Eyebrows were raised when Skoda revealed that its latest Octavia was bigger, more stylish and dramatically better than its plain Jane predecessor in every key area.
But the journey from automotive duckling to swan has also resulted in the firm's popular high value model range achieving a fresh level of comfort and convenience to make life more bearable for the business motorist.
Among features supplied as standard from SE trim level and included on the GreenLine version we have on test is a little button mounted on the centre console, and pressing it opens the door to a selection of settings that vary the way the car handles.
It's a useful feature, because the standard set-up gives the electromechanical steering a light feel that's clearly biased toward making the car easier to cope with on car parks and urban streets and not really suited to more brisk progress and country road motoring.
Sport and Eco options offer set changes to engine output, response to the accelerator pedal and add extra weight to the steering, all of which allow the car to better meet different driving preferences.
However, the opportunity to key in a selection of all the options is provided under Individual, a setting that also includes how the air conditioning system operates. Effectively tailoring the car to personal requirements, it is a clever programme and it works well.
Voice control for the phone and satellite navigation system and acoustic rear parking sensors are other welcome features among electronic gadgetry that takes this model even further from the traditional view of the Octavia as transport that is worthy but basic and shows just how far the Czech Republic brand has progressed since it became part of the Volkswagen Group.