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Car reviews - Skoda - Roomster - 5-dr wagon range


Skoda seeks to emulate the European success of its light-sized mini-MPV wagon in Oz

15 Oct 2007

QUESTION: How does ex-Cold War era kid Skoda stand out in a market saturated with smart and established models costing under $30,000? The answer is quite literally that – by standing out. The new Roomster is a tall, boxy and off-beat five-seater wagon with an outstandingly versatile and accommodating cabin, a choice of petrol or diesel powerplants, truly striking design and leading safety attributes, all underpinned by tried, true and modern Volkswagen parts. It sounds like a recipe for success to us, and it might just make you see Eastern European vehicles in a different light... Which, after a spate of Ladas and the FSM Niki 650 of the 1980s and 1990s, is probably a good thing. Anyway, the Roomster is a total groover.
Model release date: 1 October 2007 to 1 November 2010

Previous model

Skoda 120L

Released: 1979
Ended: 1983
Family Tree: Roomster

The first Skoda may have been imported into Australia as far back as 1914, but the marque has been only haphazardly represented here until now. The rugged and robust 120L was the last. It was based on the rear-engined, rear-wheel drive S100/110L model imported from 1974 to 1978, but featured a new body and interior, and widespread improvements to comfort and dynamics. A 38kW 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine providing 85Nm of torque, mated to a four-speed manual gearbox plus independent swing-axle rear suspension made up the 120L’s dated mechanicals. In essence, this small, basic, and utilitarian four-door was an updated version of Renault's 1960s 8/10, and it reflected the austerity of life in Cold War Czechoslovakia, in an era of the VW Golf and Honda Civic. Still, a small but dedicated Skoda following kept sales trickling along until 1983, perhaps because it was also Australia’s cheapest new car at the time. Production finally ceased in 1990.

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