New Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo – A Legacy in Style.
New Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo – A Legacy in Style.
Previous generations of the Skoda Fabia have always offered practicality, quality and value by the bucket load, but the latest generation of Skoda’s big-selling supermini builds on these strengths, and adds stylish good looks and desirability into the mix too. More than 4.5 million Fabia’s were sold around the world over the last 20 years, with customers enjoying the affordable running costs, space, reliability and strong build quality on offer. The new Fabia is longer (by 111mm) and wider (by 48mm) than its predecessor, but an 8mm reduction in height provides the car with a sleeker and more modern look than ever before.
The original Skoda Fabia made its debut in 1999 and replaced the ageing Felicia, which was based on the Favorit, the last car designed and developed by the brand before it was taken over by Volkswagen. A second-generation Fabia arrived in 2007, followed by an all-new model in 2014. Now in its fourth generation, the new Skoda Fabia is the last of the Volkswagen Group’s core superminis to switch onto its MQB-A0 platform. Other cars currently using this platform are the Seat Ibiza, VW Polo and Audi A1 – all of which are from brands within the VW Group itself. The major benefits of the new platform include improved refinement, extra cabin space, and improved cabin quality, along with cutting-edge safety technology. Despite the continued growth of SUV’s and Crossovers, superminis such as the Skoda Fabia are still very popular, with many owners favouring the compact dimensions of a supermini when manoeuvring in and out of tight parking spaces.
The engine line-up in the new Fabia consists solely of petrol powered units, with no plans to introduce a diesel engine, or electrification to the range. The entry-level engine is a 3-cylinder 1-litre MPI naturally-aspirated unit with a choice of 65hp or 80hp and mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, while a 3-cylinder 1-litre TSI turbo-charged unit comes with 95hp or 110hp in 5-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automatic transmission guises respectively – with power sent to the front wheels. Buyers of the new Skoda Fabia can choose from Active, Ambition, Style and Monte Carlo trim levels – all of which consist of LED headlights with daytime running lights, numerous airbags, remote central locking, Lane Assist with Active Steering, Hill Hold Control, Driver Alert, Forward Collision Warning with Emergency Brake & Pedestrian Recognition, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, ISOFIX with top tether attachments, and eCall emergency assist.
The new Fabia scored the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP crash safety test. Achieving 78 per cent of the maximum available points, the Fabia is one of the safest vehicles in its class. The Fabia received 85 per cent of the maximum points for adult protection and 81 per cent for child safety, and thus performed particularly well in these two areas. The top rating for the new Fabia builds on Skoda Auto’s impressive record; since 2008, each of the 14 new Skoda models evaluated has received the highest five-star rating. With almost 80 per cent of the new Fabia’s components made of high-strength steel, the MQB-A0 platform not only provides the Fabia with a highly torsion-resistant body, but also supports the integration of several advanced assistance systems for the first time.
Test Car Details.
My Fabia Monte Carlo 1.0-litre TSI test car was finished in striking Phoenix Orange exclusive metallic paintwork with a black roof, door pillars and door mirror casings. The car’s sporty character is also accentuated by the black radiator grille trim, distinctive front bumper and sills, and stylish diamond-cut alloy wheels with Aero trims. In order to make the Monte Carlo model’s driving experience complete, the interior is fitted with proper sports seats. Robust yet comfortable, these sports seats (boasting the unique Monte Carlo design) will hug the driver and front seat passenger close at every turn. The carbon-effect and red-metallic décor in the cabin contribute to the car’s interior dynamic appearance, while ambient lighting and white stitching on the seats, armrest and dashboard trim add extra elegance. Other key ‘Monte Carlo’ standard equipment includes a panoramic roof with fixed glass, Bolero infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, 3-spoke sporty leather multifunction steering wheel, aluminium pedals, dark tinted rear privacy glass, black rear spoiler, black ‘SKODA’ and ‘FABIA’ lettering, and unique ‘Monte Carlo’ badges. Producing 95hp and 175Nm of torque, the Fabia’s refined 999cc engine enables the car to sprint from 0-100km/h in 10.6-seconds, while a fuel return of 5.1l/100kms is achievable on a WLTP combined driving cycle. The car feels solid and secure through corners, and handles like a car from a class above. A natural feel to the Fabia’s steering, along with excellent handling characteristics, precise gearing, and comfortable ride quality make the new Fabia very relaxing to drive. The standard five-speed manual transmission in my test car proved its worthiness when driving in city traffic, but the Fabia is equally impressive at motorway speeds too. Suspension still comprises steel coil springs, with MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear, while ventilated disc brakes at the front, and drums at the rear ensure that the Fabia responds well to soft and hard braking. Thanks to a wheelbase that has grown by 120mm over that of its predecessor, cabin space within the new Fabia is impressive, with ample head, leg and shoulder room for 3 occupants in the rear of the car. Boot capacity weighs in at an impressive 380-litres behind the rear seats, and a full-size spare wheel and tool kit can be found beneath the carpeted boot floor (a rarity these days).
Verdict & Pricing.
The new Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo excels in all of the important areas, with its ride quality being a particularly impressive stand-out feature. The Fabia is the most spacious car in its class, and it makes the most of the space on offer with useful storage solutions – including an umbrella concealed within the drivers door trim. The new Fabia is priced from just €19,820 (ex-delivery), with the sports-inspired Monte Carlo model priced from €25,690 (ex-delivery).