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Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

Skoda RapidShould you buy a Skoda Rapid Hatchback?

Definitely, if you're looking for a no-nonsense good-value family car and aren't bothered about image, although as it’s no longer available new – it’s been replaced by the Skoda Scala – you’re restricted to used versions.

It’s is the kind of car you buy if you want something even more sensible and far less costly than its mainstream rivals. Not only is it cheaper to buy, it’s also much more spacious and comes with a lot of similar equipment and significantly more space. It may not have the kerb appeal of many alternatives, but it makes a lot of sense if all you want is bang for your buck. The shorter Rapid Spaceback is arguably easier on the eye, while the most recent iteration of the SEAT Toledo is essentially the same car as this bodystyle.

There are enough engine and trim combinations in the range to suit a wide selection of buyers, as long as you’re after something fairly sensible. If running costs are a priority, then the 1.4 TDI’s high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions are likely to appeal, sipping diesel and running longer between fill ups than any other Rapid model.

While diesel is traditionally a favourite with company car users, if you’ve got BIK costs on the brain, the 1.0-litre TSI with 95hp is by far the cheapest option. In fact, the diesels are the most expensive in BIK terms, so it could be a while before you recoup the extra cost of the diesel in the first place.

If you want a sporty hatchback, you’re better off looking at something that isn’t the Skoda Rapid. It’s built more for sensible, cost-effective motoring as opposed to providing cheap thrills. However, the 1.4-litre TSI is the one to go for if you want the fastest version thanks to a 0-62mph time of 9.0 seconds flat. Don’t be fooled, it’s more suited to driving around town and on the motorway than speeding around country lanes though.

The Rapid is an alternative to mainstream vehicles such as the Ford FocusHyundai i30Kia Ceed and the Vauxhall Astra.

While a basic model will seem tempting when you look at how much space you get for the money, top-spec models actually represent great value as they come packed with equipment and offer that all-important space for much less than its most direct rivals.

Rapid SE L and Sport models may be appealing due to their lengthier kit list, but a mid-spec SE is available with most of the engine choices – we’d suggest the 1.0-litre TSI – plus it comes with enough standard equipment for most.

Green 2018 Skoda Rapid Hatchback side profile