Skoda Roomster Scout – Yahoo Cars

21 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Skoda Roomster Scout – Yahoo Cars

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The Roomster is essentially a Skoda Fabia hatchback with a much bigger and taller boot. The Fabia is a fine all-round car and the Roomster aims to improve on that with greater practicality, while the Scout model tested here has a jacked-up stance, metal under-trays and plastic cladding for the bumpers and wheelarches, which make it suitable for some very mild off-roading. It also marks the addition of a 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine to the line-up, aiming to offer a decent blend of performance and economy.

What are its rivals?

The Peugeot Partner, the Citroen Berlingo and the Renault Kangoo are the Skoda#39;s biggest competitors. They#39;re all based on vans, but have been converted into cars to create a super practical tool in each manufacturer#39;s range. None of them are particularly sexy, but they#39;re all very sensible.

How does it drive?

TSI petrol engines are a common sight beneath the bonnets of cars from the Volkswagen Group at the moment. They have a turbocharger and a supercharger, which makes for punchy but smooth acceleration, with no loss of power at very low revs like you get with a turbo alone. Smaller TSI engines often have more power and superior fuel economy than larger, non-turbo engines too, so they#39;re worth a look for that reason.

Impressive though the TSI engines may be, the 1.2-litre version seems a little out of place in the Roomster. That big rear end means that there#39;s quite a lot of weight to haul around, so the engine feels slightly strangled. The seven-speed DSG semi-automatic gearbox can#39;t quite decide what gear it wants either.

We can#39;t help but think that the 1.6-litre TDI Roomster with the manual gearbox simply does the job better.

What#39;s impressive?

With a starting price of £13,890 for the 1.2 TSI Scout with 85bhp, the Roomster looks like good value. Skoda also has a strong reputation for good customer service and aftermarket care, which is another big draw.

It may be a petrol engine, but the 1.2-litre unit is highly economical and can put many modern diesels to shame. According to Skoda, you#39;ll see 49.6mpg on average and emissions are only 134g/km, so you#39;re looking at £110 for the annual tax disc.

The boot is pretty big, too. Expect 450 litres with the rear seats in place – fold them down and you#39;re looking at 1,780 litres in total, which is huge.

What#39;s not?

We#39;ve already mentioned the slightly lacklustre performance and it#39;s a given that Skoda#39;s TDI diesel engines suit the car much better. Don#39;t be fooled by the #39;off-road#39; look either: the Scout might ride higher than the standard Roomster and feature some 4×4-style cladding, but it#39;s no off-roader.

Should I buy one?

We wouldn#39;t steer you away from the Roomster – it#39;s well built, affordable and spacious – but our engine choice would be the 1.6 TDI unit. As good as the 1.2-litre TSI engine is, we#39;d be swayed by the easy-going nature of the diesel, which suits the Roomster much better. Also, if you don#39;t need the space of the Roomster, then a Fabia hatchback is better looking and even more of a bargain.

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