Review: Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015)
Roomy boot and plenty of storage space. Decent handling and easy to drive with good visiblity. Well built and good value.
No sliding rear side doors. Centre rear seat is narrow in the back. No spare wheel from 2009. Multiple electrical failures seem to be a common problem.
Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015): At A Glance
Skoda’s van-shaped Roomster might be showing its age, but there’s no denying its practicality. There’s a large boot, sliding rear seats and masses of headroom in an airy, spacious cabin. It’s not the most sophisticated of family cars, but as a no nonsense everyday car it’s impressive, offering more comfort and quality than a Citroen Berlingo Multispace or similar van-based car at the expense of outright size.
The engine range has changed several times over the Roomster’s production life, but currently it’s made up of four 1.2-litre petrol engines with between 69PS, plus three diesel engines with between 75PS and 105PS. None of these is particularly speedy, but the Roomster is more about economy than pace – all of the engines are reasonably frugal with the Greenline models able to returm more than 65mpg according to the official figures.
The driving dynamics aren’t exactly pin-sharp but the payoff is good levels of ride comfort. Speed bumps, potholes and undulations in the road are all absorbed well, even on the larger 17-inch alloy wheels. The controls are well-weighted and precise, which makes for a likeable and relaxed driving experience, helped further by the large glass area, giving good visibility.
The back row of seats can be folded, slid and tumbled individually, which makes the rear load space flexible and practical. Its minimum capacity is a still-spacious 450 litres, but that can be expanded to a huge 1780 litres if needs be. That makes it ideal for carrying bulky items or for dog owners.
The Skoda Roomster is a well thought out and practical family car. Rival models are typically van-based and lack the solid, car-like cabin and well-judged suspension set up of the Roomster. For those who want van-like space – but who don’t want a van – the Roomster is ideal.
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Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 450–1780 litres
Up front the Roomster is very much the same as the Skoda Fabia. The driving position is upright and comfortable and the controls are well-placed and easily reached. It’s starting to show its age a little, but it’s hard to pick fault – everything is solidly made and easy to operatel. More important is the back row of seats and the boot - with a spacious 450-litre load capacity and individually sliding folding rear seats, the Roomster is all about practicality.
That said, the middle seat is actually quite narrow, so is better suited to small children. Adults will be comfortable in the other two seats, thanks to ample head and kneeroom. Each seat can be slid, reclined, folded or tumbled individually, so owners can choose a layout that suits their needs the best. With all of the seats tumbled forward there's a sizeable 1780 litres of capacity.
This is paired with a load deck that makes the Roomster very versatile. People who need to carry large, heavy items or those with big dogs will find the Roomster does all they need. One problem with the otherwise impressive boot is the large, upwards swinging tailgate, which can be a pain in tight car parking spaces because of how much space is required to open it. Split, van-style rear doors would be easier.
There are a few more limitations. Unlike a Ford B-MAX or a van-based MPV like the Citroen Berlingo Multispace there are no sliding rear doors for tight spaces and, while the boot is pretty spacious, it lags behind the likes of the Renault Kangoo. Those vehicles feel less polished from the driver’s seat though, so it’s a compromise some people will be happy to make.
Entry-spec Roomster models come with the essentials, including electric windows, but air conditioning is an additional £560. Moving up to SE trim adds luxuruies including standard fit air conditioning and alloy wheels. Skoda also makes a Scout model, which has off-roader styling including brushed aluminium bumper inserts, plus larger alloy wheels, although it's not four-wheel drive.
S models come with a 12V socket in boot, CD-player with aux-in, four speakers, electric front windows, height adjustable driver’s seat, Isofix mounting points, ‘Varioflex’ seating and 15-inch steel wheels. Air conditioning is an additional £560.
Greenline II models gain 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, energy recovery system and an eight-speaker audio.
SE trim adds floor mats, glovebox cover, height adjustable passenger seat, trip computer, storage tray in boot, storage tray under passenger seat, 15-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, tinted rear windows, parking sensors, cruise control, remote central locking and air conditioning.
Scout models have Scout-specific upholstery, 16-inch alloy wheels, Scout-specific body-styling
Child seats that fit a Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015) like to drive?
The Roomster has been available for a few years, so the engine range has been tweaked several times. Currently it is made up of four 1.2-litre petrol engines, plus three diesel engines – one 1.2-litre and two 1.6-litre. The most frugal of these is the 75PS 1.2 TDI Greenline II, which produces 109g/km of CO2 and achieves official economy of 67.3mpg.
The 1.6-litre diesel is slightly less economical but it is a better performer on faster A-roads and motorways in either 90PS or 105PS forms. Many drivers will be better suited to a petrol engine, but the entry level 69PS 1.2-litre is best avoided – it has high emissions of 143g/km. The turbocharged 1.2 TSI engines are better, offering improved economy and emissions and better performance.
Both the 86PS and 105PS versions of the 1.2 TSI are impressive. In-gear performance is good because peak torque is available from low in the rev range, so it’s not necessary to rev the engine hard to accelerate. The 105PS TSI is the only engine in the range offered with an automatic transmission, though it is a DSG and so best avoided unless you really need an automatic.
The controls are well-weighted, with a solid feel that inspires confidence. The steering is accurate enough but is hardly the last word in feedback and precision but the gear change is slick and precise. The Roomster does show its age in some areas though, notably refinement. Diesel engines can be heard grumbing away and suspension thumps, albeit very comfortably, over road imperfections.
Indeed, the Roomster is a comfortable drive. The suspension has been tuned to give good ride quality over potholes, uneven road surfaces and speed bumps, even on larger alloy wheels. The trade-off is bodyroll, which is very noticeable when changing direction suddenly or when cornering hard – though the car does remain predictable and safe even if it does wallow around.
|1.2||42–46 mpg||15.9 s||143–159 g/km|
|1.2 TDI Greenline||67 mpg||15.4 s||109 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 105||50 mpg||10.9 s||134 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 105 DSG||50 mpg||11.0 s||134 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 86||50 mpg||12.6 s||134 g/km|
|1.4||42 mpg||13.0 s||162 g/km|
|1.4 Scout||42 mpg||13.0 s||162 g/km|
|1.4 TDI||53–55 mpg||14.7–16.5 s||135–139 g/km|
|1.4 TDI Scout||55 mpg||14.7 s||135 g/km|
|1.6||40 mpg||10.9 s||165–167 g/km|
|1.6 Scout||40 mpg||10.9 s||165 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 105||60 mpg||11.5 s||124 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 90||60 mpg||13.3 s||124 g/km|
|1.9 TDI||53 mpg||11.5 s||139 g/km|
|1.9 TDI Scout||53 mpg||11.5 s||139 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Roomster (2006 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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