Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo reviewed
- Rally-inspired Fabia Monte Carlo
- Priced from £12,875 - £15,120
- Black alloys, darkened windows, rear spoiler and diffuser
What is it? A special-edition Fabia, built to celebrate Skoda UK's participation in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), that comes with flourishes of sporty touches – including 17-inch black alloy wheels, black gloss door mirrors, roof- and rear spoilers, rear diffuser, darkened headlights, sports seats and sports suspension.
What's it like to drive? Pretty much like any other Fabia. The sports suspension firms things up a little – but there's still a lot of body lean in bends and the steering and gearshift are vague. Our test car was fitted with the clattery 104bhp 1.6-litre diesel. While its low CO2 emissions and 67.3mpg are impressive, its handling and pace doesn't really fit with the rally image.
The turbocharged 104bhp 1.2-litre petrol would be a better bet. There's also a non-turbo with 68bhp, an 85bhp turbocharged 1.2 and a 74bhp 1.6 diesel in Monte Carlo spec. All come with a five-speed manual gearbox.
What's it like inside? The sporty theme is emphasised in the cabin, with aluminium, Monte Carlo-branded kickplates on the door sills, darkened rear windows and leather-trimmed steering wheel with red stitching.
The Fabia sits at the larger end of the supermini class, so it has plenty of space to offer. There's plenty of head- and legroom in any seat – enough for four large adults to travel in comfort.
Should I buy one? If you are a Skoda-mad rally fan who can't quite stretch to the £16,000 Fabia vRS, then you could love a Monte Carlo – especially fitted with higher-powered of the turbocharged 1.2 petrols.
However, the Fabia is getting a little long in the tooth, now, and looking at a blinged-up Fabia is a bit like watching your dad trying to dance at a nightclub. There are better, more modern superminis on sale that young buyers can spec up to the nines – think Mini, or Fiat 500 or even Citroen DS3. Those cars are where our money would go.
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