Monday, 19 November 2018

Hatchback thinks it’s really an estate

by Nigel Wigmore

RAPID is a great name for a car in an age when the stylish monikers of a glorious automotive past — such as Thunderbird, Stingray and Viper — is considered decidedly retro. The 21st century is an age dominated by what you might call abstract consumerism, or “dulling down”. This is not the same as dumbing down because the majority of consumer products today are smart — and trumpet the fact loudly.

The name of the game for most contemporary products, including cars, is that names have been dropped in favour of numbers, so we should welcome the rather glamorous handle on this week’s drive, the new Skoda Rapid Spaceback.

This is a car that is hard to define. It is not an estate but has the room of a compact one. It is said to be a hatchback yet has distinct “estate” influences in its design. So when one comes to assess the Rapid Spaceback it could be argued that there is a blurring of the category lines.

Marketing people will probably tell you that blurring is not good when it comes to selling any product. But equally these same smart folk have already invented another term for products that do not fit the status quo: it’s called niche marketing.And whatever niche the Rapid Spaceback falls into, above all this car represents excellent value for money.

What really strikes you about the Rapid Spaceback is the abundant room for driver, front- and back-seat passengers in the cabin overall and a massive loadspace for what is essentially a small car.

Motoring