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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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PROS

  • Practical features
  • Low running costs
  • Cheap to buy
  • Impressive passenger space

CONS

  • Some engines a little lacklustre
  • Smaller boot than saloon

Verdict

Skoda plans to overhaul its entire model range over the next couple of years and launch new models into key markets where they have never had a presence before with the aim to see sales in the UK to 1.5 million per year by 2018.

Here is Skoda’s latest installment, the Skoda Rapid Spaceback which combines the looks of a Hatchback with the practicality and space of an estate.

Pitched to sit between the Fabia and popular Octavia in the range, the Rapid Spaceback is designed with young families in mind who are on a budget and need an extra dose of practicality.

The fifth model to be launched in 2013, the Rapid Spaceback positions itself against mainstream hatchback rivals like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Same passenger space, smaller boot

Skoda is deliberately not calling the Rapid Spaceback an estate and for good reason, the car is 18cm shorter than the Rapid saloon, instead insisting it’s a hatchback and built for lifestyle rather than out-and-out load-lugging.

The wheelbase however remains the same as the saloon’s 2,602mm which means that the Spaceback has some impressive passenger room; taller passengers will be pleased to learn of the 980mm headroom.

But it does mean boot space has suffered, and while the saloon can hold 550 litres of luggage with the seats in place the Spaceback makes do with only 415 litres. The theme continues when the seats are folded flat, with the figure dropping from 1,490 litres to a still impressive 1,380 litres.

The optionally available double cargo floor however offers a choice of boot floor height and adds some extra practicality. The parcel shelf can be stowed against the rear seatbase too, so if you have to carry taller loads there’s no need to leave the load cover at home.

Range of petrol and diesel engines

Based on the same design as the Rapid up to the rear edge of the front doors, it should come as no surprise that the Spaceback shares plenty of other components with that car. And so it is with engine line up, the front-wheel drive Spaceback boasting a choice of diesel and petrol engines.

Already familiar are a pair of 1.2-litre petrols and 1.4-litre petrol, the 1.6-litre TDI is set to be supplemented by a lower output version as well as the 103bhp version.

A Greenline edition will be joining the range after the model is launched in January which will have CO2 emissions of 99g/km and average fuel economy of 74.3mpg.

Design that emotionally connects

There really is no getting away from Skoda’s desire to see this as a lifestyle addition to its range rather than a load lugger, and the firm even offers a ‘prolonged rear window’. By extending the dark tinted area of the rear screen down into the tailgate by 100mm it visually lowers the Rapid Spaceback’s rear.

Teamed with the huge optional panoramic glass roof, you could be forgiven for thinking the glazed area stretches all the way to the base of the windscreen.

Find out more by reading on for our full Skoda Rapid Spaceback review.

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