Skoda Rapid Spaceback revealed

15 Jul, 2013 11:23am Tom Phillips

Skoda Rapid Spaceback hatchback to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

This is the Skoda Rapid Spaceback, a more conventional hatchback version of the Rapid that’s set to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The Spaceback features the same design as the existing Rapid from the car’s front to the B-pillars, and features the same 2,602mm wheelbase.

Despite its name, which originally made us think the car would be a larger, estate version of the Rapid, the new model has a shorter tail and more conventional hatchback. This cuts bootspace down from 550 litres to 415 litres with the rear seats up, and from 1,490 litres to 1,380 litres with the rear seats folded.

Talking about the new car, Skoda CEO, Winfried Vahland, said: “The Spaceback is a milestone for Skoda: it means that we are entering the strategically important segment of compact hatchback models.

The Rapid Spaceback has a fresh, dynamic and individual appearance. It is a compact car with a sporty chic, spacious and practical, ideal for young people and families.”

The car’s standout design feature is the optional panoramic glass roof which stretches almost the entire length and width of the roof. Buyers will also be able to opt for a ‘prolong’ rear window, which extends the rear windscreen glass 100mm further down the bootlid (both shown on the red car, pictured).

The new addition to the Rapid range will go on sale in October, and will use the same engine and gearbox line-up as the current Rapid.

The Spaceback is part of Skoda’s ‘Growth Strategy 2018,’ where the firm will launch a new or re-engineered model every six months as it bids to sell 1.5-million cars per year by 2018.

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When Skoda released the Rapid I went to see it at a dealer and was most seriously disappointed with the range of engines & the quality of the car.

This is a car built to a price, the engines are pretty poor & the interiors aren't as good a quality as the Octavia,

This model is an oddity its a semi hatchback if you like, where it fits in I don't know & which market it's intended for I don't know either.

I understand that Skoda have revised the interior trim quality and made other changes to the Rapid for the 2014 model year in order to improve refinement. If this is the case and it is well priced I will consider one next year.

I hope that the sunroof isn't just reserved for the top of the range, as with many Japanese alternatives.

Skoda listened to both press and the public criticism about the interior trim quality and for all new Rapid models built from the end of this month onwards, new higher quality interior trim is standard. With the Spaceback, there will be plenty of personalisation options too. Looks a lot better than the saloon-esque hatch, pretty much Skodas version of the Audi A3 Sportback.

Shame about the engine line up.

There is nothing wrong with the engine lineup WesternYeoman. All modern TSIs and TDIs. I don't think the Octavia is available with anything bigger than a 1.4TSI in the UK yet (apart from the vRS) and not sure the Gold is either.

The Rapid is a light and quite aerodynamic car so even the base spec TSI makes this car bowl along quite nicely.

Stick a Polo GTi engine in it and have the same options as the red one in the photos and skoda will have a winner. I think it's a great looming car with the roof and extended rear window. Very aggressive

Agreed - as long as VAG offers a manual shift, otherwise no!

What is the point of the prolong rear window unless it opens separate to the boot lid. Whilst I admit it does look good what's the price over the standard lid. We shall see when the prices are announced wether this is a good option.

I was always puzzled by this vehicle. Sandwiched between the Fabia and the Octavia its raison d'etre wasn't clear. Could it be that it was intended as a competitor for the utilitarian Peugeot 301 and Citroen C-Elysee which are not being sold in the U.K. but seem to be selling well elsewhere? This would explain the basic interior standards which are having to be upgraded hurriedly for the British market in response to complaints.
If indeed the interior is more basic than the Octavia's then IMHO it will be prison bleak indeed. The latter's discomfort came as a considerable surprise to me. Nice low fuel consumption for cabbies though.

The new Octavias interior is far far from basic - standard DAB, standard bluetooth, standard touch screen etc. Obviously the Rapid is intended more for Asian and Eastern European markets, where it is thriving, and it's doing well in UK too. You really need to drive a car to appreciate it. I am lucky enough to drive cars for a living, and am always more than impressed when a new Skoda comes along. Not everyone wants arty-farty overstyled cars (look at Fiat and Mini sales in UK compared to Skodas - Skodas are ahead by a fair margin, Mazda are struggling to even reach half of Skodas sales here this year and Volvo are down to under half!People want honest, reliable, well-built cars at attractive prices with a timeless design that doesn't age half as much as a Ford/Vauxhall/Kia etc. I see this new Rapid doing very well here and in China, where small Estates are a current trender.

You need to travel in the back of a supposed family car to know the whole of it. By this token the old Octavia ( I haven't been in the new one) was not good at all. It was a serious disappointment in fact. I could have forgiven the dullness if there had been more virtue.

When Mike Rutherford eulogised the Rapid / Toledo in his column, I went to see it at a local dealer.

I was so disappointed with the quality of the car, I didn't bother finding out the range of the engines.

Probably because the punters who used to buy Mazdas and Volvos (before these two lost the plot) are now buying Skodas!