HAVE you noticed the adverts for the latest Fabia pronounce Skoda as ‘Shhkoda'?
It shows the confidence the Czech manufacturer now has in asserting its identity as the bad old days - when such a move would simply have inspired even more derogatory jokes - are long gone.
The fourth generation of the Fabia - looking to build on worldwide sales of more than 4.5 million worldwide since 1999 - shows the reason for that confidence.
The Colour Edition 1.0 TSI model that arrived on my drive is a quantum leap from where the Fabia began. Indeed it represents a big improvement on the previous car which was no slouch.
The exterior gives the five-door motor plenty of kerb appeal with sharper styling highlighted by natty cooling vents, a neat grille and swept-back headlights while the rear boasts a tailgate spoiler and snazzy light clusters that add flair to proceedings. The rear windows are tinted providing privacy for your rock star passengers - or more likely the kids.
The modern theme is continued when you climb into the cabin as it boasts a plethora of equipment to play with as well as high quality materials, natty air vents and a decent fit and finish as well as a comprehensive set of anti-collision systems.
Yes the Colour Edition is at the top of the range so you might expect the pizzazz of the 16-inch Proxima black alloy wheels, a Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display with a variety of useful screen layouts and information that is easy to read on the move, cruise control, climate control and keyless start for your £19,795.
But even the entry S trim includes a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch colour media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and LED headlights for around £15,000.
Built on Volkswagen's excellent MQB-A0 platform, the supermini is now longer and wider allowing it to boast a spacious cabin and class-leading bootspace at 380 litres - expanding to 1,190 litres with the rear seats folded over. There is also a false floor allowing for valuable items to be stored out of sight of prying eyes.
Driver and passengers get seats that are comfortable and supportive while the driving position is fully adjustable.
There is plenty of space for two adults in the rear, although a raised transmission tunnel impinges on leg room should a third need to squeeze in.
The 1.0-litre three-pot petrol engine is a willing beast developing 110ps. It is ably supported by the seven-speed automatic transmission that offers seamless gear changes as the Fabia reaches 62mph from a standing start in a shade under ten seconds on its way to a claimed top speed of 127mph.
The power unit sips fuel at a pleasingly slow pace making 50mpg achievable without the need to engage slow-coach mode.
The suspension efficiently copes with the humps and holes masquerading as roads these days so the ride is smooth while the handling is surprisingly sporty. Refinement is good with little in the way of outside noise making it into the interior allowing this supermini to be as adept on a motorway as it is in the urban jungle.