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Skoda Roomster (2016): oddball wagon reborn as badge-engineered VW Caddy

Published: 09 October 2015

► Skoda Roomster is back in 2016
► Reborn as a (duller) VW Caddy twin
► More practical, but less quirky 

Are Skoda's creative boom years over? We revealed last month how the next-generation Yeti will be robbed of its quirkily independent spirit as it falls in line with the new VW Tiguan crossover - and now here's proof the future Skoda Roomster will be a less distinctive prospect too.

Our spy photos capture the 2016 Roomster on test in Europe, confirming that it will indeed be just a rebodied VW Caddy van, with only modest styling changes at the front to Skoda-ise the design. Yes, it's following the same path as the Skoda Citigo, née VW Up/Seat Mii.

Seems Skoda's growth cycle has reached a point of maturity?

It seems that way. CAR magazine's latest scoop pictures confirm what we already knew: that Skoda is being forced into line with group strategy - and the days of more wantonly different designs for niche products appear to be over.

The original Skoda Roomster, launched in 2006, was a strangely leftfield tallboy - a mix of high-roof Japanese multispace vehicle with a hint of Euro MPV and lashings of unique character. It's never set the sales charts alight however (it's the least popular Skoda on sale in the UK, selling only around 3000 a year), forcing the Czechs into a corner where the new model had to be more closely allied to a VW group product. In this case the roomy Caddy van.

When can we see the new 2016 Skoda Roomster?

Expect the new MPV/van to be launched at a motor show in summer 2016 - but the UK importer has yet to commit to right-hand drive sales. It's bound to have oodles of space onboard, with those van roots and the sliding side doors will aid practicality further. We anticipate a suite of VW group engines and transmissions, and most likely 4wd will be available too.

Click here to read about the FOUR new SUVs being prepared by Skoda.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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