A choice of diesel or petrol engines, with the latter 220 hp unit providing a 0-62 mph time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph, sedan or wagon bodies and 21 cubic feet of trunk space. Would you take Europe's new affordable hot family car?

I always liked the Octavia. Škoda has been the smart person's Volkswagen for years now, and the Octavia is their ultimate family car, especially with four-wheel drive and the wagon body. I also liked the previous vRS. It had a DSG transmission, good build quality and it was fast enough to get you plenty of tickets even without ever leaving the city.

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They have a new version now, which will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next month.

There are two engines and two transmissions to choose from. The more powerful 2.0 TSI-petrol gives you 220 horses and 154 mph. Those looking for better economy and more torque can have a 2.0 TDI diesel with 184 horsepower and a top speed of 144 mph. The diesel is also 1.3 seconds slower to sixty at 8.1 seconds with the six-speed manual. Expect the DSG version to take even more time, but thanks to start-stop and regenerative braking, VAG claims 19% better fuel economy.

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The new car is also 3.46 inches longer and 1.77 inches wider, while the wheelbase has increased by 4.0 inches. Together with the multi-link rear axle and the MacPherson struts up front, that provides better handling (surely helped by the electronic differential and electro-mechanical progressive steering).

Apart from the usual sporty bits like the alloys and the interior trim, the vRS also comes with tiny practical features like the double-sided trunk flooring, an ice scraper in the fuel cap and the high-vis jacket under the driver’s seat. Because family car.

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When it comes to safety, the kit includes "the Front Assistant with city emergency braking, Lane Assistant, Automatic Post Collision Braking System with automatic brake intervention in the event of an accident, Crew Protect Assistant to protect the vehicle under accident conditions (whatever that means) and the Driver Fatigue Sensor." Also, nine airbags.

Prices are not disclosed yet, but Škodas are positioned under Volkswagens, usually making them a good deal.

Not bad, Škoda, not bad at all. But would the vRS make it in America?

Photo credit: Škoda Auto