And it promises 'grip in excess'. Fans of powerslides, look away now...
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£13,950 when new
The photo above is of the face-lifted Skoda Roomster. We tell you this because we’re guessing that most of you probably won’t have noticed the (admittedly very subtle) mid-life changes. In fairness, we only did because the press release told us what they were… information that we will now pass on to you. They are these: a new, wider grille and sparkly 3D headlamps… and that’s pretty much it externally. The biggest and best changes are hidden from sight, under the bonnet. Which is probably why you didn’t notice them – it is, after all, infinitely tricky to see through metal. New to the Roomster, although already known to us in other Skoda products (Yeti, Fabia), are three 1.2-litre petrol engines and two 1.6-litre diesels. We drove the 1.2 TSI, which comes in three power outputs – 70, 85 or 105bhp. They’re all capable enough, but anyone other than elderly ex-librarians should avoid the 70-horse version and aim for the brand-new and surprisingly quick 85bhp car or the top-of-the-range 105bhp model instead. Also new is a seven-speed DSG box – available with the 105bhp engine only. It’s OK, but suffers from a fairly slow response time, which seems endemic in DSG boxes. Much better to save the extra cost of the auto ’box (£710) and choose your own gearchanges with the five-speed manual.