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Spaceback's a star; MAGGIE BARRY loves the stylish hatch version of the Skoda Rapid.

Byline: MAGGIE BARRY

FOR the past few years, Skoda have been quietly consolidating and increasing their range and the quality of their vehicles.

And now the new Rapid Spaceback has got all the wow factor a driver could wish for - as well as the practicality Skoda have been giving us for years.

The Spaceback is a great-looking car but what makes it even better is the must-have optional Style Pack.

It includes a gorgeous black panoramic roof that slides down to a spoiler and then melds into the glass tailgate. The black tones are then reflected in the wing mirrors, the fog lamps nestling deep in the nose and the outline of the rear lights. Inside, it has a clean-cut dash and instrument cluster that are easy to read and use on the move. It is also a very comfortable drive.

My model was the 1.6-litre diesel SE and it felt solid and well put together.

There is plenty of room in the front and back for all passengers. There are loads of little storage spots and even an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap - which you never have just when you need one.

The 1.6 was great for nipping around Edinburgh and out to South Queensferry and opened up well on the motorway.

For those who prefer petrol engines, the Spaceback comes with 1.2 and 1.4-litre variants. It has a lot more kit than the normal Rapid and comes in three trim grades - S, SE and Elegance.

The Style Pack that gives the Spaceback such pizzazz costs PS1100. But it is an add-on that will help keep the residual value.

Skoda are apparently bringing out a higher-spec Monte Carlo version later this year. In the meantime, the Rapid Spaceback is really flying their flag.

Now see the video at www.roadrecord.co.uk Factfile: Model: Skoda Rapid Spaceback SE 1.6 TDI Engine: 1.6-litre diesel Power: 90bhp Top speed: 113mph 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds Average mpg: 64.2 CO2 emissions: 114g/km Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles Price: PS17,280

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PIZZAZZ Z The Rapid Spaceback has got wow factor
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 24, 2014
Words:359
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