The heart of Skoda is its Octavia model and it has just reached a special milestone with the 1.5-millionth of the third-generation.

Since the first modern Octavia generation was launched 21 years ago, more than five million customers around the world have chosen this compact model from the long-established Czech brand, now regarded as a class act rather than the school numpty.

Skoda makes the Octavia model range one of the most successful in the automotive world.

It has been an important pillar of the Skoda portfolio for more than 20 years and has become the Czech car manufacturer’s bestselling model.

The first generation alone, which rolled off the production line from 1996 until the end of November 2010, attracted more than 1.4 million buyers.

The second-generation sold a total of 2.5 million vehicles and the third generation has been in production since November 2012. The one millionth vehicle was produced at the end of March last year.

In total, almost 1.4 million vehicles from the third generation were produced by the end of 2016 and the Octavia was upgraded at the beginning of February this year.

And that’s a cracker in either a hatchback or estate version. With its redesigned front and rear sections, streamlined body and wider track, it comes across as even more dynamic than before.

Skoda is part of the Volkswagen group along with Audi and SEAT and can be compared with the VW golf and the SEAT Leon. I’d probably go for the Skoda because when it comes to space it has no equal. In fact it won the Auto Express Best Estate car of the year in 2013 and there’s even more space now with the upgrade.

The new version of the compact model impresses with proven strengths and sets new standards in its segment in terms of the amount of interior space, functionality, technology for safety as well as comfort, and value for money.

Customers have a choice of four trim levels: Active, Ambition, Style and L&K. Furthermore, they can also choose Scout and RS versions. The engine portfolio comprises state-of-the-art petrol and diesel units with power outputs ranging from 63 kW (86 PS) to 180 kW (245 PS). Depending on the engine version, the Octavia is also available with advanced direct-shift transmission (DSG) and all-wheel drive.

It is solid and reliable and if you want the rather fast model then you should go for the vRS model which is really hot.

The 2017 facelift has more kit than the previous model like a nine inch touchscreen display.

Even the entry level has alloy wheels, automatic post-collision braking and a DAB radio as standard and there are special models like the Greenline-engined which has fuel starvation of more than 80 miles to the gallon.

The Octavia has a broad range of turbocharged engines. Petrol options include a 1.0-litre TSI turbo three-cylinder producing 113bhp, a 1.4-litre TSI four-cylinder producing 148bhp, or a 2.0-litre TSI with an output of either 217bhp or 227bhp in the vRS.

The diesel engines include a 1.6-litre TDI producing 108bhp, or a 2.0-litre TDI which produces either 148bhp or 181bhp in the more powerful vRS. This gives you 0-62mph in under seven seconds and a top speed of more than 150 mph.

At the other end of the model range the 113bhp 1.0-litre TSI is pretty good with 0-62mph in ten seconds and a 125mph maximum. The 1.4-litre TSI covers 0-62mph in just over eight seconds.

All Octavias have a six-speed manual gearbox, while every model can have the excellent DSG automatic gearbox with either six or seven gears, depending on what engine you end up with.

The Skoda Octavia is good value with prices varying from between 17,200 to around 26,000 for the top model with bags of good equipment standard and low servicing costs.

On the insurance stakes the 1.0-litre TSI is group 14, along with the 1.6 TDI, while the 1.4-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TDIs range from 18 to 20 depending on model spec.

Octavias generally keep their prices so you won’t be losing your hard earned cash when it comes to change models.