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12 Skoda Octavia: Hard to fault this sensible saloon

Octavia is well made, very spacious inside with massive boot and offers a lot of comfort

You know how you might reject a pair of Ecco shoes because they’re just too darned sensible? Or turn down a Marks & Spencer jacket for being just a bit too much what your mother might pick out for you?

We are obsessed with style and fripperies these days, but the Skoda Octavia proves, as do the shoes and the jacket, that being sensible is actually . . . well, sensible.

Okay, so you can pick out the rip-roaring RS model, with either a torquey diesel or a 230hp petrol turbo, and a chassis balance of nigh-perfection.

Most Octavias come with a dead-sensible 1.6 TDI diesel though, and rather less verve than the RS versions, but that’s fine – how could you fail to love a car this well made, with this much space (ma-hoo-sive boot) and this much comfort?

Downsides are that basic-spec versions have very dowdy cabins and that tyre noise on anything less than a perfect surface is dreadful, but that apart, the Octavia is as sensible as it gets.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. 4WD Scout version is the most sensible off-roader you can buy while new 1.0 TSI turbo petrol engine is a gem.

Price range: €18,995 to €38,795

Co2 emissions: 99 to 142g/km

Which one? RS for fun, 1.0 or 1.2 TSI petrol for sense, 1.6 TDI for maximum economy.

PCP from €278 per month