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Week at the wheel: Skoda Roomster Scout. Image by Max Earey.

Week at the wheel: Skoda Roomster Scout
Skoda's practical Scout is now available with the VW Group's impressive 1.2-litre TSI engine under the bonnet.

   



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| Week at the Wheel | Skoda Roomster Scout |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

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: star star star star star

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: star star star star star

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: star star star star star

With a starting price of 13,890 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-4x4 trimmings as well as a leather steering wheel. Expect 49.6mpg from the 1.2-litre TSI model and emissions of 134g/km.

Overall: star star star star star

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



  www.skoda.co.uk    - Skoda road tests
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2010 Skoda Roomster Scout specifications: (Scout 1.2 TSI 105)
Price: 14,540 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 114mph
Combined economy: 49.6mpg
Emissions: 134g/km
Kerb weight: 1237kg

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.



2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.
 

2010 Skoda Roomster. Image by Max Earey.
 






 

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