Alex Misoyannis • It's being phased out in Australia at the moment, but the Skoda Rapid lives on in emerging markets like Russia – where it remains a strong seller.
For that reason, the Czech brand has opted to subject its small car to a major facelift for 2020.
The front and rear fascias have been copied over from the new Scala hatch, including its LED headlights and taillights, the ‘SKODA’ lettering across the tailgate, and its contemporary single-piece grille.
Similarities to the Scala hatch and Kamiq SUV continue inside, with a redesigned dashboard featuring a new steering wheel, optional 8.0-inch floating infotainment touchscreen and an available ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster.
The outgoing car’s climate control display and dials have carried over, however.
Other newly-available interior features include USB-C ports in the centre console, heated windscreen and a heated steering wheel.
Safety has seen an upgrade, with available technologies including autonomous emergency braking, driver fatigue alert, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.
The engine line-up carries over from the pre-facelift model, meaning Russian buyers will be able to choose between two petrol power plants: a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder producing 66kW or 81kW, or a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder developing 92kW.
The former is paired to either a five-speed manual or six-speed torque-converter automatic, while the latter is exclusively mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Chinese and Indian-market launches are scheduled for the new year, where the Rapid will be sold as a four-door sedan, not a liftback.
Will the 2020 Skoda Rapid come to Australia?
The facelifted Rapid won't make the trip Down Under, as the model is being phased out to make way for the upcoming Scala.