From £11,3958

Steering, suspension and ride comfort

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Skoda Roomster comes with the handling, which surpasses expectations spectacularly even though there is nothing innately special about its strut front, torsion-beam rear suspension.

Subjectively it helps that the driving position is set low, although the seats could do with more support, and that the movement of every major control is smooth, light and well balanced. The Roomster’s suspension is firm enough to cope with a payload of 515kg, more than an Octavia estate, yet it doesn't feel that way.

With its long wheelbase and broad track, the Roomster changes direction eagerly, grips admirably and keeps its composure over undulations. Throw in accurate, nicely weighted steering and supple ride over sharp disturbances, and you have a car that delivers more smiles than you would ever expect.

Unfortunately, the modifications to the Roomster Scout scupper this handling ability. The raised ride height contributes to greater body roll, whilst the combination of longer travel suspension and bigger wheels lends the Scout a choppy ride over uneven surfaces.