Since Škoda were bought by Volkswagen in 1991 they’ve been continually building better and better cars. A great example of this is the Škoda Roomster. Launched in 2006 at the Geneva Motorshow, it’s a car that breaks convention in many ways and an insight into the new direction Škoda is taking with some of it’s vehicles.
It’s not until you drive one of their cars that you notice how many Škoda’s are already on the road, while I was testing the Roomster they seemed to be everywhere and it was interesting to see the types of people who drove them.
From young families to suited exec’s there doesn’t seem to be a ‘typical’ Škoda driver, and by all accounts they are a very happy lot too. In a recent survey on brand satisfaction Škoda was placed joint third (with Jaguar), against 28 different car brands.
So on to the Roomster…. it’s not a conventional looking car by any means but I really like the look of it, and anything that breaks the mould of the regular family saloon will always score points with me. It also has a great behind (never a bad thing!),
It has real character, and you know the designers have had fun making it a reality. The partnership with Volkswagen is obviously working as driving the Škoda Roomster is a solid and smooth experience reminiscent of a modern VW.
It holds the road well and is equally at home in the city or on dual carriageways and motorways. Despite the high sides there is none of the ‘body roll’ sometimes present in this type of car when taking corners at speed.
If you are looking at buying a Roomster, it is probably because you want the all round flexibility it brings, there are 20-odd different seat combinations and all 3 rear seats are fairly easy to get in and out.. Passenger space is excellent with them in, but it’s worth noting the middle seat is smaller than the other two, so it’s perfect for two rugby players and their gran.
Take them all out and you have got enough room (according to Škoda) for a small flock of sheep (1780 litres)….what I want to know is what I am going to do with the sheep once I have got them in the back?.
Some things I liked about the Škoda Roomster are small but clever, eg.. the back windows are lower than the front.. I took my 5 yr old daughter out in it, and she loved being able to look out of the window properly from her car seat.
There was also tinted glass on the back windows, another great idea to keep passengers of the car happy. In fact it nice to report that the car feels like it has been designed for the passengers as much as the driver.
Their are several engines to choose ranging from a 1.2 Petrol to a 1.9 Diesel. The model we tried was a 1.4 TDI PD Scout Diesel version, with an excellent 5 speed gearbox that utilises two gearshift cables, meaning gear changes are short and smooth.
For an engine of this size, it has plenty of power and the Roomster has won several awards from the Caravan Club for its caravan towing capabilities, but the engine is a bit noisy. As some compensation for this the stereo is top notch. The trim is unfussy and functional (a good thing) much like the dashboard.
It’s not the fastest car in the world with a top speed of around 100mph but the Diesel engine will do well over 50mpg and Co2 emissions are 124g/km (in the lowest 30% of the market) so if your looking for performance over speed it will save you a few quid down the line too.
Overall it is a great car, and well done for Škoda for having the nerve to bring out something that doesn’t look like everything else, while having the skill to carry it off.
The basic models start at about £11,700, (there is also a ‘green’ Greenline version with lower emissions and better MPG).
For more info visit www.skoda.co.uk