The regular Octavia range is available with a choice of two petrol engines and two diesels, all of which are available with either a manual or dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The diesels will suit those doing regular high mileage; the 115-horsepower 1.6-litre is sufficient for everyday motoring, with enough grunt to mean you won’t have to stir the gearbox too much to achieve decent progress. But, if you’re regularly carrying loads or passengers, the extra power and torque of the 150-horsepower 2.0-litre diesel might be more up your street.
As for the petrol models, the 115-horsepower 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit is surprisingly perky, with more than enough performance and flexibility. But, like with the diesels, if you regularly carry much in the way of people and luggage, though, you’ll welcome the extra muscle provided by the 150-horsepower 1.5-litre turbo.
The sporty vRS models, available in both petrol and diesel forms kick things up a notch. The diesel comes with four-wheel drive and feels very strong in the mid-range while the petrol is seriously and features a fancy traction-boosting system lifted from the superlative Golf GTI
to put its power down come rain or shine. Both are DSG automatic only.