The Skoda Fabia is a practical small car that offers excellent comfort and appealing value for money.

It’s a good vehicle in pretty much every area, including being pleasant and easy to drive, albeit not quite so engaging as some rivals.

With the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine in my test car, the Fabia produces 94bhp and can get to 60mph in about 10.5 seconds, which is fine for most situations.

Somerset County Gazette: The Skoda Fabia in West Yorkshire

The entry-level SE Comfort version, tested here, allows you to keep the costs down, undercutting key rivals in the compact hatchback segment.

The amount of standard kit is impressive and includes 15-inch alloys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and handbrake lever, front fog lights, rear parking sensors, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and LED headlights.

The 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system is crisp and easy to use, and comes with DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

Skoda has now been manufacturing the Fabia for quarter of a century. After a week in the car’s company, it was easy to see why more than 4.5 million of these vehicles have been sold.

I soon began to feel very much at one with the car, with its trustworthy handling inspiring confidence when cornering.

Somerset County Gazette: The Skoda Fabia in West Yorkshire

A range of petrol engines are available, from an entry-level 78bhp unit that takes 15 seconds to get from 0 to 62mph, to a 148bhp version that’ll cut the 0-62mph time to eight seconds.

However, he 94bhp version seemed to strike a nice balance between performance and economy, offering a pleasing fuel economy figure of 55.8mpg. Some critics may question the lack of a hybrid option, but it’s fair to say the petrol versions are pretty frugal even without electric assistance.

You’ll have to work the engine fairly hard up hills or when overtaking, but the manual gearbox is relatively slick, allowing for swift gear changes when needed. The car also had decent power in the mid-range, so you never get the feeling it’s going to run out of guts.

The steering is quick and accurate, while the car feels well-planted in corners. There’s a bit of body roll to watch out for, bit nothing to cause too much concern.

Somerset County Gazette: The Skoda Fabia in West Yorkshire

The Fabia offers a smooth ride, with the set-up soothing out the bumps in the road nicely.

Once inside the car, you’re met with a cabin that’s well laid-out, with everything within easy sight and reach.

The driving position is superb, while the seats are comfortable.

There’s bags of space for those sitting in the front, but rear space doesn’t quite match rivals such as the Honda Jazz. Three children would fit in the back no problem, but you wouldn’t want to travel too far with three adults on the rear seats.

There are plenty of convenient storage space, with various pockets dotted around the cabin for oddments. Boot capacity comes in at 380 litres, with a deep loading area making it very practical.

In terms of looks, it’s a smart machine. Simple yet effective creases are in evidence, especially across the bonnet, while the car also features Skoda’s stylish front grille.

At a price of less than £20,000, buyers get a lot for their money.

Skoda Fabia

SPECIFICATION: SE Comfort 1.0 Tsi 95PS Man

0-62 MPH: 10.7 seconds

ENGINE: 1.0-litre petrol turbo

GEARBOX: manual

ECONOMY: 55.8mpg combined

EMISSIONS: 115g/km

PRICE: From £19,720