Soon to be available to the Australian new car buyer is the Skoda Roomster. The Skoda Roomster is a car that will appeal to the buyer who wants a small commuter or small family wagon.
The Roomster has an exterior design that is fresh and functional. Now the words fresh and functional do not mean that this is a car that looks dull and boring. The side-on lines are elegant, and the design incorporates large windows and a highly positioned rear light arrangement. Cast your eye over the nose, and the little Roomster reveals a classy front end that is both sporty and rather suave. This has to be the best small wagon/hatch design that I have seen for some time. In my opinion, it looks even better than the attractive Mazda 3.
The Skoda Roomster comes in two trim levels which are simply called the FSI and TDI. There are two sprightly engines available. The petrol version is the 77 kW 1.6 Litre FSI engine, and the 1.9 Litre TDI has 77 kW diesel power. A five-speed manual is available for both models. The impressive little six-speed automatic gearbox is a sweet shifter and is available on the FSI model.
Step inside any Skoda Roomster and you will find plenty of plastic. However, the facia is padded and the build quality, fit and finish are excellent. This is a very solid little car that has been designed and fitted together extremely well. The driver’s seat has a height adjustment and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, making the little Skoda Roomster a delightfully comfortable car to drive. The height of the car’s design gives plenty of head room for tall adults in the rear. All occupants will therefore be pleasantly comfortable on any long and lengthy trips.
When underway, the gearshift is particularly slick, easy and accurate. Body roll is minimal, and even with the simple torsion-beam rear suspension set-up the power steering is crisp and the handling excellent. Road undulations are soaked up nicely by the compliant chassis. The swiftest engine is the little 1.6 litre power plant. In this guise, the Skoda Roomster can muster a 0-100kph sprint time of 10.9 seconds. Ok, it’s not a cracking pace but it is responsive and does deliver an enjoyable driving experience. Obviously, the diesel engine variant is a bit slower, but neither model were ever intended for the race track. The chassis more than makes up for the light engine power, and Skoda Roomsters can be made to hustle along quickly when required. Perhaps the 1.9 TDI is the most relaxing to drive, and, in the real world, the better torque figure (250 Nm) makes for swifter high speed travelling and nicer cruising. The petrol powered Skoda Roomster 1.6 litre is less frugal on gas, but by no means will it break the bank. It still does, on average, 40 mpg. The diesel economy is simply outstanding.
A Skoda Roomster might be small, but the safety levels are very impressive. The Roomster has scored the full five stars for adult protection in the Euro NCAP crash tests, and a superb four out for four for child protection. There are front, side and curtain airbags, and all three rear seats have three-point seat belts. A quirky little active safety feature is the self steering headlights and the wide-angle fog lights which come on automatically when cornering tightly at low speeds. ABS and electronic brake-force distribution are standard, and ESP is an optional extra.
All Skoda Roomsters have electric front windows, body-coloured bumpers and a single-CD player with an MP3 input. The Roomster 2 adds alloy wheels (still 15”), more speakers, a remote control for the central locking, and manual air-conditioning among other things. A Roomster 3 adds bigger wheels and plusher upholstery, leather for the steering wheel and gearknob, front foglights, 16” alloys and the panoramic sun roof; while steerable lights, electric rear windows and automatic air-conditioning are left on the options list.
If I needed a new little car, this would certainly be on my list of cars to test drive. The Roomster’s design excellence, safety, practicality and on-road manners get a big tick.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Skoda Roomster, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Skoda dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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