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, although it runs out of puff at around 5000rpm. Still, it’s far stronger than the entry-level naturally aspirated 1.4, which has to be pushed very hard if you want to make progress. The turbocharged 1.4 petrol is the strongest and most relaxing to drive, but 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 thanks to the decent amount of low-end torque available,. However, they still don't feel outright quick.
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's pretty dimwitted when rushed. That said, it does bring the lowest CO2 emissions of the 500L range.