The Skoda Fabia is one of the best models in the category. A utility that wins many integers in its latest generation. On this occasion we tested the most powerful version, the 1.5 with 150 horses and Monte Carlo finish. Is it really worth it?
I have always defended that having more power is not a simple matter of bravado, other factors must also be taken into account. A sweet does not make anyone bitter, but it is not always justified. The Skoda Fabia is, for me, one of the best options to get my hands on in the utility segment . Its last generation has evolved a lot and very well. After having put it to the test before, now it’s time to get behind the wheel of the most powerful version of the range, the Fabia 1.5 TSI with 150 horsepower.
The Fabia Monte Carlo reserves the largest engine of the entire family
As I was saying, the new generation of the Fabia, the fourth that we know of since 1999, is not only the most complete of all, but also one of the most recommended within the utility category. Thanks to a very successful aesthetic wash, the little Fabia leaves behind its heritage with the past, showing a lot of muscle and presence . With the Monte Carlo finish of the test unit, what we achieve is to exploit the sporty side of Skoda a little more.
Although many do not believe it, the Czechs have a good pedigree when it comes to the world of competition. They currently participate in the world rally championship calendar, in addition to clearly betting on various national events. To his credit are 13 world titles since 2009. Monte Carlo is the name used by the most aggressive versions, reserving in this case for himself the most powerful mechanics in the entire range, the aforementioned 1.5 TSI.
The details reach numerous body panels, where the incorporation of the logo on the front wings stands out. From inside doors there are also differences with respect to the other finishes in the range. Decorations in red, sporty cut seats with specific upholstery and above all more equipment. An equipment that allows the Skoda Fabia to be one of the most complete utilities on the market. As always with the Czechs, the price of the options is quite affordable, although the base price of the finish itself is already high .
With a price increase of 1,800 euros with respect to the Style finish, the previous one in the line of versions, it is somewhat high. It is true that we won in presence, but touching the barrier of 23,000 euros for a car of 4.11 meters seems excessive to a server . It is also true that in recent times the bull market leaves some bills difficult to assume, but the evil of many does not mean the consolation of a few. The prices are skyrocketing and I don’t like them.
Being the highest finish, the equipment is the most complete, with unique details
But leaving aside the economic factor, on which every pocket depends, it is clear that Skoda wants to reward its customers with a very wide offer . If we talk about base equipment, we find such interesting trinkets as LED headlights, digital instrumentation, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, or the 8-inch multimedia system. There is also no lack of security elements such as lane departure warning, numerous airbags and cruise control. Details such as the parking camera are missing, although it is not expensive in the list of options.
Something that does not change with the engine or the Monte Carlo finish is the space offered in the rear seats. Despite its small size, Skoda knows how to take advantage of every inch of the wheelbase. Later passengers will be able to go with some comfort if they do not exceed 1.90 meters in height . For the legs, the space is also generous, although the same cannot be said of the width. The high transmission tunnel greatly limits the use of the central plaza. If it’s busy, the shorter the drive, the better.
The habitability of the rear seats is one of the best in the category
The growth of the Fabia for its new generation also allows it to reach an inappropriate trunk volume in the category. The 380 liters of minimum capacity that are advertised are more than enough for day to day and even for trips as a couple or with friends . We can gain volume if we fold down the second row of seats, reaching a maximum of 1,190 liters. Of course, the usual Skoda details are not missing, such as the scraper on the fuel tank lid or the umbrella integrated into the driver’s door.
At the wheel of the Skoda Fabia 1.5 TSI DSG
The headline of this test reads: is more power always better? The question comes up from Skoda’s decision to put a larger petrol engine under the hood. It is the well-known block 1.5 TSI of 150 horses. It consists of four turbocharged cylinders with a 1,498 cubic centimeters of displacement and 250 Nm of torque . There are 40 horsepower more than the previous version in terms of power, in addition to having one more cylinder, which always helps.
At Motor.es we have tested the 1.5 TSI block many times. It is currently one of the engines most used by the Volkswagen Group. We can see it in models as diverse as the Volkswagen Golf, its brother the Skoda Octavia or even in an Audi Q3. We always highlight the same thing about it, the good performance it offers and the low consumption it obtains . It is one of the best valued gasoline engines of the moment. A safe bet, but also in the Fabia?
During my usual week of testing there have been many lights and the occasional shadow. The engine has more than enough performance for a car like the Fabia. 150 horses are suitable for larger cars, so in a 4.11-meter utility it is more than enough. He has a good punch, he gains speed in a solvent way and overtaking or starting from a standstill is not a problem . In these scenarios, the power is never too much and if you are going to move a lot on secondary roads or mountain passes where you usually have to overtake, it is my best recommendation.
The automatic change is not particularly advantageous to me in this case
If, on the other hand, your use is going to be easier and quieter, I don’t think it’s necessary to make the leap. Neither for price nor for consumption, because after all you are going to have a car that you are not going to take advantage of, in addition, you are going to lose driving comfort . Some time ago I highlighted the erratic behavior of the 1.5 TSI with the seven-speed DSG gearbox. It had been a while since I had suffered from them again, but in this case they have become more than evident, so it is my obligation to mention them.
With the car cold and at low speed, excessively noticeable and annoying jerks occur. They are not pleasant at all and it only happens with the automatic transmission. The DSG can come in handy in other cars, but in a B segment it seems unnecessary. Not only is there the problem of jerks at low speed, but also the increased price that it entails for the few benefits you get . At times he is excessively abrupt, while at other times he is too relaxed.
The 8-inch screen is standard, but this 9.2-inch screen costs 935 euros
The effect becomes more noticeable in urban routes, which are the natural habitat of the Fabia. For this reason my recommendation is to go down a notch in terms of power and opt for the 110-horsepower 1.0 TSI with a six-speed manual transmission . A very happy engine and a change that knows how to take advantage of every horsepower in a more effective and refined way. You will lower the price without losing many features and without sacrificing consumption data. With an average of 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers, the autonomy should give you to travel 650 kilometers without stopping to refuel .
Power isn’t bad, but sometimes it’s unnecessary, as is the case with the Skoda Fabia 1.5 TSI Monte Carlo . Although the benefits help in some specific moments, in most of the time it is not used. Why pay more if you are not going to need it? The logical purchase is the Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI with 110 horses. There you do have a car for everything you can propose, cheaper and even more refined in its behavior, one of the best, if not the best, utility on the market.