Skoda Rapid Spaceback vs rivals
New five-door Skoda Rapid Spaceback meets rivals Hyundai i30 and Toyota Auris
Since the seventies, the hatchback has made quite an impression in the UK. Look at the lists of best-selling cars and month in, month out, you’ll find the top slots dominated by models that are more practical than saloons, but have more style than estates.
• Skoda Rapid Spaceback review
Skoda is one maker that has excelled at building user-friendly hatches, although the styling of cars such as the Octavia and Rapid has still given a nod to the saloon shape. The company’s latest model, the Rapid Spaceback, can’t be mistaken for anything other than a hatch, however.
So for its first test, we’ve lined up two rivals that also trade on value and low running costs. We’ve tried the Toyota Auris in hybrid guise, but this is the first time we’ve tested the diesel. Is it a better bet than the petrol-electric version?
Our final contender is the Hyundai i30. While the Korean maker has moved away from its budget roots, the SE model tested here undercuts the Spaceback, but has a similar amount of kit. The question is, can the Rapid take victory?
The Rapid has the biggest boot, at 415 litres, with the i30 second on 378 litres and the Auris in third on 360 litres. Fold the seats, and the Toyota’s variable boot floor means you can free up a completely flat area.
Car group tests
- New Skoda Rapid 2017 facelift review
- Skoda Rapid Spaceback 2017 facelift review
- Used Skoda Rapid review
Used car tests
A 70cm high boot lip in the Skoda is 3cm lower than in either rival, plus it’s slightly wider. However, the load bay is a little narrower at the parcel shelf, measuring 95cm compared to 104cm for the i30.
Park these three cars side-by-side, and it’s clear that the i30 and Auris were designed as hatches from the ground up, with smooth lines and neat details. Yet the Rapid looks awkward, with its odd proportions and truncated rear.
Toyota and Hyundai offer limited options here, with parking, multimedia, convenience and comfort packs available on the Auris and metallic paint the only extra on the i30. But the Rapid has a huge variety of extras.
A £1,100 Style Pack adds tailgate glass and a panoramic roof, while sports seats are £300, 17-inch alloys £300, tinted rear windows £200 and a Simply Clever pack – with an iPod cradle and waste bin – £50. Metallic Rallye Green and Sprint Yellow paint are £525 each.
1st place: Hyundai i30
This is a close test, because all three cars have their merits. But in the final reckoning, it’s the i30 that edges the win. It provides decent space and it’s more comfortable than either rival here, while economy is decent and performance respectable. To cap it all off it’s great value.
2nd place: Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Unless you need a massive boot, the Spaceback is better than the standard car, due to its more distinctive looks and improved rear visibility. The Skoda still has more load space than either rival, but a firm ride, low-rent plastics and gruff 1.6 TDI count against it. If you want a Spaceback, buy a 1.2 TSI.
3rd place: Toyota Auris
Our first test of the diesel Auris has revealed one certainty: the hybrid is the pick of the range. The 1.4 D-4D is economical, but it’s slow and this lighter version of the Auris is just as uninspiring to drive as the hybrid. A higher list price, smaller boot and tighter cabin space all mark it down in this test.
|Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi SE||Skoda Rapid Spaceback 1.6 TDI Elegance||Toyota Auris 1.4 D-4D Icon|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£18,395/£18,710||£18,390/£18,890||£18,745/£19,640|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£7,229/39.3%||£7,871/42.8%||£7,453/40.3%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£624/£1,247||£623/£1,247||£561/£1,121|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,520/£2,534||£1,487/£2,478||£1,490/£2,484|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||11/£315/C/£30||16/£289/C/£30||10/£289/B/£20|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£449 (3yrs/30k)||£529 (3yrs/60k)||£129/£199/£129|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,582cc||4cyl in-line/1,598cc||4cyl in-line/1,364cc|
|Peak power||109/4,000 bhp/rpm||104/4,400 bhp/rpm||89/3,800 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||260/1,900 Nm/rpm||250/1,500 Nm/rpm||205/1,800 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||5-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||53 litres/space saver||55 litres/repair kit||50 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||378/1,316 litres||415/1,380 litres||360/1,200 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||10.6 metres/0.30Cd||10.2 metres/N/A||10.4 metres/0.28Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||5yrs (unlimited)/5yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs RAC||5yrs (100,000)/1yr AA|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20,000 miles (1yr)/162||10k miles (1yr)/135||10k miles (1yr)/181|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||14th/20th||2nd/7th||9th/3rd|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||90/90/67/5||94/80/69/5||92/84/68/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||10.7/10.5 secs||9.9/10.0 secs||11.5/12.5 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||4.8/8.2 secs||4.3/7.6 secs||4.9/7.4 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||10.1/14.3 secs||10.4 secs/N/A||11.8/14.9 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||115mph/1,900rpm||118mph/2,050rpm||112mph/2,000rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||63/46/65/72dB||72/45/61/69dB||64/47/61/74dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||49.7/10.9/579 miles||50.8/11.2/615 miles||50.7/11.2/558 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||152/114g/km/17%||149/114g/km/17%||149/103g/km/15%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||£670/yes/yes||£510/yes/yes||No/yes/no|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/no/no||Yes/no/£200||Yes/no/no|
|Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£470/no/no||£525/no/no||£495/no/£550 (pack)|