THE Skoda Scala is looking to make a big impression on the family hatchback market.
If degrees were awarded for cars then this one would get a first for practicality.
That's not to say it is boring when it comes to style and design as it is easy on the eye with neat lines, smart alloy wheels, LED headlights and an interior that lacks for little.
It's just clear that when the Czech car maker produced the brief for the Scala they wanted a motor that majored on ease of use.
This is achieved through an impressive cabin which can realistically handle five adults as the three in the rear don't have to do impressions of sardines to fit in. The seats are comfortable with the driving position fully adjustable so an ideal spot behind the multi-function leather steering wheel is a cinch to find.
There is a light and airy feel thanks to large windows and efficient dual-zone climate control in the £22,000 SE L model on show here.
Open up the bootlid and it is clear this is one mid-sized hatchback that wants to be an estate as a 467-litre square load space is unveiled which is big for this class of vehicle. If more room is required the rear seats split 60/40 and fold - although not totally flat - to increase capacity to a stand-out 1,410 litres.
Space for a family's nik-naks are plentiful with under-seat storage up front, a box concealed by an armrest between the driver and front-seat passenger, a cooled glovebox, large door bins and the usual smattering of cup holders.
The Scala also benefits from Skoda's Simply Clever features such as an ice scraper stowed in the fuel filler flap and an umbrella concealed in a compartment below the driver's door armrest.
The dashboard continues the theme of practicality with everything where you expect it to be with quality materials used in all the right places.
The entry-level model gets an eight-inch touchscreen, but step up to the SE L model and this expands to 9.2 inches with the addition of a neat looking sat nav system.
Hooking up your smartphone to the car's infotainment system couldn't be simpler with a pair of USB-C ports in the centre console for those with the latest models and an adapter for other devices.
Despite being longer and more spacious than many rivals the Scala is comparatively light which combined with an efficient three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine eases the pressure on your bank balance when it comes to fuel as it boasts a WLTP combined economy figure as high as 47.1mpg.
I achieved around the mid-40 mark in mixed motoring with emissions of 116g/km.
The engine also punches above its weight when it comes to performance as 62mph is achieved from a standing start in a shade under ten seconds on the way to a top speed of 123mph.
The drive is pleasing with accurate steering benefiting from lane assist while the suspension copes admirably with roads that increasingly resemble Swiss cheese rather than highways.
The comfortable ride is complemented by lots of grip giving confidence in corners while the seven-speed DSG automatic transmission gives seamless gear changes.