Skoda Roomster -

Used Car Review

Skoda Roomster, rear
Skoda Roomster, rear
Skoda Roomster Scout

THE offset window height of the side windows on the Skoda Roomster is not pretty and simply looks like a gimmick at first glance.

But it's great for smaller children sitting in the back because it gives them a much wider view of the world passing by, and that can be a great boon to young families.

The Roomster, which was built until 2015, is an excellent five seat family car and in the mould of all recent Skodas, is just as well built as the cars from VW.

Petrol power starts with a 1.2, but this has only 70bhp and is only available in base S trim.

It's a three-cylinder engine, with a pleasant, distinctive sound, but it is painfully slow and to be avoided, even with its 43mpg economy.

A slightly better choice is the 1.4-litre petrol with 85bhp which is marginally quicker, giving a 0 to 62 time of 12.8 seconds.

Top petrol models have either 1.6-litre VW unit with 105bhp that does the 62 sprint in a much more acceptable 10.9 seconds and is still capable of 40mpg, or the later 1.2 turbo that does the sprint in 10.6 and will get to 49mpg.

There are three diesel power levels but again, the base 1.4 has just 70bhp and takes more than 16 seconds to reach 62! However, it will achieve 53mpg.

Next up the power list is the same 1.4 with 80bhp that is quicker and more economical, but the pick of the bunch is the 1.9TDi with 105bhp used right across the VW group for many years.

It's noisy and not very refined, but does deliver decent performance of 11.1 seconds to 60 and will also do 53mpg.

All Roomsters feel nimble through corners despite their height and offer decent grip when pressing on.

The long wheelbase helps to give a very composed and supple ride too and the VW group power steering is, as ever, right up with the best, with excellent feel and feedback.

All are comfortable to ride in and easy to drive and they have excellent and very versatile interior space.

The controls are light, the gearchange easy and the brakes superb.

The driving position is excellent for all sizes, and visibilty is marvellous all round apart from the quite thick pillars now common for rollover safety.

The inside is huge and the boot is vast, rear legroom is also good and equipment is reasonable even in cheapest versions.

It's also very easy for drivers of all sizes to get comfortable thanks to a height adjustable driver's seat and height and reach adjust steering.

The clever rear seats give great flexibility between passenger and luggage space. They can slide and recline and any of the three can be folded or taken out.

A Scout version from added 4x4-like looks with body cladding and a higher ride height, but it doesn't have four wheel drive.

Standard and S trims are sparsely equipped, but the SE has four electric windows, central locking, parking sensors, electric heated mirrors, alarm, air con and alloys.

Pay around £5,100 for a '13 13-reg 1.2TSi SE, or £6,900 for a '15 15-reg 1.6TDi CR Scout.

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