IN a class packed with good value capable cars, the Skoda Fabia still stands with its larger than average five door interior, very good comfort and brilliant handling.
The small Skoda is well-made and good value secondhand and I've long thought it one of the best superminis on the market.
The driving experience is still better than other much more recent cars from the opposition and there are engine choices to suit every need and pocket.
That Tardis-like exterior is a lot bigger than some competitors, and economy is right up with the best of them.
Petrol engines in the latest model, which was introduced in 2014, were at first 1.2-litre with normally aspirated 60 and turbocharged 95 or 105bhp.
The lowliest 60bhp models are very slow, but they are also economical and cheap to insure. They are capable of around 50 miles per gallon, but take around 15 seconds to accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour.
The others have fair to good performance, while still managing very good economy. The 90 model reaches 60mph in 10.6 seconds and can do about 55mpg while the 105 covers the sprint in 9.4 seconds and is capable of 56mpg.
Until a mid-term facelift in 2018, there were also 90 and 105bhp versions of the VW Group 1.4 TDI diesel, making the 60mph sprint in 10.7 and 9.8 seconds respectively and capable of a real 60-plus mpg.
From 2018, there are just three versions of the same three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol with 60, 95 or 110bhp, and the diesels were dropped.
The 60bhp model, as I said above, is very slow but economical, and the 95 and 110bhp versions have about the same performance and economy as the 1.2s above.
Whatever the engine, the Fabia is close to the being the best small car you can buy and it is also available as an estate - a model that is not part of most manufacturers' ranges.
Comfort is excellent over all surfaces by any standards, easily eclipsing cars in the family class above and this makes it is a very special and unusual small car - one to downsize to without any loss.
With such forgiving suspension, I expected some effect on the handing, but amazingly, there is none.
The road-holding is fantastic and the level of grip tremendous even though there is a fair amount of roll.
It takes speed humps with ease and a tight turning circle with short length make it very easy to park.
VW's marvellously tactile and informative power steering is standard and that only adds to the great feel of the whole car.
The hatch is one of the biggest in the class and, although the dash is quite plain, everything works well and build quality is right up with the best.
Seats and adjustment are excellent and equipment is good in all. Even base S models have folding rear seats, electric front windows and central locking, steering wheel reach and height, traction control, and a height adjustable driver's seat.
SE adds air con, alarm, alloys, audio remote control and remote central locking.
Pay about Â£5,900 for a '16 16-reg 1.2TSI (90bhp) SE, or Â£10,000 for an '18 18-reg 1.0TSI (110bhp) SE-L.