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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Skoda's excellent reliability and build quality, a spacious cabin and distinctive styling.

Against Only a five-seater, love-it-or-hate-it looks, seats hard to manhandle when removed.

Verdict A different kind of MPV: not suitable for all, but good value on the used market.

Go for… 1.4 16v

Avoid… 1.2 16v

Skoda Roomster MPV
  • 1. It has two full size seats in the back, with a slimmer seat in the middle. All three can be reclined, folded forward or removed completely to turn the Roomster into a quasi-van. The middle seat can al
  • 2. Officially the 1.2-litre petrol model manages 42.2mpg on average, the 1.4-litre 41.5mpg and the 1.6-litre 40.4mpg. The lower-powered diesel manages 53.3mpg with the higher powered at 55.4mpg. The 1.9-
  • 3. The diesel Roomsters are greenest, because all models emits under 140g/km of C02. The petrol models range from 159g/km to 185g/km. Insurance is cheap, with the least powerful model starting at group 2
  • 4. Leaky sunroofs and been reported, but this only covers early models, and some clutches can give problems. Some owners complain about noisy air-con systems, but this seems to be characteristic of the s
  • 5. Make sure a Roomster has been maintained properly, and that the cambelt change has been carried out every four years/60,000 miles (except on the 1.2-litre engine which doesn't use a belt).
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Skoda Roomster MPV full review with expert trade views

The quirky Roomster is an unusual reworking of the MPV formula, but it's best thought of as a spacious small family car. It has two full size seats in the back, with a slimmer seat in the middle. All three can be reclined, folded forward or removed completely to turn the Roomster into a quasi-van. The middle seat can also be removed separately to give more shoulder-room for those in the back. In addition, the boot is a decent size and shape,

The Roomster is quite good to drive, with light steering and a tight turning circle – making it ideal for urban streets. On faster roads the ride can be a little wallowy, but it absorbs bumps well and doesn't lean excessively through corners. Wind and road noise are kept in check most of the time, but can be heard at higher speeds.

Skoda have worked hard to build a reputation for quality, and the Roomster feels part of the family. The cabin has a solid finish with a durable feel.

Trade view

More spacious than the likes of the Renault Modus, but cheaper than a Renault Scenic – the Roomster gives you a decent-sized car for your cash.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Roomster's engine options are a mixed bag. The 1.2-litre petrol unit (68bhp) is really too small for this type of car, the 1.4 petrol (85bhp) makes the most sense, but even then it's sluggish, needs to be worked hard and can boom at motorway speeds. The 1.6-litre petrol engine with 105bhp is quicker, but will cost you more to run, and isn't that common on the used market.

The diesel options aren't necessarily better. The 1.4-litre comes with either 69bhp or 79bhp, and a 1.9-litre with 103bhp - best if you intend to load your Roomster up to the gunwales.

Originally, Roomster trims were designated 1, 2, 3 and Scout, but in early 2009 the range was overhauled so that only three models remained: S, SE and Scout. All Roomsters come with front electric windows, a CD player and MP3 player input, but mid-spec 2 or S cars have alloys and air-con and 3/SE trim has cruise control and parking sensors. The Scout comes with a different body kit, making it look like a baby off-roader, but is equipped similarly to an SE.

Trade view

A diesel Roomster only make sense if you intend to do high miles or regularly load up the car: the 1.4-litre petrol model is the value buy for most people.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Officially the 1.2-litre petrol model manages 42.2mpg on average, the 1.4-litre 41.5mpg and the 1.6-litre 40.4mpg. The lower-powered diesel manages 53.3mpg with the higher powered at 55.4mpg. The 1.9-litre comes in at 53.3mpg.

Servicing a Roomster isn't particularly expensive, and Skoda dealers have a very good reputation for customer satisfaction and service.

The diesel Roomsters are greenest, because all models emits under 140g/km of C02. The petrol models range from 159g/km to 185g/km. Insurance is cheap, with the least powerful model starting at group 2 rising to group 5 for the 1.9-litre diesel.

Depreciation will be your biggest cost while owning a Roomster, so make sure you don't pay over the odds in the first place. Car supermarkets are a good place to track down cut-price cars.

Trade view

More spacious than the likes of the Renault Modus, but cheaper than a Renault Scenic – the Roomster gives you a decent-sized car for your cash.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Skodas are famous for their durability and the Roomster appears no different so far.

Leaky sunroofs and been reported, but this only covers early models, and some clutches can give problems. Some owners complain about noisy air-con systems, but this seems to be characteristic of the system and not a fault.

Make sure a Roomster has been maintained properly, and that the cambelt change has been carried out every four years/60,000 miles (except on the 1.2-litre engine which doesn't use a belt).

There has been a recall for the Skoda concerning a problem with the curtain airbags.

Trade view

A diesel Roomster only make sense if you intend to do high miles or regularly load up the car: the 1.4-litre petrol model is the value buy for most people.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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