Anyone expecting a marked change in engine-bay personality compared with the regular vRS hasn’t spent much time with the EA888 engine before.

The VW Group’s go-to 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit doesn’t significantly alter its character between applications or outputs. It simply becomes more or less expedient at what it does.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Long wheelbase helps to keep the rear axle secure even through faster, off-camber bends

Thus, as the modest climb from 227bhp to 242bhp suggests, the latest model is very subtly better – quicker and keener – at propelling you forward in much the same gruff, linear and tractable way as it always has.

Skoda quotes a 0.3sec improvement in the sprint to 62mph for the estate, although in a straight line, with the 19in alloy wheels no broader than the 18in rims they replace, it’s no easier to get the extra power onto the road through the Octavia’s single driven axle. We recorded 6.9sec from standstill to 60mph, two-up.

Once rolling, though, the surfeit of torque constitutes the 245’s most prominent advantage: in its mid-range high-yield pomp, the car feels that bit more industrious than its standard sibling – an impression cheerfully embellished by the background rasp being conjuredin Sport mode.

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As ever, the really likeable aspect of the EA888’s gusto is that it seems to occur without apparent strain.

Partly this is a factor of its refinement – the four-pot possesses no more sharp edges than the wonderfully unctuous manual gearbox that swaps its cogs – and partly it is the robust, linear delivery that resists tapering until remarkably close to the 6700rpm zenith of its raised rev limit.

The only genuine lull is located below 2000rpm, where the turbocharger’s blades inevitably idle.

Between there and the soft limiter, the 245’s motor is easily awoken, easily administered and very easy to like.

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