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VW's 197bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine sits under the bonnet, so the Scirocco certainly isn't short of zing.

Few, if any, contemporary 2.0-litre engines can match the VW unit's superb blend of low-speed tractability and smooth free-revving energy.

The Scirocco's 0-62mph sprint of 7.2 secs may not worry power-crazed, axle-twisting hot hatches but you'll rarely feel short changed in the go-fast department.

Further good news comes with the choice of either a slick six-speed manual or a DSG semi-automatic transmission.

No doubt traditionalists and those wishing to save a few bob will plump for the crisp manual change, because the DSG will add 1200 to your invoice.

However, the DSG's seamless shifts, plus the facts that it makes the car slightly faster and more economical, will make it an attractive alternative.