Skoda is introducing the Octavia with a couple of First Edition models that pack in plenty of on-board technology and wider equipment for long-time Octavia fans who want the new car – and who won’t be put off by a slightly high price. Our test car was one such example, with its adaptive cruise control, heated seats, padded dashboard – and its near-£30k before-options price.

You can expect most Octavias to be less generously equipped, with SE Technology trim (priced from £22,195) likely to lead the sales mix. These cars will get Virtual Cockpit instruments and Skoda’s 10.0in Columbus touchscreen infotainment.

Diesel Octavia and Ford Focus estates don’t perform too well against hybrid Toyota Corolla when it comes to residuals.

They won’t get some of our test car’s driver assistance and active safety systems as standard – and the upper-level tune of the 2.0-litre diesel engine is denied them, too. Even so, that’s still strong value for money.

And the even better news is that you can clearly expect very strong fuel economy from your Octavia diesel, if our testing is anything to go by. Even in 148bhp tune and rolling on optional 18in wheels, our test car averaged better than 50mpg across the full gamut of road and track testing (which is rare indeed for a diesel of this size), and it topped an indicated 70mpg on our touring efficiency test (which is almost unknown for such a big car).

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