A FRIEND of mine has an ageing Skoda Fabia and swears by it.

Sure, it's needed some TLC over time, but he wouldn't swap it for anything else - save perhaps for another Fabia.

The latest version retains many of the model's links to the past, while being very much of the time.

Affordable, reliable, practical and, dare I say it stylish - the Fabia has been the benchmark for other members of the stable.

The newly revised supermini goes on sale in the UK in September, with prices starting from £12,840.

Skoda bill the new Fabia, the company's second biggest selling UK model after the Octavia, as "the most advanced and well equipped ever".

They have also revamped the model's engine line-up. Gone are the diesels with a new raft of petrols introduced to meet increased demand.

All are centred around a 1.0 litre three-cylinder unit and boast 74bhp, 94bhp and 108bhp respectively, with the latter available with the optional seven-speed DSG gearbox.

All Fabias come with LED daytime running lights as standard along with Front Assist, which helps avoid or mitigate the effect of accidents, and a multifunction trip computer.

The range starts with the Fabia S (£12,840) and moves on to the SE (from £14,115). This is probably the most sensible choice, offering the best value for money. You can choose from all drivetrain options and also benefit from the likes of front fog lights and 15ins Cygnus alloy wheels.

Colour Edition models, priced from £14,665, gain 16ins Vigo alloy wheels in white, silver or black.

Priced from £15,205, Fabia SE L models feature Amundsen satellite navigation, one year's Infotainment Online, lighting in the front centre console and 16ins Evora alloy wheels.

If you are of a sporty bent then there is the Fabia Monte Carlo (from £16,785) which features a black front spoiler, black roof, black floor mats as well as climate control air conditioning, LED rear lights, rear electric windows, new seat upholstery and carbon-effect dashboard trim.

Despite its diminutive size, the hatchback has a 330-litre boot which is more than a match for its rivals and sensibly shaped, making this a car that can cope with much of what you want to throw at or in it.

However, if you hanker for more room there is always the estate, which starts at £13,860.

This has a 530-litre boot, which increases to a cavernous 1,395 litres with the seats lowered.

Personalisation is a big thing these days and Skoda is not shying away from this trend.

Among the options are adaptive cruise control, rear view camera, driver fatigue assistant and full LED headlights. Blind spot detection and rear traffic alert are also available.