A novel and attractive addition to a crowded market. Wait to see the final pricing on UK models before committing, though - it could prove expensive.

What's new?Oddly-shaped body combines car-like front cabin and MPV-style rear cabin in a funky rising-roof body design which is easy to like. Underpinnings bear no direct relationship to other VW group models: Roomster chassis and suspension combine Czech-made bits from existing models: Fabia front end with Octavia rear, plus some new stuff in between.What's it like?Impressive all over. Lots of space, and versatile layout of seats which can either fold into a dozen different configurations or lift easily out.Roomster is a neat handler with wide tracks and a low driver's seating position, so it feels very car-like. Nicely-weighted steering. Corners neutrally and grips well; tends towards understeer near the limit. Great feature is the combo of good body control and a quiet, supple ride over ruts and ripples: they're as easy to find in the Czech Republic (where Roomster is made) as in the UK.Meaty four-cylinder turbo diesel isn't especially impressive for power, but has bags of torque, which gives it long motorway legs and makes it dead simple to drive. It's fairly quiet, too, which chimes in well with Roomster's fairly low road and wind noise, too.Should I buy one?You should, if you're looking for something different in a market sector crowded with some pretty ordinary-looking contenders. Chances are you'll enjoy driving this one more than most. Might be worth trying a bit of haggling, though.Skoda claims it is keeping to its 'value pricing' policy, but aghainst a Citroën Xsara Picasso, Roomster starts to look expensive - especially at the top of the three-tier range.Is it overpriced? We'll know early next year, when it's had a few months to settle into the market.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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