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Skoda Roomster 2013 Review

The Skoda Roomster makes a bold statement both on the road and in its load carrying versatility.

Roomster sounds more like some character from a teen TV show than an innovative compact runabout. The twee title does not do justice to this well thought out Skoda.

However, on closer scrutiny, the name is pretty much on the mark, for the car ‘makes room’; room for almost anything anyone could want from a vehicle of this size.


The Roomster comes onto the market at $22,490, plus on-roads, for the five-speed manual, while the seven-speed DSG auto costs $24,790. The test vehicle, a five-speed manual with pearl effect paint and contrasting roof, sells for $23,370. 

Standard equipment includes an auxiliary socket allowing MP3 connection, a 12V socket in the boot, black roof rails, four-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Extremely quiet at idle, the engine of the test Roomster made itself known only when accelerating with urgency.


The Roomster first hit Aussie shores in 2007 and has been extensively upgraded with a new, more economical engine and the option of a DSG automatic transmission. The new Roomster enjoys the benefit of a new 1.2-litre 77 kW turbocharged petrol engine producing 175 Nm, 22 Nm more torque than the outgoing 1.6-litre engine. It showcases a 1.1 litre per 100 kilometre improvement in combined fuel consumption and a 34 grams/km reduction in CO2 emissions.

The motor can be mated with a five-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DSG double-clutch automatic transmission, the latter operating in two modes – fully automatic or manual Tiptronic.


With one of the most flexible interiors in the segment, Roomster offers as much interior space as a conventional multipurpose vehicle, all within the space of a mere 214 mm more than a Skoda Fabia hatch.

It has a modern new look on the outside and top quality interior trim. The Roomster’s cabin has come in for material and equipment upgrades with more soft-touch plastics and higher specification entertainment systems, while maintaining its passenger and load carrying versatility through clever seating.   

Again the Roomster has the innovative Varioflex rear seating arrangement. Revisiting the Varioflex rear seating system, it’s easy to see the appeal of such versatility. The theatre-style rear seating, positioned higher than the front seats for a better all-round view, takes three occupants with the centre seat raised. Folded down it becomes an armrest, a drink holder or for storage.

This middle section, which weighs just 11 kilograms, can be easily removed giving more shoulder space for the two remaining occupants. Alternatively, they can cosy up by shifting both seats inboard. Leg room is impressive thanks to seat rails offering 150 mm of movement forward and back and an adjustable seat back that reclines by 13.5 degrees.

Cargo gets its own characteristic storage features. With five passengers on board, the load area allows up 450 litres of space. Fold the rear seats down and volume increases to 1555 litres on a surface of up to 1022 millimetres. In addition to the removable centre seat, the two outer chairs, each weighing a middleweight 16 kg, can also be removed completely by pulling on the clearly-marked levers.

The Roomster thus becomes a two-seater van with a volume of 1780 litres. The almost vertical side walls and low loading edge make it easy to take goods, even up to the roofline. Tie-down points on the floor can secure large and heavy items.

All this is packaged in a vehicle measuring only 4214 mm long, yet with a wheelbase of 2608 mm - small car, big help. The extra millimetres also help to give the vehicle a stable ride. By having a slightly wider track at the rear, corners can be taken with confidence, while a low kerb weight also enhances handling.

On the outside, the Roomster has taken on a more assertive road presence. With a new, wider radiator grille and headlamp design, plus the wraparound windscreen, the vehicle looks wider and lower than the previous model. Large windows open up the rear of the cabin, while hidden rear door handles emphasise the vehicle’s clean, uncluttered profile which leads to a rear featuring high positioned slim tail lights incorporating Skoda’s typical C-shape when lit.


The Roomster has gained a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, having three-point seat belts on all seats, including the centre rear, and height-adjustable belts in front fitted with pre-tensioners. Additionally, there are six airbags – driver and passenger, side and curtain.


With only 77 kW on tap maximum revs needed to be maintained to shift the five-speed manual smoothly through the gears. Anything less had the motor gasping for air. Expect to get fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle, while putting out 138g of carbon dioxide every kilometre.

Skoda Roomster

Price: from $22,490 (plus driveaway costs)
Warranty: three years/unlimited km
Crash rating: 5-star ANCAP
Engine: 1.2-litre 4-cylinder, 77kW/175Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, FWD
Body: 4214mm (L); 1684mm (w); 1607mm (h)
Weight: 1217kg
Thirst: 5.9L/100km 138g/km CO2





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77 TSI 1.2L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $6,300 – 9,790 2013 Skoda Roomster 2013 77 TSI Pricing and Specs
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