They weren’t particularly sympathetic at the time, as they seemed to think anyone with such a parent was destined to a life of woe anyway.
So it was an apprehensive moment as I picked them up in the Fabia after a night out. Would they laugh out loud or even refuse to get in?
Not a bit of it – they knew all about the sporty hot-hatch and its credentials and proclaimed themselves ‘well impressed’ by its looks and performance.
The Skoda spin doctors must really have worked their magic well. As a confirmed despiser of ‘label junkies’ who feel the need to flash their wealth or coolness for all to see – and one who takes a perverse pleasure at cocking a snook at any neighbourhood snobs – I was always going to delight in having a Skoda on the driveway.
But for the alpha-males in the family to declare themselves unconcerned at what in the not- too-dim-and-distant past would have been construed as a major motoring faux pas, something radical must have occurred in the public psyche.
The advantage of having to get up early to take the afore-mentioned student son to his agricultural holiday job on my way to work is that the varied commute gives the Skoda a daily workout covering everything from rough farmtrack to fast and busy motorway.
Of course, it takes that lot in its stride – the only problem being to keep an eye on the speedometer, which has a nasty habit of running away with itself.
Remember the old tiger-in-your-tank Esso ad? I’m sure that tiger is hiding in the tank of this little hatch. Such is the power and acceleration of its 1.9-litre engine, which produces 130bhp and 229lb-ft of torque, that it’s just too easy to exceed the speed limit.
That may also have something to do with my poor-ish fuel economy, though I think heavy use of the air-conditioning in the current hot weather is a factor too. Previous tester Adele Burton was concerned that she was achieving only 44mpg, which she said gave a range of 450 miles on a tank of diesel.
Well, I’m only managing 41mpg and getting well under 400 miles to a tankful, which I can’t understand as I certainly don’t have a heavy right foot.
Price: £12,375 (£14,250 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 146
Company car tax bill (2006): 22% tax-payer: £43 per month
Insurance group: 9
Combined mpg: 52.4
Test mpg: 40.8
CAP Monitor RV: £4,775/39%
Contract hire rate: £262
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles