Skoda Roomster
Skoda Roomster

The Driving Room, as you'd expect, focuses on ergonomics, utility and general driver comfort. To this end - all Roomsters have a rake- and reach-adjustable steering wheel with power steering. They all come with height adjustment for the driver's seat while the passenger gets the same benefit further up the trim levels. Even the pedals are positioned and weighted just so and it all works well together to make driving a pleasure, even on the most mundane of journeys.

Still in the 'Driving Room', every Roomster features a jack socket for an iPod or MP3 player, plus a power socket for a laptop or mobile phone charger. This is an indication that although SkodaAuto prefers function over frivolity, the necessities of modern living have been included. The fascia is another example in that it is fairly plain, featuring little more than a radio/CD player and climate control. However, the chrome-effect detailing on the test car broke up the large expanse of dashboard, giving it a smart appearance.

Behind the driver and front passenger is the 'Living Room', which is just as 'different' on the inside as it is from the outside. This is a spacious area made possible by giving the car a longer wheelbase than the Octavia while the body is shorter than that of a Fabia Estate. That means that the rear axle is positioned at the very back of the car, which in turn means flexibility of interior space.

VarioFlex seating system makes the most of the available space. It comprises a platform and a row of three seats. Nothing new there you might say and it's not unusual for this row of seats to be set higher than the front seats or for the middle seat to fold down to form a table with cup-holders. However, the middle seat only weighs 11kg and can be removed easily, so that the outer seats can be pushed together by up to 110mm for extra shoulder room. Alternatively the seats can recline or slide fore and aft by up to 150mm. These outer seats are also lightweight and at only 16kg you don't need to be a body-builder to remove them.

The higher rear seats allow passengers a better view from the large side windows and through the front windscreen, which has been shown to help prevent travel sickness.

With five passengers on board there's 450-530-litres of luggage space in the back. With the rear seats folded down the capacity increases to 1,555-litres. Better still, in two-seat mode and the second row left in the garage, the Roomster can swallow up to 1,780-litres, which, according to the Skoda website, is enough space to carry a small flock of sheep or goats or even a concrete block from the Hoover Dam. As the deep tailgate is hinged from the roof, the concrete block would probably go through the wide aperture quite easily.

Alternatively, the load space could be used to carry up to three mountain bikes removing the front wheels and using the (£150) specially designed rack. For the less sporty, the Roomster's boot has a semi-circular, flexible wall for containing and constraining bottles, and there is fixed lashing points on the side walls. Furthermore, the parcel shelf can be installed at two different heights, effectively dividing the boot horizontally.

continues... | Part Three
Skoda Roomster News

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