapid engine promises to offer maximum mileage of 21.6 and 18.3 kilometres per litre in highways and city roads respectively. Braking is handled by disc brakes up in the front and drums at the rear. The presence of ABS makes it even safer on the road. Driver and passenger airbags, central locking and power door lock are standard in both the cars.
The Volkswagen Vento, on the other hand, offer a maximum fuel economy of 21.2 and 17.25 kmpl on highway and city conditions respectively. Even though the Skoda turns out to be little more economical, the Vento fights back with better hill hold feature Electronic Safety Program ESP, that is absent in the Rapid.
So now, as you reach towards the climax of this article, you would have already read about how both the cars, Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento, look too similar on the outside, yet different on the inside. The Rapid, however, looks better of the two, thanks to the out of the box vertical slatted front grille and better front profile. However, with better safety features, the Vento takes on its counterpart with equal intensity. Moreover, since Vento has more engine options and better features, it could be considered as a more suitable option if you can settle with slightly inferior design.