The Rapid sedan, the next car on the agenda for Skoda Australia, was revealed at the Paris Motor Show last week.
And the first impression is that it will put the Czech brand on more car buyers' shopping lists.
Skoda chief executive Winfried Vahland said it would become the brand's second-biggest model by volume after the Octavia.
"The Skoda Rapid is the new class of Skoda in every respect, setting standards in the compact segment in terms of space, design, practicality and price-value ratio," he said.
The sharply styled five-door Rapid sits between the Fabia and Octavia models in size and price.
And while it is being marketed as a sedan, it has a large rear hatch and the same cargo space as a Holden Commodore, making it one of the more versatile small sedans on the market.
According to Skoda, no other car in its segment offers as much knee and head room as the Rapid, or as big a boot volume (550 litres).
It is also the first model to feature Skoda's new design theme and logo - a precisely executed winged arrow in chrome set on a black matte base and framed by a fine chrome line.
In Europe it will be available with a choice of four petrol engines - three 1.2-litre three-cylinder versions and a four-cylinder 1.4-litre example.
Outputs for the powerplants will range from 55kW to 90kW.
On the diesel front, the Rapid will be available with a choice of three 1.6-litre four-cylinder units producing between 66kW and 77kW.
While final specifications for the Australian market have not yet been released, we are most likely to see the 1.4-litre petrol engine and the higher-output diesel.The Rapid will be launched here midway through next year.
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