THE Skoda Fabia of several years ago swept people off their feet.
Bristling with technology and quality inspired by new parent company Volkswagen, the Fabia was an instant hit in Britain.
Where Skoda's larger Octavia had paved the way, the Fabia took centre stage and floored all the critics who once turned the name Skoda into a joke.
Now the original Fabia has reached the end of its shelf life to be replaced with a feisty newcomer sporting the latest high shouldered line that is the look sought by modern supermini owners.
The new Fabia is slightly larger but displays a more muscular line and is bigger. But amazingly it is also cheaper. When it went on sale in May it featured an entry model in the showrooms from £7,990, slightly less that the first Fabia in 2000.
There are seven powerplants available and one of the most interesting is the 1.2 12v HTP. This is a 70bhp three cylinder model which throws out of the window the old rule that a car of this size should have a four cylinder engine.
Costing £10,070, this version can achieve 62mph in 14.9 seconds and reach 101mph.
The manufacturers claim a Combined mpg readout of 47.9 which, combined with group two insurance and 140g/km emissions figure make this a very cost-effective little car.
Skodas have established a fine record for plenty of room inside and the new Fabia takes it to the max with the largest boot in its class and stacks of room for the passengers in a light and airy environment.
If anything there was just too much hard plastic in the door trim, but other than that the Fabia was pure gold.
The Fabia 2 is the type of car that has that certain something. The new chrome-topped grille says a lot but it has a muscular stature that give it a rather cocky stance which just says street-cred.
When Skoda really took off in this country there were the detractors who said that VW bosses should have pressed for the Skoda name to be dropped and the cars sold as a different brand.
They were the ones who just remembered the lacklustre Eastern Bloc offerings and forgot that once upon a time the original Skoda company, Laurin and Klement was renowned for producing some of the best cars in Europe.
Skoda did the right thing retaining its original name. It showed it had the bottle to put past problems behind it and accelerate on to the fantastic future it deserves with cars like the Fabia , Octavia and the flagship Superb.
Skoda Fabia 2 1.2
Mechanical: 70bhp, 1,198cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5spd gearbox
Max speed: 101mph
0-62mph: 14.9 secs
Combined mpg: 47.9
Insurance group: 2
CO2 emissions: 140g/km
BiK rating: 15%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 10yrs anti-rust