Fabia Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI 95PS
Fabia supermini, reviewed
here in sporty Monte Carlo trim,
is a compact five-door hatchback
totally fit for purpose...
WHILE NOTABLE for its standout Corrida Red paintwork and contrasting
gloss black detailing (bold front grille, door mirrors, full roof, rear spoiler,
rear diffuser, and trendy black badging), its inner space is where it trumps
many of its rivals.
It's 'ace' is its taller than average roofline (not that it's obvious from outside;
and it certainly doesn't harm the looks) which makes for a fist-plus of headroom.
Legroom is also good and even six-footers will feel at ease both lengthways
as well as width-wise with decent room around their shoulders in the well-padded
and firmly-bolstered Sports front seats.
While the seats are undeniably plush the rest of the cabin architecture and
fittings underscore the brand's ongoing push upmarket thorough
attention to detail and fit-and-finish boost the appeal of the uncluttered cabin
aided by highlights such as the carbon-fibre effect trim and two-tone 'carbon'
leather and fabric upholstery.
trademark Skoda style there are plenty of brand-identifying 'little touches'
to add to the satisfaction of owning a Fabia: such as the compact umbrella stored
ready under the passenger seat; on-screen parking ticket holder; deep glovebox
that also swallows a bottle; and a practical repositionable rubbish bin in the
passenger's door bin. The in-cabin storage is boosted by long, bottle-holding
door pockets, a large cubby-hole with siamesed cupholders, and an overhead case
for your shades.
999cc engine comes
in both manual and DSG
Both set-ups deliver
decent economy with the
93bhp manual good for
an official 50.4mpg
but youre likely to do
better that that as
we proved during a week
darting along the back
roads and villages
around the Devils Dyke
where, despite a lot
of cog-swapping on the
and plunging lanes,
we recorded a smile-
Not only do the front seats look very Monte Carlo-ish but they keep you faithfully
located on the twisty bits. Both front chairs also adjust for height and it's
easy to set an ideal driving position that puts you perfectly in play with the
leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed leather-wrapped, multifunction steering wheel
that also keeps the manual box's five-speed stick nicely to hand.
That done you'll be presented with an excellent view forward that makes accurately
placing the Fabia a breeze whether you're pressing on along country lanes or
parking up at the superstore. And it's the same story when looking back over
your shoulder rearward vision is also first-rate thanks to the
deep rear side and tail glazing.
The built-in central infotainment and navigation touchscreen measures a neat
6.5-inches small but perfectly formed, it shows everything important
as well as any nine- or ten-inch display. The six-incher responds to your finger
promptly, is feature-rich with logical menus and the graphics are sharp. With
some prestige brands charging extra for the essential Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto, it's great news they're standard-fit on the Monte Carlo.
Along with clear 3D mapping showing the posted speed limit, the driver's instrument
panel sports a large digital roadspeed readout between a pair of smart trad-look
dials. 'Hard' menu-jump buttons flank the screen and 'soft' menu button appear
on-screen as your finger approaches. More good news: Skoda's Connect on-line
services and a mobile hot-spot along with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and SD card
and USB slots, are all part of the Monte Carlo's comms suite.
The Fabia's five trim levels are topped off by the Monte Carlo and Colour Edition
versions, both of which are well specced. In addition to items already mentioned
such as the red-and-black sports seats and SatNav, the Monte Carlo also comes
with keyless entry, climate control AirCon, good-to-grip flat-bottomed sports
steering wheel, heated electric door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror,
four one-shot windows, ally pedals, rear parking sensors, privacy glass and
a set of black 16-inch alloy wheels.
is well addressed with Front Assist city braking (autonomously performs an emergency
stop if it senses that you're about to collide with the vehicle ahead), LED
daytime running lights and LED rear lights, front fog lights, a full set of
airbags, auto lights and wipes, automatic drive-away door locking, tyre pressure
monitoring and front height-adjustable seatbelts.
hatchbacks such as the
Fabia are a good basic
recipe for some
Throw in supportive
seats, a good driving
position and faithful
steering and you can
indeed have some fun.
Body control is good
even through faster,
tighter corners and the
grip, helped by 215/45
Bridgestone rubber, is
easy-handling is indeed
the name of the Monte
For a small car the Fabia boasts a surprising amount of room in its rear cabin
with average-sized grown-ups occupying the front chairs, a brace
of six-footers can travel in the back's smartly upholstered seats. There's also
a full fist of headroom and decent space for knees and big feet; if those sitting
in the rear are not too burly you could fit three in side-by-side. More likely
it will be youngsters occupying the back cabin which is why Skoda has fitted
Isofix child seat fixings on both outer seats.
