Skoda Roomster

The Essentials

  • Price from £11,855
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 67.3mpg
  • What is it? The Skoda Roomster is a spacious mini-MPV that comes with a reasonable price, but rivals are more versatile

Great

  • Feels really open and spacious inside
  • You can rearrange the seats to suit all sorts of needs
  • Big discounts are available, running costs won't break the bank

Gripes

  • Mind your back when taking the back seats out: they're really heavy
  • It's hard to see past the front pillars
  • If you choose the noisy 1.4 petrol engine, you may need earplugs
  • Drive

    You can steer it using just your fingertips, whether you're in town or doing motorway speeds

  • Inside

    It's hard to see past the pillars when parking but the driver's seat is comfy

  • Safety

    You have to pay extra for curtain airbags but there are ISOFIX seat mountings for the kids

  • Reliability

    Skoda has built a great reputation for reliability, so you needn't lose any sleep

  • Space

    There's plenty of flexible space inside and the boot's a big one, too

  • Standard and extras

    The basic models have hardly any frills but upgrade and you can have climate control and parking sensors

  • What's it like to drive?

    If you're planning on filling your Roomster with people or cargo, avoid the weedy entry-level petrol engine and opt for one that's turbocharged. If your mileage is high, one of the beefier diesels will be your best bet as long as you can put up with the racket.
    The Skoda grips well and the steering is reasonably accurate, but the low-speed ride is jittery and the tall body tips over through the corners. Scout models, with extra ground clearance, feel firmer and more top-heavy.

  • What's it like inside?

    Hone your spatial awareness before boarding the Roomster (or get one with parking sensors): the windscreen pillars are chunky and it's hard to work out where the bonnet ends. The driver's seat and steering wheel adjust two ways, though, so at least you'll be criticising the designers in comfort.
    The back seats are versatile and will recline, fold or detach altogether if required  (they're heavy, so watch your back). Although fitting three across the back would be a squeeze, (the middle seat is very narrow), if you're moving four people you can take out the middle seat altogether and slide the two seats in to give them more shoulder room.
    Entry-level Roomsters have electric front windows, a CD player and a socket for your MP3 player, but no remote door locking. That comes on SE models, along with air-conditioning, electric rear windows, parking sensors and a panoramic sunroof.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Roomster didn't feature in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Skoda as a whole came second in the overall manufacturer league table, with most models proving dependable.
    The Roomster scored the maximum five stars for adult protection, and four out of five for child protection in Euro NCAP crash tests: a good result. Six airbags and Isofix child seat points are standard but stability control costs extra across the range.

  • Should I buy one?

    Prices are on a par with versatile supermini-based MPVs such as the Renault Modus and Nissan Note, but in terms of interior space and boot capacity the Roomster compares well with bigger cars such as the Renault Scenic compact-MPV. Big discounts and affordable running costs add to its appeal.