CIVILISED, yet ferociously fast, the Octavia vRS 230 is perhaps the best example yet of Skoda's policy to create highly individual vehicles that are not carbon copies of other VW Group products.
Although it uses the same platform as the VW Golf GTI, the vRS 230 is a very different vehicle and is astonishingly good value at £26,580.
Obviously, stating to someone 20 years ago that you would be paying such a hefty amount for a Skoda would have been treated with derision, but the brand has undertaken a total transformation from the poorly built butt of jokes to a seriously high quality car under VW ownership.
And these days you certainly get that premium touch and in this case incredible performance with 155mph on tap and a 0-62mph sprint of 6.7 seconds.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine which churns out 230ps - hence the name.
Although the black grille and red brake calipers do give the game away, many drivers are not aware of this car's capabilities and are left agape as it hurtles into the distance with a muted but assertive growl.
High boost pressure and a beautifully free flowing exhaust system all help to make this an accelerative and exciting car, but it does retain an element of practicality to make it an ideal everyday transport. For instance, the luggage space is enormous - not something you expect from a performance car.
Inside it says performance all the way with red-stitched electric leather sports seats, sat-nav and even a lap timer.
There is a definite sense of the old fashioned six-cylinder sports saloon about this car with its broad torque curve and free-revving characteristics.
It comes as standard with a six-speed manual transmission which is slick and light.
There is a drive selector on the car and when ‘Sport' is selected the car feels tighter and responses are more sharp.
Surprisingly for a sports saloon, the ride is very comfortable, but this is part of the plan because the car is aimed at everyday motoring as well as performance driving.
This is also illustrated in the car's frugal thirst which means a combined fuel economy figure of 45.4mpg.
It is massively well equipped as standard with kit such as 19-inch alloys in black, leather multi-function steering wheel, post-collision braking and much more.
Many manufacturers have tried to combine wild-child performance with everyday practicality before but few have succeeded as Skoda has with the Octavia vRS 230.