If it has to be petrol, the Twinair is your best bet. It produces enough grunt at low revs to feel decently punchy in town. It runs out of puff at around 5000rpm. Still, it’s far stronger than the entry-level 1.4, which has to be pushed very hard if you want to make progress.
The turbocharged 1.4 petrol is the strongest, but you’ll pay for it as it costs more to buy and run. The diesels are a better choice. The 1.3 has just enough get up and go to feel capable on fast country roads, and company car drivers will love its low CO2 emissions. The 1.6 diesels, however, are better suited to lugging a family and luggage.
A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, but there’s a five-speed automatic available with the 1.3 diesel. We’d avoid it if possible, because it feels pretty dimwitted when rushed. That said, it does bring the lowest CO2 emissions of the range when fitted.