Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo 2017 review | first drive video

Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

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When you think of brands with a proud motorsport history, Skoda probably isn’t the first that springs to mind. But the folks at the Volkswagen Group would like the change that. With this, the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo, named for one of the world’s most iconic rally races, the Rally Monte Carlo. But if you’re expecting a race-spec pocket rocket, prepare to be a little disappointed.

The Fabia Monte Carlo joins the existing Fabia range, which was updated last year. It scores the same engine as the current top-spec model, producing an unchanged 81kW and 175Nm from its 1.2-litre turbocharged engine. That power is channelled through a seven-speed DSG gearbox and sent to the Fabia’s front wheels.

It’s enough to push the Fabia to 100km/h in a not-very-rally 9.4secs, or 9.6secs if you opt for the wagon, which is being offered in the Monte Carlo for the first time.

Still, not exactly sporty. What do you get, then? The good people at Skoda have fitted the Monte Carlo with a sportier suspension tune than the one found in the rest of the range, and it’s been designed to evoke the rally cars of old. So you get this new black grille frame, side skirts, spoiler and rear diffuser, along with 17-inch black alloys.

Inside, you get this cool panoramic sunroof, Apple Car Play or Android Auto and a standard rear-view camera. The camera joins an impressive suite of standard safety gear, including autonomous braking across the range. You’ll also get cruise control, and you can option an adaptive system, too.

As always with Skoda, practicality is key. The wagon body shape carries a ,150 premium over the hatch. Ticking that box will give you 505 litres of space with the rear seats up, and an impressive 1370 litres with the seats folded flat.

Hot hatch it is not, but the Skoda Monte Carlo is a fun, well-equipped and good looking, and in wagon form, it offers a lot more practicality than anyone else in the city car segment. – Buy cars. Sell cars. Simple.

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Brian test drives the 110bhp 1.2 TSI petrol Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo special edition. Music by