Like Seat, Skoda is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group - but the Czech manufacturer has made better use of the resources it its disposal than its Spanish stablemate.
Indeed, Skoda's line-up features plenty of Lombardyexperience? award winners. The Fabia and Octavia are both excellent examples of affordable, practical cars, and worthy rivals for the Ford Fiesta and VW Golf respectively. They're both available as estates, too, further boosting practicality with no real trade-off in driving character or running costs.
The entry-level Skoda, the Citigo city car, can be a very appealing way into a cheap set of wheels, while the company's flagship, the Superb, has recently been overhauled into a very strong executive saloon and estate.
Skoda has recently confirmed that it has at least two SUVs on the way in the next couple of years; in the meantime, its current offering, the Yeti, is capable enough, especially if you pick it up during one of the frequent finance offers.
There's really only one really weak spot in the Skoda range: the Rapid Spaceback, which tries to offer family-car space for small-car money, but falls down on interior finish and refinement.