'Effective' is a word you keep coming back to after a drive in this car.
There's nothing particularly enjoyable about the way it goes about its business, but most likely buyers don't seek that in an affordable five-door family car.
In any case, there are plenty of other attributes on offer that target customers will probably value more highly.
They might find the ride a little on the firm side of comfortable but they'll very much like the narrow body that makes parking and road width restrictions easier to negotiate aided by the excellent all-round visibility, the light, consistently-weighted controls and the simple switchgear that, thank goodness, features a proper conventional handbrake.
DESIGN AND BUILD
I'll need to tell you that this car was styled by the same man, Jozef Kaban, who penned the million pound Bugatti Veyron supercar, for it's not something you'd guess on first acquaintance with this smart, clean but rather conventional shape.
Actually, it's not very conventional at all by class standards, at around 4.5m long and under 2m wide significantly longer but slightly narrower than the Focus-sized family hatchback class norm.
Out back, you lift a wide-opening tailgate that rises to reveal a simply enormous 550-litre boot, extendable to 1,490-litres and with a clever (but optional) double-faced floor carpet option that almost all owners will want. In other words, you're looking here at the kind of carriage capacity you'd get from a typical estate bodystyle in this segment.
That's why, in contrast to rivals, the Rapid range doesn't need to offer one. It does however, include a slightly smaller but arguably more stylish Spaceback five-door hatchback variant – but that costs slightly more.
MARKET AND MODEL
Though list pricing suggests that you should expect to pay somewhere in the £13,000 to £18,000 bracket for your Rapid, I think you'd do better to budget from around £14,000, thereby avoiding the feeble entry-level three cylinder model and allowing for a couple of well-chosen extras on top of the cost of the 86PS petrol 1.2 TSI variant that arguably represents the sweet spot in the range.
Look beyond this version and it's easy to see why. After all, some will see getting this engine turbocharged for another £1,500 as unnecessary. And others will think that stretching up to and beyond £17,000 for a 1.4 TSI petrol or 1.6 TDI diesel variant dilutes the value proposition that remains such a compelling incentive for Rapid ownership
Skoda understands its customers. Ease of ownership, value pricing and solid build are all priorities – and all satisfied here by this Rapid.