You’d be hard pushed to find anyone standing nearby admiring this car’s styling, but looks aren’t everything and the Roomster MPV does what it says on the tin – it’s got plenty of space.
The cabin is supposed to feel like that of a smaller car, which it does, while the rear is a tardis and is large enough to comfortably accommodate two leggy passengers and a child, a couple of bicycles, or half the local garden centre with my mother in tow.
A play around with the rear seats reveals a myriad of different seating combinations to maximise the available space in the back – the seats can slide forward and backwards, while all can be removed to create a versatile load area.
Though it’s relatively small by MPV standards, the Roomster’s long windows and panoramic sunroof look good and make the car feel big and airy.
According to one friend of mine, “it’s like being driven around in a greenhouse”.
She meant it as a compliment.
Roomsters, however, are not ideal for stumpy drivers.
The dashboard is quite high and I have to sacrifice a comfortable driving position if I want to see over it clearly.
It also takes a while to get used to looking past the awkwardly positioned front and side pillars, which are a nuisance when checking your blind spot.
It’s a purely practical vehicle, a lifestyle utility. As a family car it must be a godsend.
As a single female, I’ve found the car feels very safe and pleasant to drive but I haven’t really tested its true capacity.
Nevertheless, it has been a worthy vessel for my luggage and sports equipment, with bags of room to spare.
There are also plenty of cubby holes, especially handy if you collect as many sweet wrappers, newspapers and CD cases as I do.
I’ve also grown rather fond of the stitched leather steering wheel.
So far, the Roomster has performed without incident and, after initial scepticism – mostly stemming from its unusual styling – I’m definitely warming to it.
It’s also proving very cost-effective – I’m averaging 48mpg and a recent service cost just over £100.
Price: £14,070 (£14,420 as tested)
CO2 emissions 139
Company car tax bill (2007) 22% tax-payer: £47 per month
Insurance group: 5
Combined mpg: 51.4
Test mpg: 48.0
CAP Monitor RV: £4,375/30%
Contract hire rate : £313
Expenditure to date: £110 (service)