The Skoda Roomster represents exactly what the brand needs: a car that isn’t just conventional and not yet another watered down rendition of Volkswagen. The Roomster is able to achieve what Skoda and VW have been trying with their last few models: platform sharing that is effective and lower economy costs that provides quality.
At first glance, the Roomster appears off and unintelligent in design. The mismatched door lines, boxy shape, disjoined window lines, and swooping curves don’t exactly come together to result in a fine, seamless appearance. But the vehicle does deliver in function as the higher rear door explains the need for such odd design elements.
The Roomster exceeded expectations with its cabin design. There’s nothing too complicated or unnecessary in the design elements thanks to the properly spaced and placed controls. The door handles contrast the simplistic design with a metal type finish. The front cabin also includes more storage space such as elasticated straps across the door bins. Headroom is enough at the rear and the seats recline comfortably for longer journeys. Each seat can be readily controlled and is properly spaced within the vehicle. The overall boot capacity with the seats up is 530 litres, just 30 litres less than the Octavia. You can add 400mm more load length by having the seat units completely removed. Within the boot itself, you can store things within two bag hooks, two side trays, and hooks for a luggage net that can fit small items or boots. There’s also room for a power outlet.
All of the Roomster’s engine perform well. There are the three petrol engines: the three-cylinder 1.2-litre and the 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo TSIs at 104 or 84bhp. Three turbodiesels are available: from the 1.4-litre three-cylinder Greenline at 74bhp to the 89 and 104bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine. All these perform well on the road. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder is adequate on regular motorways. The 1.4-litre at 85bhp was able to reach 102mph and maintained 80mph while cruising.
The vehicle has decent grip and is able to turn into corners smoothly. The wheelbase’s length is also able to give a composed ride. Even the electro-hydraulic steering helps in giving the driver more response under the wheel. Expect an easy and comfortable ride for the driver and the family. This experience can be enhanced by adding electronic stability control.
Unfortunately the cabin is not without flaws. Rear passengers are seated much higher than the ones up front. Only a very tall driver will end up impeding the rear passenger’s view of the road. Shoulder room is tight as well making it difficult for three bulky or not so averaged sized individuals to get comfortable.
Although the engine range is diverse, some of them tend to be noise when driven on certain road conditions. The 1.9 TDI tends to be noisy and not as refined as the others. The 1.2-litre petrol performs best considering affordability and its fuel economy. Otherwise the 1.9 TDI is able to reach 62mph in 11.5 seconds and has decent pulling power.
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