Skoda Roomster
Skoda Roomster

The Roomster is available in three trim levels; simply labelled Roomster 1, 2 and 3. The Roomster 1 comes with a choice of a 1.2- or 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 1.4 TDI PD diesel with prices ranging from £9,920 to £11,020. Roomsters 2 and 3 have a choice of the 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrol engines and 1.4- and 1.9-litre TDI PD diesel units and the prices range from £11,505 to £14,050.

We tested the Roomster 2 with the 1.4-litre petrol engine, which produces 85bhp (86PS) at 5,500rpm and 126Nm of torque at 3,300rpm. It takes 13 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 106mph.

All engine options are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission although there is a 6-speed automatic option (with tiptronic) for the 1.6 petrol. The manual gear change is typical of the Volkswagen Group cars in that it is nicely weighted with sensible, flexible gear ratios and is a delight to use.

The petrol engines will never compete with the Turbo-Diesels in terms of fuel consumption but are, nonetheless very good at; 31.4mpg, 49.6mpg and 40.9mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively and the Co2 emissions for the test car are a diesel-like 168g/km.

On the road the test car was surprisingly agile and willing with fairly firm suspension making cornering fun. The performance was also better than expected although it does reach the end of the rev range quite quickly. Around town, it's a dream to drive with very good visibility and manoeuvrability.

In terms of safety, all Roomsters have ABS and a full set of airbags comprising twin front and side plus two more side airbags and curtain air cushions. Furthermore, Euro NCAP has recently awarded the Roomster a full 5-star rating for adult protection making it the first Skoda to have received the top score. It also achieved four out of five for child occupant safety and two (out of a possible four) in the pedestrian protection category.

The optional extras list is fairly extensive with prices ranging from the £45 headrest for the middle seat (I don't know why it isn't included as standard but there you go) to the £550 panoramic sunroof with twin roller blinds. The 0.82m 2, sunroof extends over both rows of seats and is what makes the Roomster so light and airy. Unfortunately it is only a standard feature on the Roomster 3 but it is well worth spending the extra as it reflects 80 per cent of heat and allows just 0.03 per cent of UV rays in.

Another 'must-have' is the clever curve projector halogen headlight system with cornering front fog-lights for £450 with the Roomster 2 and 3.

The Roomster certainly is different both in terms of design and, for SkodaAuto, a new excursion into the MPV market. The Roomster is really more of a family friend than a car, as the new TV adverts featuring happy voices and the ' Manufacturer of happy drivers' tagline will attest.

Published : 11/01/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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