New Skoda Rapid vs Honda City — Battle For Supremacy!

Comparing the new Skoda Rapid with the Honda City on specs, features, prices, design, engine and gearbox, safety and the all-important verdict

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The Americans call it the 'sedan', while the British call it the 'saloon', but the origin of the word sedan was possibly derived from an Italian dialect. The word was derived from 'sedia' - chair - and it is said that the first sedan was probably introduced in Naples, Italy.

However, navigators and colonists of Portuguese and Spanish encountered ‘litters' (wheelless vehicles carried by humans) in India, Japan, Mexico and Peru. The sedan then went to become a fashion statement in many countries and thus the sedan in the automobile industry was born. The Skoda Rapid and the Honda City are sedans and it epitomises the segment with its features and specs.

Let us take the comparison route to find out which is the best sedan in the country:

Design

Skoda has taken the curtains off the new 2016 Rapid with a facelift. The new Rapid gets a new front profile and the most noticeable change is the wider front grille which is now connected to the headlamps. The headlamps are angular and bigger in size that houses the projector headlamp and LED DRLs.

Also Read: Ford EcoSport Facelift vs Old EcoSport - Top 5 Key Changes

The creases on the bonnet resemble the old Skoda Superb and the front bumper is clutter free with the black plastic cladding running across bumper with the new horizontal fog lamp. The side and rear profile are clean and straight lined with the shoulder line running clean to the rear of the Rapid.

As for the rear profile, the swept back tail lamps and the chunky boot door fits neatly to the rear bumper. The muscular lines on the boot door and the bumper take the new Rapid to a sportier image.

Honda City is a name synonymous with the Indian market as it was introduced to us back in 1998 and it continues to be the flag bearer of sedans in India. One look at the front profile of the Honda City clearly tells you an aggressive stance. With the squinted looking swept back headlamps to the thick horizontal chrome grille running between them screams premium.

On the side profile, the Honda City with its muscular wheel arches to the thick creases as shoulder lines gives the City a solid yet sleek design.

As for the rear profile, the floating roof which blends to the boot area feels like a hatchback, but do not be fooled by it, the boot is spacious. The sleek taillamps integrated to the boot lid is a good trick from Honda and feels luxurious.

On the inside, both the sedans are featured with dual tone beige and black tone. The Honda City's dashboard has a better finish like the brushed silver accents outlining the layout. 

While the City is brighter with seat upholstery and the carpet in the colour theme, the Rapid is featured with beige seat upholstery and black carpet.

Though the Honda City with the theme of the beige interior feels luxurious, it could be a challenge when it comes to maintaining and cleaning the interiors.

Overall Design Rating:

 

  • Skoda Rapid 8/10
  • Honda City 8/10

 

 

Engine Specifications, Gearbox & Mileage

Both the sedans are equipped with petrol and diesel units. Skoda Rapid's petrol unit is a 1.6-litre MPI engine capable of producing 103bhp and 153Nm of torque. The Honda City petrol unit is a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine producing 117bhp and 145Nm of torque.

Skoda and Honda offer the option of an automatic and the manual gearbox, while the Rapid is mated to the 5-speed manual or the 6-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox. The Honda City's petrol unit it mated to the 5-speed manual or the CVT automatic gearbox.

As for the diesel units, the Rapid is powered by the 1.5-litre TDI unit which develops 109bhp and 250Nm of torque. The Honda City diesel unit develops 99bhp and 200Nm of torque. While Rapid is offered in 5-speed manual or 6-speed DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox, the Honda City comes paired with just the 6-speed manual gearbox and misses out on the automatic gearbox.

On the mileage front, the petrol unit of Rapid returns a fuel efficiency of 15.41km/l for the manual and 14.84km/l for the automatic. Honda City returns 17.8km/l for the manual and 18km/l for the automatic. As for the diesel unit, Rapid returns 21.13km/l and 21.72km/l for manual and automatic respectively. The Honda City returns 26km/l for the only manual gearbox variant.

The petrol unit of the Honda City is indeed better on papers with better performance and mileage, while the diesel unit of the Rapid takes the lead with better power and the choice of the automatic gearbox.

Overall Engine Rating:

 

  • Skoda Rapid 8/10
  • Honda City 7.5/10

 

Features

The Skoda Rapid and the Honda City are both loaded with features be it automatic air conditioning, cruise control, touch screen audio video and navigation (AVN), steering mounted control, telephone connectivity, rear parking camera and sensors, among others.

What sets them apart is the electric sunroof for the Honda City, while the Skoda Rapid gets the projector headlamps with LED DRLs.

The Honda City CVT comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, while the Rapid has the gear stick on the centre console. Bounce back power windows and MirrorLink connectivity for the Rapid where the Honda City misses out.

Overall Features Rating:

 

  • Skoda Rapid 8/10
  • Honda City 7.5/10

 

Safety

The dual airbags and ABS with EBD are standard in both the Skoda Rapid and the Honda City. The Skoda Rapid is equipped with Hill Hold Control (HHC) and Electronic Stability Control (HSC), the Honda City misses out on these features.

Overall Safety Rating:

 

  • Skoda Rapid 8/10
  • Honda City 7.5/10

 

Pricing

The three petrol variants of the Skoda Rapid priced in the range of Rs 8.28 lakh to Rs 10.35 lakh for the manual gearbox models. The Honda City variants are priced in the range of Rs 8.22 lakh to Rs 11.36 lakh.

As for the automatic petrol variants, the Rapid priced between Rs 10.30 lakh to Rs 11.36 lakh, while the City priced between Rs 10.51 lakh to Rs 12.17 lakh.

On the diesel units, the Rapid MT priced between Rs 9.49 lakh to Rs 11.56 lakh, while the City priced between Rs 9.44 lakh to Rs 12.55 lakh. As for the Skoda Rapid automatic model, priced between Rs 11.61 lakh and Rs 12.67 lakh.

*All prices are ex-showroom (Delhi)

Verdict

Clearly, the Skoda Rapid has a slight edge over the Honda City with is new age features such as projector headlamps, DRLs, Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control and most of the pricing factor. Also, the Rapid scores with the option of an automatic model in the diesel unit where the City misses out.

Honda City is not far behind, though, it has the best performance in the engine specification with better power and mileage compared to the Skoda Rapid. Honda's penchant for quality is a big plus for the City.

Hence, if you are looking for a diesel automatic sedan, the Skoda Rapid is a good choice though if you are looking to compromise on the fuel efficiency. However, if you are looking for the petrol sedan, the Honda City slightly edges out the new Skoda Rapid.

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Story first published: Thursday, November 17, 2016, 11:56 [IST]
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