Sporty Monte Carlo trim added to Skoda Scala and Kamiq ranges

  • Black fixtures and fittings add visual aggression
  • Increased levels of technology also feature
  • No diesel engine options, though

If you’re searching for a car that looks sporty, but without the high running costs of an out-and-out performance model, Skoda doesn’t just have one answer, it’s got two: order books are now open for the new Scala Monte Carlo hatchback and Kamiq Monte Carlo SUV.

Sitting at the top of both ranges, the Monte Carlo trim level has been applied to various Skodas since 2011 and celebrates the Czech brand’s historical rallying successes in the Mediterranean principality.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean either the Scala or Kamiq are fitted with an internal roll cage or that you have to wear a crash helmet to drive one – instead the sporty makeover is altogether more subtle.

Tasteful Monte Carlo modifications

Both the Scala and Kamiq Monte Carlos share common themes as part of their upgrades from the existing SE L specification versions.

Black is the overriding theme for both models with changes to the grille surrounds, lower rear bumper trim and the Skoda lettering across the tailgate (not shown in these photos, oddly) all finished in gloss black, as are the 18-inch alloy wheels. Skoda calls the design Vega if you’re into your rims.

Red 2020 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo front three-quarter driving

Also making it to the standard kit roster are a glass roof to make the interior feel more airy and a sportier front bumper design to amplify the visual aggression.

It’s a similar them inside, with sports front seats with additional side and thigh support and a black headlining, offset by striking red interior ambient lighting.

Skoda has also fitted the Scala Monte Carlo with the extended glass tailgate option, which makes the rear of the car even more distinctive, but doesn’t serve any practical function.

Increased levels of technology

Headlamps and tail lights on the Scala and Kamiq Monte Carlos are full LED units, making night time driving even safer as they offer far superior illumination than conventional halogen bulbs.

Red and black 2020 Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo interior

There’s further technology inside to amplify the driving experience with a fully digital set of instruments ahead of the driver and an upgraded 9.2-inch infotainment screen – known as Amundsen in Skodaspeak – with useful features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for seamless smartphone integration.

Modest running costs

Petrol power is your only choice with Monte Carlo versions of both the Scala and Kamiq, limited to a choice of 1.0- and 1.5-litre turbocharged TSI engines, producing 115hp and 150hp, respectively. The 1.0-litre engine performs adequately, the 1.5 with considerably more gusto, but not quick enough to justify it wearing a vRS badge such as the fastest versions of the Octavia and Kodiaq.

Red 2020 Skoda Scala Monte Carlo rear three-quarter driving

Whichever engine you go for, there’s a choice of a manual or DSG twin-clutch automatic gearbox – the latter’s a £1,250 option on the Kamiq, £1,270 on the Scala.

Even without a lack of a diesel engine option, all deliver sensible levels of fuel efficiency to help keep running costs in check. Depending on the engine and gearbox combination, Skoda posts official claims of between 41.5mpg and 51.4mpg for the Scala, 38.2mpg to 49.6mpg for the Kamiq.

What this means for you

There’s a lot to like about the way the Scala and Kamiq Monte Carlo versions look, but these upgrades come at a cost that dents their appeal.

Red 2020 Skoda Monte Carlo badge

Weighing in at £22,680, the cheapest Scala Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI 115PS is £1,950 more than the equivalent SE L model. It’s even greater with the Kamiq: pick the same engine and the difference between SE L and Monte Carlo grades is £2,160.

Unless you really have to have those sportier looks, our advice would be to stick with one of the less expensive models and indulge in better value-for-money. First customer deliveries will be in spring 2020.

Further reading:

>> Why do we rate the Kamiq so highly? Read our full review to find out

>> Huge interior space in a compact package? That’s the Skoda Scala

>> Going electric? How good is Skoda’s Citigo-e iV battery-powered city car?

White 2020 Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo rear three-quarter driving