Skoda Auto launched Rapid sedan in India earlier today. Designed and built specifically for the Indian car market, in all eight variants of Rapid are on offer, five are petrol engine variants and 3 are diesel engine variants. These eight Skoda Rapid variants are priced in the range of Rs 6.75 lacs to Rs 9.19 lacs.
Skoda Rapid has only three basic variants, petrol engine with manual transmission, petrol engine with automatic transmission and diesel engine with manual transmission. Depending on their design, comfort, security, convenience, storage, and safety levels, each of these three basic variants of Rapid, are further divided in thee more variants (two for petrol AT) namely, Rapid Active (except petrol AT), Rapid Ambition and Rapid Elegance. (See images to understand the difference between Active, Ambition and Elegance).
Price of all Skoda Rapid variants is as follows;
Skoda Rapid Active 1.6 MPI MT – Rs 675,000
Skoda Rapid Ambition 1.6 MPI MT – Rs 709,000
Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.6 MPI MT- Rs 799,000
Skoda Rapid Ambition 1.6 MPI AT – Rs 809,000
Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.6 MPI AT- Rs 899,000
Skoda Rapid Active 1.6 TDI CR – Rs 795,000
Skoda Rapid Ambition 1.6 TDI CR – Rs 829,000
Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.6 TDI CR – Rs 919,000
All variants will be available in five color choices, Brilliant Silver, Candy White, Cappuccino Beige, Deep Black Pearl and Flash Red.
From this price structure, we realize that the base diesel variant on offer, Skoda Rapid Active 1.6 TDI CR is priced at Rs 7.95 lacs while the topend diesel variant, Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.6 TDI CR is priced at Rs 9.19 lacs. Similarly, base petrol variant on offer, Skoda Rapid Active 1.6 MPI MT is priced at Rs 6.75 lacs and topend petrol variant, Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.6 MPI AT is priced at Rs 8.99 lacs.
When you compare these prices with other C segment sedans available in India, Skoda Rapid will be essentially competing with Hyundai Verna Fluidic, Volkswagen Vento and Honda City. There are other cars which are on offer in the C segment sedan class in India like, Tata Indigo, Tata Manza, and Toyota Etios, but they are offered at a lower price bracket.
Of the three, Verna Fluidic, Vento and City, Verna Fluidic is the bestseller in India by a good margin. In October 2011, Hyundai sold 4,217 units of Verna Fluidic, Volkswagen sold 3,474 units of Vento while Honda sold 3,376 units of City.
Hyundai Verna Fluidic and Volkswagen Vento are available in both petrol engine and diesel engine variants while Honda City is only available in petrol engine variant. Hyundai offers Fluidic Verna in 1.4L and 1.6L engine variants (petrol and diesel) with a price range of Rs 6.99 lacs to Rs 10.90 lacs, Volkswagen offers Vento in the same 1.6L engine (petrol and diesel) that powers Skoda Rapid with a price range of Rs 6.99 lacs to Rs 9.43 lacs, while Honda offers City in 1.5L petrol variant in the price range of Rs 7.49 lacs to Rs 10.08 lacs.
Even though Rapid and Vento are powered by the same engine, Rapid performs significantly better than Vento. 1.6L variants of Hyundai Fluidic Verna perform better than Rapid, but they come with a base price of Rs 7.69 lacs (petrol) and Rs 8.89 lacs (diesel), which is considerably higher compared to price of Skoda Rapid. Hyundai Verna Fluidic wins on design and even offers more features.
Some of the important features found missing in Skoda Rapid are steering mounted controls and parking sensors, which are offered as standard by competition. Honda City too is better on performance but is high on price. Honda City base variant, petrol 1.5L comes with a price of 7.49 lacs.
So for the price conscious Indian car market, Skoda Auto has rightly priced Rapid sedan. Skoda Auto hopes that Rapid will soon become their bestselling car in India.
To read (All car prices above are ex-showroom, New Delhi)