Verdict 

In all varieties, the most recent Fabia is a challenger to the easiest superminis. Some will definitely see a profit to the additional energy of this 1.5 TSI engine over the present 1.0-litre unit – particularly because it sacrifices nearly nothing in gasoline consumption – however don’t let the seems of the Monte Carlo idiot you; this isn’t a remotely sporty hatchback.

To some folks, the title Monte Carlo will conjure up glitz, glamour and extra. If you’re a petrolhead, nevertheless, it’s extra more likely to see your mind soar straight to Formula One automobiles brushing obstacles at excessive pace. It would possibly even remind you of a World Rally automotive slithering by the Col de Turini on a chilly January night.

It’s the latter that Skoda’s long-running tie-in with the Fabia can have your thoughts racing in direction of. After all, the Czech model nonetheless competes in WRC2 – the second tier of worldwide rallying – with its previous-generation mannequin.

This, then, is the most recent Fabia Monte Carlo, which sits on the high of the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa rival’s line-up. It’s simple to identify the variations between the Monte Carlo and lesser Fabias, as a result of the extra purposeful physique equipment provides an additional diploma of pleasure from the off. The entrance bumper has a chin spoiler that juts ahead from the underside of the bumper, whereas deeper facet skirts and an prolonged rear spoiler add to the sporty design. It rides on 17 inch wheels as normal, with 18-inch objects optionally available.

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The Fabia’s cabin ranks up there with the perfect within the supermini phase for each design, high quality and practicality. The Monte Carlo is lifted by a racier black-and-red theme that wouldn’t look misplaced in a full-blown sizzling hatch. The seats look nice and provide loads of facet assist, however they’d be even higher in the event that they could possibly be adjusted slightly decrease. While many customers will make use of the slick Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for mapping, it’s a shock to see that inbuilt sat-nav is a £1,050 possibility on this range-topping mannequin.

On the technical facet, the Monte Carlo marks the introduction of a extra highly effective engine possibility within the Fabia. This 1.5-litre TSI unit makes 148bhp and 250Nm – a full 40bhp and 50Nm away from the present 1.0 TSI, an engine that may also be paired with Monte Carlo trim. 

The 1.5 is mated solely to a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized gearbox. In a automotive of this dimension, these figures ship sturdy efficiency. A 0-62mph time of eight seconds flat is suitably speedy, and it’ll preserve going all the way in which to 140mph.  

While the engine is keen to carry out nevertheless, the gearbox takes the sting off the sportiness. For on a regular basis driving it’s fantastic, at the very least for essentially the most half – it’s slightly jerky at low speeds. But attempt to drive keenly and all of it feels quite lazy and unresponsive. You can knock the gearbox into Sport mode and it’ll hold onto the decrease gears slightly longer, nevertheless it’s a disgrace that there’s no gearshift paddles mounted on the wheel to supply slightly further diploma of management, particularly on this sportiest of Fabias. It is feasible to take guide management with the gear lever, however like most VW Group DSG gearboxes, inputs for up and downshifts are counter-intuitive, so it’s not all that satisfying to make use of.

Despite the styling and new engine, there aren’t any technical modifications to the chassis, so it’s very a lot enterprise as standard from behind the wheel. This means protected and exact dealing with, however not essentially the most enjoyable.

That mixture of big-ish engine in a small automotive interprets into respectable gasoline consumption, although. Officially, the 49.7mpg declare is simply 0.2mpg behind the 1.0-litre TSI with an auto field. In most conditions, it’s simple to high 50mpg on a motorway cruise, and economic system within the mid-forties is achievable in combined driving.

Prices for the Fabia Monte Carlo 1.5 TSI begin from £23,735. That’s £1,800 greater than the 1.0-litre unit in the identical trim, the distinction between £365 and £320 per thirty days for those who go for a three-year PCP settlement with a £2,500 deposit. While we’d advocate the 1.0 to most, there’s a spot for the larger engine amongst lengthy distance drivers and people who crave slightly extra efficiency. Just don’t anticipate sizzling hatch thrills.

Model:

Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Price:

£23,735

Engine:

1.5-litre 4cyl turbo petrol

Power/torque:

148bhp/250Nm

Transmission:

Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, front-wheel drive

0-62mph:

8.0 seconds

Top pace:

140mph

Economy/CO2:

49.7mpg/129g/km

On sale:

Now

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