Small cars with a big car feel are nothing new, but they usually come with a big price tag. Not so the Skoda Fabia, which manages to provide buyers with everything they could ever need without overstretching their budgets. For example, £10,000 is enough to get you a one-year-old Fabia with the latest 1.0 TSI petrol engine, which should easily do more than 40mpg in the real world. This also gets you 16in alloy wheels, air-con, rear parking sensors and smartphone mirroring.
The Fabia isn’t the sharpest thing to drive, but it is very surefooted, with light but accurate steering, and its turbocharged three-cylinder engines are terrific. It’s also really well screwed together and has proven to be reliable.
That was enough to ease the Fabia to victory in its price bracket, but it faced strong opposition for the outright class win from the upmarket Mini Hatch and the cheap and cheerful Ford Fiesta. The Fabia won through by striking a happy balance between the two, though.