The Mid-sized sedan segment in India is bustling with action – here’s a take on its two emergent players – The Skoda Rapid vs. Nissan Sunny….
The Skoda Rapid is a modification of the Volkswagen Vento even sharing a similar engine but coming at a lower price bracket. The Sunny shares the same dynamic V-platform that the Nissan Micra has been built on. The Rapid has the solidity associated with the European sedans whereas the Sunny reflects the Japanese capability of producing economic vehicles…
From the Outside
While the Skoda Rapid highlights European design, the Nissan Sunny is a perfect example of Japanese craftsmanship.
The Sunny’s big dimensions and splashes of chrome give it a distinctive and mature stance, and from many angles it looks like a mini Teana. The large rear houses a spacious 490-litre boot, but the downside to this is a massive rear overhang which ruins the car’s proportions. The bulging bumper and thin tyres don’t help, and when viewed from the rear it looks quite odd.
The Rapid is basically a Volkswagen Vento with the traditional Skoda nose stuck on it. But it does look attractive in the flesh and the combination of a large grille in the company of a chrome strip and big headlights lends it character. The side of the car remains unchanged
So while the Sunny looks more distinctive the Skoda definitely has better proportions.
On the Inside
With a wider wheelbase of 2600mm, the Nissan Sunny offers greater space particularly for its rear-seat passengers compared to the Rapid that has a 2552mm wheelbase. Although the Rapid is also comfortable to ride in, both at the front and the rear, it cannot match the legroom that the Sunny provides.
The Sunny diesel’s interiors reveal no significant changes over the petrol model and hence feel very familiar. The Skoda Rapid’s interiors are all but identical in design to the VW Vento with similar quality levels that are a notch above the Sunny’s.
Both cars have common features – but on comparing the base models, it is seen that the Sunny has been provided with additional features, including climate control, airbags for driver and passenger, electric mirrors, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. Even the top-end Sunny model has additional features vis-à-vis the Skoda, including electrically folding mirrors along with a latest ignition system.
Under The Hood
The Skoda Rapid scores over the Sunny as its 1.6L diesel engine is capable of delivering a maximum power of 104Bhp and a peak torque of 250Nm. The 1.5L diesel engine of the Sunny, in turn, can generate a maximum power of only 80Bho with its peak torque restricted to 200Nm. The Rapid outscores the Sunny by 10Bhp in its ratio off its power to its weight, thereby clearly signifying the superior performance of its engine.
Fuel efficiency of the Nissan is better - 21.6km/lt as compared to the Rapid - 20km/lt. This gives the Sunny a bit of an advantage compared to the Rapid in the long run.
The Sunny shines in many areas - its class leading space, easy-to-drive nature, and long list of standard features make it a very good proposition. But the Rapid scores despite the sparse equipment and not so frugal efficiency. Its solid build, generous seats and classy environment make it feel a notch superior. Add the punchy engine, better dynamics and smarter looks to the equation, the Skoda more than justifies the Rs. 25,000 extra you have to shell out.