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 113bhp 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 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel might be more up your street. As for the petrol models, the 113bhp 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit is surprisingly perky, with more than enough performance and flexibility for an easy life. 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 148bhp 1.4 turbo. And when you’re not weighed down with cargo, it provide seriously fizzy performance. The sporty vRS models available in both petrol and diesel forms, kick things up a notch further on that score. The 181bhp diesel has a truly mighty mid-range, allowing you to build speed very quickly indeed, but because the grunt tails off towards the top of the rev counter, it’s best to shift up before you get anywhere near the redline. The 227bhp petrol, meanwhile, is a joy to rev out to its limits, giving you a proper hot hatch character as well as proper hot hatch pace. It also pulls hard from anywhere on the dial, making that scorching performance accessible and easy. Like many engines in the range, these vRS models are available with a twin-clutch automatic gearbox, but with all of them – particularly in the case of the petrol-powered vRS – the car is much better with the manual shifter you get as standard. That said, there is another version of the vRS petrol – with 242bhp – that we’re yet to try. On all versions we have sampled, none of the engines are noisy to a bothersome level, although the 1.0-litre petrol and smaller diesel can chug a bit if you work them hard. Road- and wind noise are also impressively well contained, even at motorway speeds.