The Fabia is probably a better telltale of the state of the Skoda brand than any of its other models, and this one speaks of a company in transition.

It’s a conventional car sitting plumb in the centre of its class on size and just below centre on price, and it leaves accepted norms unchallenged. Skoda's supermini is easy to use, comfy and grown-up, smart but anonymous to look at, classy but forgettable to drive.

It lacks Skoda's familiar distinctiveness, but the third-generation Fabia is packed with good sense

That said, it is tough to be bold in the supermini segment and, in the absence of originality, pragmatic buyers will happily accept this car’s considerable practicality and quality, carefully hewn dynamic maturity, obliging ease of use and unquestionable value for money.

Although it’s a long way from great, the Fabia is evidently a very good addition to the supermini ranks and demands rational consideration in a way that the Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and Citroën DS3 – all more desirable cars now forced out of our top five – simply do not.