Skoda will be launching its new flagship saloon/hatchback, the Superb, this September with the 106PS 1.9 diesel engine that features in many of the Volkswagen Group’s vehicles.

It’s also the engine that will go into the low-CO2 Greenline version when it’s released in the first few months of 2009. It is a competent powertrain, but a little more raucous than some modern diesels, although decent soundproofing means the noise isn’t too intrusive.

However, the impending arrival of the Greenline threatens to leave the 1.9TDI in no man’s land.

It is about £1000 cheaper than the 2.0TDI in SE spec, with CO2 emissions of 151g/km compared to the 140PS 2.0TDI’s 155g/km (which is also one tax band higher). Fuel economy, too, is better, although only marginally at 1.7mpg.

Yet the Greenline Superb is expected to boast a CO2 figure of 136g/km, and should show further improvements on fuel economy.

Its arrival will leave the 1.9TDI in limbo – halfway between the economical Greenline and the more refined 2.0TDI.

Verdict: A worthy and cheap alternative to the 2.0-litre, but the impending arrival of the Greenline might render the 1.9 TDI a pointless option