Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI - long-term review - Report No:4 2022 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Long-term review

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI - long-term review

£19,400 / £21,925 / £273pcm
Published: 22 Sep 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    1.0 TSO Colour Edition

  • ENGINE

    999cc

  • BHP

    110bhp

Skoda Fabia: does the Monte Carlo spec give it some life?

Perhaps it’s prudent to temper one’s expectations. The red car and the blue car above did not have a race, because neither one was built to go racing. You’ll know that Skoda long ago abandoned its vRS badge, despite the UK being one of the key regions where it sold successfully.

Which is a shame, because those classic Fabia vRS models were always a hoot; solid performance from unsuspecting origins. Turns out people wanted the looks of the vRS minus the performance and running costs that go with it. And lo, vRS rode off into the sunset to be replaced by the blue car above – the Monte Carlo edition.

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Before we get to that, a bit of context. Despite being enormously impressed by the competence of TG’s long-term 1.0-litre ‘Colour’ Edition, we’re struggling to pin a personality on it or find some ‘colour’ in its persona. It does everything so well and with such little fuss, but without really captivating. Zero jazz hands.

Should a supermini have jazz hands? The Ford Fiesta has always proved it’s possible. So while vRS doesn’t exist anymore, we thought a poke around the range-topping Monte Carlo edition might add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise Very Sensible Car.

It certainly looks funkier. The MC gets a slightly more aggressive front bumper than the ‘Colour’ edition, a blacked-out grille surround, and marginally different side skirts. Bigger wheels, obviously, and black and red accents around the cabin. Looks good in blue, you’ll agree, but it’s not leagues ahead of what we’re currently running.

The 1.5-litre engine we tested in the MC edition is good, too: punchy and plenty fast enough for clogged British roads. It’ll go from 0-62mph in eight seconds and specced with the optional DSG ‘box is decent and offers good pace… but the 1.0-litre triple isn’t too far off. And if neither offer proper mini hot hatch performance, nor in-yer-face looks, then why not embrace the Fabia’s inherent sensibleness, save some money and opt for a lesser-spec?

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Perhaps then, we’re asking too much of our good little red car. It’s sensible, it’s frugal, and it does everything asked of it. Maybe that’s enough. After all, it’s prudent to temper one’s expectations.

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