Cosmetic changes to the entire Getz range include, at the front, a new grille with wraparound lenses housing indicators now facing inward (much like the Peugeot 206), foglamps are integrated and a new taillight cluster has been added, giving the hatchback a more grown-up look.

The fresh new interior, with redesigned instrument panel and centre console, is appealing even though the look-and-feel of the materials is not quite up to luxury standards. And there's nothing wrong with that, since the high level of specification is unlikely to leave prospective consumers in this segment wanting. The cabin space is pleasant and spacious, and the most essential air conditioning and (aftermarket) audio system controls fall easily to hand.

An extensive equipment list has most of the basics - and then some - covered. Standard safety equipment includes ABS with EBD, and driver and passenger airbags. Power steering, air conditioning, central locking, electric windows and adjustable mirrors are some of the convenience items in the diesel Getz.

The turbodiesel was initially left off the list when the spruced-up range was introduced in January, but recently made its re-entry with a very useful 81-kW mill using variable geometry turbocharging. Maximum power output is at at 4 000 r/min and its peak torque of 235 N.m is on tap at 2 000 r/min.

On the road, the diesel-powered Getz is a lively entertainer. Travel through the five gears is slick and a healthy surge of torque from 1 800 r/min makes it especially zippy in traffic. Noise levels are reasonable, with very little diesel clatter penetrating the cabin, and the ride quality is very comfortable. Handling is adequate in regular driving conditions, however, I did find the steering to be on the heavier side of "power", especially while parking, and the brakes to need some coaxing before being (very) effective. Of course, these are things a little elbow grease (in the first instance) and some brake modulation (in the second) were able to sort out simply enough.