BUYING a new car usually demands some element of compromise.
Going for a car with features you really like often means buying a car that lacks other features you need.
But just occasionally you unexpectedly drive a model that seems to tick every box.
And so it was with the Skoda Octavia vRS Estate that I recently drove.
For starters the vRS packs a mighty punch when it comes to performance. On the other hand it's 2.0-litre diesel engine ensures that it's frugal, averaging around 50 miles per gallon.
As an estate it's got a cavernous luggage area capable of swallowing 640 litres of luggage with the seatbacks in place and 1,700 litres with them lowered and at the same time with four-wheel-drive it's got the sort of grip that can be a godsend in winter.
And finally it's packed with a whole host of onboard features making it comfortable to live with including heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a reversing camera and - in the case of the model I drove - a panoramic opening glass sun roof.
And potentially the best feature of all - with winter just around the corner - Matrix headlights.
For the uninitiated Matrix headlights allow you to drive your car at night with them permanently on full beam giving you brilliant illumination.
At the same time certain elements of the headlamps close down if there is a car ahead of you or coming towards you so that vehicle is kept in shadow while your lights bend around it to light the road ahead for you.
But back to performance, an important prerequisite for most buyers.
Powered by a 200bhp turbo diesel engine the vRS boasts a top speed of 147 miles per hour and will hit 62 mph from rest in just 6.8 seconds.
The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with a neat chrome toggle switch instead of a traditional gear shift.
Give the switch a second pull and the box jumps from normal drive to sport and the car's acceleration really does step up a notch as it delivers big time.
There are paddles behind the steering wheel if you want to override the auto box but the whole thing works so well you rarely need to.
This car also comes with a selection of driving modes which allows you to switch between eco, comfort, normal and sport depending upon your mindset for the day.
The Octavia vRS estate is 22mm longer and 15mm wider than its predecessor so there's plenty of room for travellers in both the front and rear to stretch out. And with its lowered sports suspension the ride is spot on. Firm but comfortable with barely any body roll on fast bends.
The stylish interior boasts a dashboard with a mix of Alcantara (a suede-like material) with red saddle stitching on the upper section giving way to a carbon-fibre look on the lower part.
The 10.25-inch display in front of the driver features Skoda's virtual cockpit which allows you to select the display you are looking from a number of choices ranging from a traditional two dial screen to a minimal view with just a digital speed readout.
And set in the centre of the dashboard is a 10-inch touch screen for accessing the car's numerous functions as well as the satellite navigation system.
Sports seats with built-in headrests keep you firmly in place and offer excellent side support.
Externally this sleek sporting estate is easily spotted as a vRS by the distinctive front and rear bumper design with a lot of black detailing while the mirror housings and window frames are also in gloss black and the brake calipers in red. So the neighbours will know you are driving the best.