We drove the all-new Octavia 1.6 FSI in Issue 800, and have now climbed behind the wheel of the oil-burning 140bhp 2.0-litre TDI, which will arrive here in August. The Euro IV-compliant engine provides the Skoda with the same punchy performance as in its classy Audi and VW relatives.
And with a slick six-speed gearbox as standard, the car's cruising ability is first class, too. However, it's not only the latest engines that have found their way into the new line-up; the revolutionary twin-clutch DSG box featured in Audi's TT is an option on Octavia TDIs, too. Offering seamless changes, the Skoda does without the TT's steering-wheel paddles, instead giving manual shifts via a standard auto lever.
With 70 per cent of British Octavia sales expected to be diesels, the 2.0 TDI is available in both Ambiente and Elegance trim. The top-flight latter model driven here is equipped with climate and cruise control, parking sensors, CD autochanger and an alarm as standard, making the TDI more than simply a bargain family car. Plus, in common with its petrol stablemates, the oil-burner impresses with much sharper steering and better body cotrol than the outgoing machine.
What's more, the interior quality is a match for other VW Group models. Added to a load area which is big enough to worry some estates, the Octavia TDI makes a strong case for itself.