Whatever the passenger mix, couples and small families will quickly confirm
firsthand the Fabia's reputation for being one of the most practical superminis
out there. Your dog (and no doubt some of your passengers) will love the fact
that the rear window glasses drop down completely into the doors! Other 'likes'
include the relaxing backrest angles and well padded seats plus roomy door bins,
seatback pouches, usable outer armrests, and good views out through the long,
deep side windows.
The ride is a smidgen on the firm side but aided by the figure-hugging, well-padded
sports-style seats and a suspension that does a respectable job of soaking up
broken blacktop, the ride is calm and settled. With the burbs dwindling in your
rearview mirror and you speed rising, the ride becomes more fluent and as you
finally escape to country roads the Monte Carlo feels confidently composed.
Overall the handling-ride balance is tilted towards security rather than Nürburgring
derring-do but then that's exactly what will suit most Fabia owners.
The Fabia's 999cc engine can be had in both manual and automatic guises; those
with a penchant for just pootling around will be well served by the seven-speed
DSG auto. Either set-up delivers decent economy. In fact, the 93bhp (95PS) unit
is good for an official 50.4mpg but you're likely to do better that that as
we proved during a week darting along the back roads and small towns around
the Devil's Dyke outside Brighton where, despite quite a bit of cog-swapping
on the challenging Z-bends and plunging lanes, we recorded a very smile-inducing
action the one-litre three-pot serves with distinction, proving to be feisty
and keen to rev, its likeably thrummy-growly soundtrack coming to the fore when
you work the 'box and keep it on-song easy to do courtesy of the
slick, light gearchange action. Keep accelerating to the top of fifth gear and
your maximum speed will be 115mph so there's plenty in hand when cruising UK
motorways at the legal limit.
hatches like the Fabia
wont be expecting to
transport white goods
(although the estate
version is impressively
Choose the hatchback
and you get 330 litres for
luggage with easy access
through a wide hatch
opening; if you need
to stow a fold-up buggy
or pushchair then getting
it aboard, helped by
a low boot lip, is a
Compact lightweight hatchbacks such as the Fabia are without doubt a good basic
recipe for some entertainment. Throw in the supportive seats, good driving position,
and faithful, light but crisp steering and you can indeed have some fun. Body
control is good even through faster, tighter corners and the grip, helped by
215/45 16-inch Bridgestone rubber, is equally reassuring. Easy-handling is the
name of the Monte Carlo's game and when it comes to parking shoehorning it into
the trickiest, meanest, parking space is a breeze.
Buyers of compact hatches like the Fabia won't be expecting to transport white
goods (although the estate version is impressively accommodating). Choose the
hatchback and you get 330 litres for luggage with easy access through a wide
hatch opening. If you need to stow a fold-up buggy or pushchair then getting
it aboard, helped by a low and easy-to-load-over boot lip, is a doddle.
And when it's time for the weekly family shop you'll appreciate the shopping
holder in the boot (designed to prevent items from dancing around) and the lightweight
parcel shelf that can be positioned midway above the boot floor to create a
substantial full-width mezzanine-style shelf while still leaving plenty of room
beneath for more storage. When not in use it slots upright behind the rear backrests.
Fold the 60:40-split rear seatbacks and you'll open up a 1,150-litres loadbay
that's unexpectedly well suited to a spot of load-lugging. There are also sturdy
pop-out bag hooks, side bins and bottle-holding straps. And while at the Fabia's
tail there's one more 'thoughtful' Skoda touch: an ice scraper that lives in
the fuel filler flap. And finally… you can tow a braked 1,000kg.
Superminis outsell all other types of cars if you're in the market
to bag one of the thirty or so runners, a Fabia should be high on your shortlist.
In eye-catching Monte Carlo trim it's not only practical and conveniently 'packaged'
with an appealing and comfy cabin, but it also comes with a joyful measure of
charisma. The icing on the cake is that it's as frugal as it is enjoyable to
drive. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI 95PS |
Maximum speed: 115mph | 0-62mph: 10.7 seconds | Test Average: 54.2mpg
Power: 93bhp | Torque: 118lb ft | CO2: 103g/km