- 20/12/2006 - Test drive  Skoda  Van

Skoda Roomster - Test Drive

Il Gruppo punta sull’MPV allargando la sua offerta

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Skoda’s existing model range is to get even more exciting with the addition of a unique and totally original fourth model. The Skoda Roomster will go on sale in the UK this September. Bringing the Roomster concept car, shown at the IAA in Frankfurt three years ago represented a special challenge for Skoda Auto. Even at the concept stage, the form and proportions of the Roomster met with widespread approval. One of the main reasons for this was the strong exterior design – the Roomster conveys its inner values outwards and, in doing so, also displays its identity for all to see. The Skoda Roomster today is a modern expansion of the model range offered by Skoda Auto. In the recent past, the brand has become known for cars of a more classical design, which, in addition to the high level of technology, exceptional reliability and quality, also exhibit an excellent price-performance ratio. The Skoda Roomster fits these values, too. The Roomster follows the lines of a compact MPV but differs from its competitors in this segment thanks to its unconventional design. Despite measuring just 4,205 millimetres in length, by means of its movable rear seats, the Roomster provides a variable boot volume of between 450 and 530 litres, which is among the largest in the class. Design To maximise the available interior space, the design team at Skoda created two different areas within the cabin. The front zone is designed to cater for the needs of the driver – a "driving room" with a clear cockpit design. The dashboard is clearly laid-out, with ergonomically designed instruments and operating controls as well as comfortable seats, which can be adjusted exactly to suit the driver. The rear of the Skoda Roomster is designed as a comfortable and flexible "living room". Large side windows, seating, which is 46 millimetres higher than those in the front, and the innovative ‘VarioFlex’ seating system combine to make it possible to configure the rear at will. The raised position of the rear seats affords passengers the best possible view to the front and to the traffic. The large side windows and the optional panoramic roof also create excellent lighting conditions throughout the whole of the interior and, in the event there being too much light streaming in, can be curtained off with blinds. The flexibility of the living room will appeal to families of all ages for all tasks. The middle seat armrest can be folded forward where two storage compartments for drinks are integrated. With effortless ease, the whole seat, which weighs 11 kilograms, can also be removed completely. The two outer seats can then be pushed inwards by 110 millimetres, creating a four-seater layout with increased shoulder room and seating comfort. The outer rear seats can be slid forward and back by 150 millimetres. Headroom for rear seat passengers is 1009 millimetres, which not only generates an exceptional feeling of spaciousness but is also especially useful in a car of this class. The angles of the seat backs in the rear can be adjusted individually by 13.5 degrees. The flexibility of the Roomster’s interior is hard to find elsewhere. Boot capacity ranges from 450 to 1780 litres and the countless storage options will keep every passenger happy. The dynamic front section is characterised by the newly interpreted radiator grille with a large chrome surround and more pronounced ribs. The clear glass headlights are drawn well back into the wings, following a line that continues to the B pillar. Air intake vents in the middle and at each side of the large front bumper give the Skoda Roomster a strong road presence, while in the upper range versions front fog lamps occupy the openings on the left and the right, completing the visual package. The windscreen and side windows combine to form a single optical unit, while the line which harmoniously defines the front of the car has a wraparound appearance. The rear, with deep set windows, which stretch up towards the roof surface, differs clearly from the front of the car. This gives passengers in the rear an excellent view and, in addition, floods the interior with light – thus generating a feeling of well-being. This "panorama" effect is of particular value for families. Experience has shown that children become bored when they can see nothing of the landscape. When the rear window is opened, the glass remains a good hand’s width above the lower rim of the window frame: a plus in safety, as toys and other objects are less likely to fall out. And the danger of leaning too far out is also reduced. The large rear doors make getting in and out easy and comfortable. The handles are integrated in the vertical framework immediately in front of the C-pillar making the optical impression of the side both clear and elegant. In the rear, the high roofline reinforces the Roomster’s load-carrying ability, while the slim, crescent-shaped rear lights are positioned high up on the D pillar. When the lights are switched on, a C-shaped area is illuminated – already a characteristic feature of the Skoda Octavia and the Octavia Estate. Even in the dark, the Roomster is clearly recognisable from behind as a member of the Skoda family. Engines Three petrol and three diesel engines are offered for the Roomster. The petrol range starts with a 1.2-litre 70 bhp petrol engine. Further up the performance range sits a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 85 bhp producing 132 Nm torque at 3800 rpm. The most powerful petrol engine available is a 1.6 litre petrol unit with 105 bhp and 155 Nm torque at 3800 rpm. The diesel line-up consists of a 1.4-litre and a 1.9-litre engine. The two smaller three-cylinder provide 70 bhp and 80 bhp while their torque maximums are 155 and 195 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm and 2200 rpm respectively. The most powerful diesel engine is the 1.9 TDI PD 105 bhp, four-cylinder model from the 1.9 litre family. It generates a powerful 240 Nm at a mere 1800 rpm. All engines meet EU 4 exhaust emission standards. The fuel tank of the Roomster has a 55 litre capacity. All engines are linked to a manual five-speed gearbox as standard. A six-gear automatic transmission will be available as an option for the more powerful petrol versions and will be available after launch.