Spaceback gives more room to its passengers
SPACE is a confusing place and it’s not been helped by the Skoda Rapid Spaceback landing.
The Rapid hatchback neatly filled a gap in the Skoda range between the Fabia and Octavia but then the Czech car maker added Spaceback.
From the outset it has to be explained that the Rapid hatchback has a roomier boot but the Spaceback gains additional rear seat headroom with its “stretched” roofline.
The suffix is perhaps surprising and possibly misleading but makes sense when you think of it purely in passengers getting more space than luggage.
And that won favour with our family who regularly fill back seats but rarely need to transport larger objects than a week’s shopping. It was definitely a win-win with the Spaceback SE Sport 110ps.
This is the stronger version with its lower emissions and greater economy, and we were delighted to see fuel figures approaching the new testing regime’s combined figure. The mid-range SE Sport is also ordered by 70%of buyers.
The range was updated last year and has new front and rear end lights and styling changes with the cleaner and more economical 1.0litre engine replacing the original 1.2-litre unit. Now it runs to 14 models in the Spaceback series utilising 95 or 110ps 1.0 petrol and 90 or 115 1.4 and 1.6 diesel units, in S, SE Sport or SE Tech editions and with manual or DSG automatic transmissions.
The little engine is a gem. It has instant start up and freely revs, is coupled to a manual gearbox with carefully chosen ratios so it can be surprisingly flexible at times and pulls reasonably strongly too, although its overall performance is modest.
It is in the area of fuel efficiency that you have to admire the powertrain, stretching our overall figure to 57mpg but on some trips we actually edged over 60mpg.
I would have preferred greater feel through the steering and footbrake, although it turned tightly and easily when parking and that parking brake securely held it on our regular test slope.
For a family car, the Skoda Rapid Spaceback had plenty of oddments’ room with big door bins, a range of central trays and recesses and some big pockets on the backs of the front seats.
The abundance of hard, featureless plastic trim is disappointing. There is little to highlight in the fascia design and you feel this is a car which says what you see is what you get.
That means it’s an honest workhorse for a family, will not cost the earth to buy or run and can do what is expected in a reliable way. It is not a modern sports tourer or crossover model but it’s carving out its own space in the market. Bridgend, Port Talbot and Swansea