Under the hood

If car reviews were written in a grimy tower block somewhere in East London, “dey wood be ritten lyk dis“. But if cars were to be driven in East London, they’d probably look like the Fabia Monte Carlo. Don’t hate – it’s the same Skoda we’ve come to know and love on the inside but with a few added adjustments on the outside. Take the 17-inch “Trinity” black alloys wheels, menacing black smoked halogen projector headlights and black gloss roof and you’ll see that the Monte Carlo puts the ‘spec‘ back into ‘respect‘.

Under the white, creased hood lies your weapon of choice; a 1.2-litre TSI engine straight from the Germans which will take you just over the 100bhp mark (104 stallions to be precise) thanks to geeky turbocharger and supercharger technology you’ll commonly find in a Volkswagen Golf. It’s safe for a 10.1 second sprint to 62 miles per hour and at full beans you’ll hit 119mph. So far, not the venomous sting we’ve come to expect from Skoda’s feisty engineers.

Behind the wheel

Let’s get straight to the point – the driving experience is exactly the same as you’d find in a bog-standard Fabia. If you wanted Kim Jong Un levels of power you’d have gone vRS – but the fruity petrol unit is enough to lighten up dreary inner-city driving and make the chase across Waterloo Bridge more memorable than if you’d stuck with your Boris Bike.

Mash the gas, and wonderfully brilliant engineering means there’s not an ounce of lag; the supercharger works from low-revs to feed in an initial burst of power whilst the turbo kicks in higher up the rev range to keep the boxy hatchback pulling along.

Gear shifts are fairly precise despite a chunky knob, but if Craig David were to ever get behind the wheel, he’d most likely complain that the Monte Carlo isn’t “Slicker Than Your Average“. Whilst the bodykit screams “‘ave it” and would suit a blast around Essex’s twisties, it just doesn’t deliver the merchandise when it matters.

What this is then, is a car that stands out from the crowd in the same way that a young man wearing oversize Beats by Dre headphones sticks out on the bus, but which displays the same vacant, youth characteristics under the shell.

Splash the cash?

Laying down the moolah for the Fabia Monte Carlo is a tricky proposition. On one hand, it’s an attractive pimped version of the dull Fabia, but on the other hand, there’s no bang for your buck with regards to performance which you may or may not expect as a car window shopper. The Monte starts at £14,150 and with options like an Amundsen+ satellite navigation system and a front armrest sits on the scales at £15,510.

When you compare that to the current street price of smack, Tina on the corner, and a 6-pack of Carlsberg, you’ll come to the realisation that it’s a fair bit of your yearly wage to be paying for a car that ultimately is still a Skoda. And as much as we’re fans of the Czechs, we think you’re probably better off cosying up to the Skoda’s older cousin, the Volkswagen Polo, which we think in standard guise is a much better looking car.

But if you’re that type of girl or guy who wants to get noticed in our busy world without having to shell out insane fuel costs or fear losing your green card everytime you hit the hammer, the Fabia Monte Carlo may be for you.

Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo Review: Extrovert Meets Introvert, 6.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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Spec

Model 2012 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
BHP  bhp
0-62mph  secs
Top Speed  mph
Weight  kg
MPG  mpg
CO2  g/km
Price £

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