What is it?
This is the all-new Fabia, the cornerstone of Skoda's range. It goes on sale in the UK on 17 May (though prices have yet to be confirmed), with a range of engines from 1.2 to 1.6-litre petrols, and 1.4 or 1.9-litre diesels. We've already tried the 1.2 petrol, but this our first go in the 1.9 diesel.
The engine isn't new – it's the familiar VW-sourced pumpe duse unit that's been used in everything from the previous Fabia to Audis. The car, however, is all-new, from its platform (which will also underpin the next VW Polo) to its slightly larger, slightly curvier body.
What's it like?
If you'll excuse the well-worn pun, it's Fabialous. The exterior design is reminiscent of the Suzuki Swift, one of the best-looking superminis, and the interior is restrained and respectably refined. Cabin materials are generally high quality, though it feels a little sombre inside next to, say, the new Corsa.
The new Fabia is ever so slightly longer than the old car (2cm) and near-as-dammit as wide, but 5cm taller. That makes for better headroom, especially in the back, where six-footers will be comfy. There's lots of room all round inside, including much more kneeroom than before in the front.