The Skoda Fabia has gained popularity over the years because it packages the simple and straightforward ethos of the Skoda brand with good value pricing and a raft of engines derived from the Volkswagen Group. Now Skoda has revisited the Fabia in their line-up, and refreshed the model with a number of updates.
What’s new for the Skoda Fabia in 2019?
The Fabia range is available in Ireland from €15,600 and features a new line-up of all petrol engines, including a 1.0 MPI unit offering 75hp and a 1.0 TSI unit with 95hp or 110hp. The 110hp engine is also available with the option of DSG automatic transmission.
Styling has been tweaked also and the facelifted Fabia includes a redesigned radiator grille, alterations to the front and rear bumpers, new headlights and tail lights with optional LED technology. But Fabia’s quite quirky squared off profile remains. The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo as tested (from €19,425) gives the Fabia a more individual look, with a black roof (optional) and door mirrors, 16” black alloys, tinted glass, black rear spoiler and black front grille surround.
The interior of the 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
Inside, Skoda has refreshed the cabin of the Fabia with a newly designed instrument cluster and seat upholstery. The Skoda Fabia has a straightforward cabin that’s easy to find your way around. The cabin quality is good though there are some cheaper plastics used. The thing I did notice is that it’s starting to look a little dated in comparison to newer competition, but there is a 6.5” colour touchscreen infotainment unit standard from the middle of the range with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
I do like the sporty ambience of the Monte Carlo models with their special seat upholstery, a flat bottom sports leather steering wheel, chrome pedals and red stitching.
Does it come well-equipped?
There are four trim levels for the Fabia in Ireland: Active, Ambition, Monte Carlo and Style. Standard equipment includes 14” steel wheels, a Blues radio unit with Aux-In, USB port and SD slot, electric front windows, height adjustable driver’s seat, and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors.
The mid-level Ambition (from €16,725) adds 15” alloy wheels, a Swing 6.5” colour touchscreen infotainment unit, Smartlink including Apple Car Play and Android Auto, leather multi-function steering wheel and front fog lights.
The Style trim (from €18,815) adds air conditioning, rear electric windows, front arm rest, keyless entry and keyless start, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and a height adjustable passenger seat.
The sporty Monte Carlo version is available from €19,425 with the equipment highlights listed above.
Is it practical?
The Fabia will seat four reasonably comfortably, five at a push. The two footwells in the rear do seem quite large for a supermini and headroom is good too because of that squared off roofline. The boot is also excellent for this class of vehicle at 330 litres.
The Fabia Combi is available for an extra €745 across the range and comes with even more boot volume.
Driving the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
I was test driving the 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo with the 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine with 110hp. The Fabia is fun to drive with light steering and an agile driving character. The engine provides peppy performance in the low gears, only running out of puff in the top gears. The Fabia is comfortable on the move and stable on the motorway, with just a hint of road noise at high speeds. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.3l/100km, while motor tax is just €190 per year.
While this updated Skoda Fabia is not a new, new model – it’s merely a facelift with some cosmetic changes – the Fabia is still a very enjoyable small car. It’s practical for its size and nice to drive. Though it’s starting to feel a little old inside, this is not a huge frustration really since it’s still a nice cabin to spend time in. For me the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the pick of the range, because it really makes a statement!
Model tested: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI
Price: €21,435 (Range from €15,600)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 110 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
0-100km/h: 9.6 seconds
Top speed: 195 km/h
Fuel economy: 4.6l/100km
Motor tax: €190 per year