The new Škoda Fabia Monte Carlo is all about the looks, and as a result, is adorned with bespoke exterior design elements which are headlined by stunning black alloys that match its black front grille, side skirts, front splitter and rear diffuser.
Fresh New Look;
In order to give the Fabia a fresh look, Škoda have endowed it with slimmer lights, rear bumper reflectors and a slightly wider grille. Changes inside are similarly minimalistic, with some different interior trims and colours, two more USB slots for back-seat passengers to use, and new graphics on the dials.
Inside, you get what Škoda refers to as a “race-inspired” interior treatment, led by Monte Carlo-exclusive sport seats in an eye-catching grey and black trim, with stylish red stitching. The cabin also benefits from a flat-bottomed steering wheel, chrome sports foot pedals, and extra-dark rear window glass. . The overall feeling in the airy cabin is one of solidity, with build quality up to the usual high standards of modern-day Škoda’s.
Engine & Specification Line-Up;
The revised Fabia is available in four trim levels – Active, Ambition, Style, and Monte Carlo – all of which provide excellent value for money in terms of specification, practicality, spaciousness and economy. The deletion of Škoda’s old 1.4-litre diesel now makes the Fabia line-up a pure petrol one. All models now consist of 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, units producing 75bhp, 95bhp, or 110bhp, as well as an exhaust particulate filter to enhance emissions. Annual road tax will cost either €190 or €200 – depending on the engine chosen, while fuel consumption as low as 4.8l/100km is possible on an extra-urban driving cycle. A five-speed manual gearbox is available across the entire Fabia range, while a six-speed manual, and a super-smooth 7-speed DSG (automatic), are available in the top three trim levels. Body style options consist of a traditional 5-door hatchback, or a spacious Combi (Estate) for extra practicality.
Class-Leading Boot Space;
The luggage compartment in the Fabia hatchback has a capacity of 330-litres, which is the largest in its segment. This volume extends to an extremely respectable 1,125-litres when the rear seats are folded. Wherever you look, you will find useful storage options, including clever compartments and convenient holders. There is even a handy umbrella located in a holder under the front passenger seat on all but the entry level specification.
My test car was a revised Škoda Fabia ‘Monte Carlo’ 5-door hatchback fitted with the VW Group’s highly acclaimed 1.0-litre TSi engine. This engine produces 110bhp and is capable of a top speed of 196km/h, while the 0-100km/h sprint can be completed in just 9.4-seconds. Škoda’s slick six-speed manual gearbox is a perfect match for this sweet-revving engine, and made the overall driving experience thoroughly enjoyable. The Monte Carlo trim, originally offered in the previous Fabia, was designed to celebrate 100 and 110 years of the Monte Carlo Rally and Škoda’s motorsport commitment respectively, and is a name that is steeped in history. Standard specification includes a 6.5” infotainment system with Bluetooth™, front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, Maxi-Dot dashboard information display, electrically adjustable and heated external door mirrors, remote central locking, 16” Italia black alloy wheels, roof spoiler (black in colour), rear parking sensors with acoustic signaling, black headliner cloth, black leather gearstick knob, and many more comfort, convenience and safety features. Optional extras fitted to my test car included a front armrest, cruise control, upgraded 17” Torino black alloy wheels, a Comfort Pack (air-conditioning, height-adjustable front seats & light-assist), and a Panoramic Roof Pack (panoramic roof and driver-fatigue alert).
Impressive Road Manners;
On the road, the revised Škoda Fabia really impressed me with its wide range of abilities, which came together perfectly to provide driving confidence and sure-footed poise and agility. This is certainly one of the best cars in its class, and is testament to Škoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ philosophy.
Pricing & Warranty;
Ex-works prices for the revised Škoda Fabia 5-door hatchback range from just €16,200 to €22,900 and represent excellent value for money, especially when you consider the standard specification, practicality, fun factor and top-class driving dynamics on offer. The load-lugging ‘Combi’ bodystyle carries a premium of just €745 across the entire model and engine range. Škoda’s comprehensive 3-year/150,000km warranty, 3-year roadside assistance, and 12-year body perforation warranty ensure total peace-of-mind ownership.
1) Stylish & Dynamic Design
2) Four Trim Levels
3) Frugal Petrol Engines
4) Manual or Automatic
5) Priced From Just €16,200 (ex-works).