Week at the wheel: Skoda Roomster Scout

24 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Week at the wheel: Skoda Roomster Scout


Week at the Wheel | Skoda Roomster Scout |

Inside Out:

Skoda’s Roomster simply looks like a tall Fabia. It’s neither here nor there in the desirability stakes, but it’s fair to say that most buys will go in for its practicality, price and low running costs rather than its looks.

The Scout model has a slightly more rugged appearance with a jacked-up stance, metal under-tray and big plastic bumpers and arches, but those additions are unlikely to make it a master of mountains.

Engine Transmission:

TSI engines are all the rage with Volkswagen Group products these days. They’re plenty punchy enough and the absence of turbo lag means smooth acceleration and superior fuel economy. In short, they’re much quicker and more frugal than a slightly larger naturally aspirated petrol engine.

While there’s no doubting the impressive nature of the TSI units – and the seven-speed DSG gearbox – the 1.2-litre version doesn’t suit the Roomster as well as the sorted TDI diesel engines do. Despite the extra shove from the combined super- and turbocharger, there’s a fair bit of weight to haul around, which the relaxed TDI engines simply cope with better.

In this guise, the Roomster needs a bit of a thrash to get anywhere – and that’s probably not something that its target audience will want to do. The transmission seems a little fussy and can’t quite find a gear it likes all the time. Perhaps seven gears is one too many for such a sedate car.

Give us a 1.6 TDI any day – it just suits the Roomster better.

Ride Handling:

The Roomster’s tall stance and slab sides mean that there’s a fair bit of body roll in the corners, which is emphasised by the Scout model, as it rides higher. It’s comfortable enough, though, if a little bouncy.

Grip is plentiful and the steering is quite precise, though it can be slightly slow to respond at times.

Equipment, Economy Value for Money:

With a starting price of Ј13,890 for the 1.2 TSI Scout with 85bhp, it’s fair to say that the Skoda won’t break the bank. One good thing about the Czech firm is that it has a sterling reputation for customer service, while aftermarket care is a given, so it’s one of the better car makers to buy from.

Basic equipment includes a CD/mp3 stereo and electric front windows, but entry-level cars miss out on central locking. Scout models get all the mock-4×4 trimmings as well as a leather steering wheel. Expect 49.6mpg from the 1.2-litre TSI model and emissions of 134g/km.


Skoda’a Roomster Scout is hardly a bad car, but it’s not a great one either. You get the usual Skoda benefits of good value, low running costs and a sound reliability reputation, but it’s not particularly inspiring. The roof may be high, but unless you’re stacking luggage upwards on a regular basis then there’s little more appeal than there is in a Fabia hatchback, which is a fine car and our choice all the way.

Jack Carfrae. Photography by Max Earey. – 18 Nov 2010

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