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The Top Gear car review:Skoda Roomster
For:Comfortable ride wisely prioritised over handling, practicality
Against:Disjointed styling, budget engines suffer from lack of punch
1.6 TDI CR 105 SE 5dr
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What we say:
Think of this as a Yeti made over as an MPV. And made uglier. Interior is well-shaped and eminently usable.
What is it?
Odd-ball family transport that has been eclipsed by the Yeti. High roofline appeals, quirky looks don’t. And it’s not as clever inside as it should be.
The way it tackles corners is more car-like than most MPVs, thanks to good control of body roll. But the steering is wispy-light and low-geared, so you’re denied much sense of fun.
The 1.6 diesel and 1.2 petrol engines make a charming three-cylinder chatter, but don’t actually offer acceleration, especially not if you plan on doing what the Roomster was designed for - carrying stuff. There isn’t an engine in the range that can get you to 60 in 10 seconds.
On the inside
Space certainly isn’t an issue, and as driver you sit in a car-like manner not the upright position of most MPVs.
The perceived quality of the dash and so on is well up to snuff, but we wonder if the materials around the rear seats and load area will be able to resist the scratches and knocks that’ll be dished out to them if a Roomster leads the active life depicted in its brochure.
Three individual rear seats aren’t all the same size, so someone will get the short straw. If there are only two in the back it’s great. Sliding, folding seats make things versatile. They can be removed too, but note they’re bulky and heavy so make sure you have somewhere to store them. And the load bay isn’t as long as you’d expect.
The Roomster tells the usual Skoda story: lowish depreciation, long service intervals, decent diesel economy and a three-year warranty.