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Seat Ibiza 1.4 5-door

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      25.03.2012 01:22

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      A great car for a great price

      I have a 57 plate 5 door 1.4FS Ibiza.

      I bought it pre-registered so saved over 1/3rd off the ticket price as it was the old shape and they were about to launch the new version

      After having a KA previously this car is pure luxury. The driver, passenger and 2 back seats are half buckets so you feel supported during a long drive (i drive over 600 miles a week!). The steering wheel column is adjustable so you set up is more refined (i'm quite short so this is a bonus for me!)

      I've had the car 4 years and done 60,000 miles and as I have kept it fully serviced, apart from the obvious new tires, oil change etc. It hasn't needed any additional work on it to date.

      In saying that at its next service it is due a new cam belt and that is gonna set you back approx £250 (unless you know a guy who can do you a better deal) But then it has to be done otherwise I'm going to end up stuck on the M5 somewhere knowing my luck!

      For the price I paid I couldn't ask for a better car, it fits my needs. It isn't the flashiest car but it suits me fine.

      The only downside is the lack of room in the back seats. But then I don't sit in the back so it doesn't really worry me! I think it#s just my friends that grumble when they scramble in.

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      14.11.2011 12:43

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      Brilliant car, wouldn't change a thing about it

      I have had my Seat Ibiza 1.4SE from brand new and for just over a year now and I absolutely love it. I chose it in Track Grey and have to say it looks wicked, very sporty with the curves and lines down the side. I wanted an Ibiza based on looks for ages, since the new style came out, so eventually I booked a test drive and instantly fell in love. I test drove the 1.2 and the 1.4 and have to say if anyone is in two minds about whether to save the money and go for the 1.2, don't! The 1.4 has many more additional features, and handles and accelerates much much better. It has cruise control and cornering headlights and mine has hill-hold which is a genius little option, but only if you live in a hilly area (like I do) as its not a cheap add on. A couple of my friends have been insured to drive it for a day (its the newest car in our group and I get fed up of doing all the driving) and they were all really impressed, all agreeing it far surpassed their expectations as a tiny little city car. It's nippy and handles really well on corners, no leaning at all. It also is incredibly economical, and I don't even have the Eco option for the car. It can build up to a tidy little speed with little effort and isn't noisy on the motorway or at high speeds. It has split folding rear seats which is a really useful feature as it allows me to have maximum flexibility with boot/car space. For such a small car it doesn't feel cramped inside, everyone has just enough leg room even if they're closer to 6 foot and every aspect of your driving position is moveable for maximum comfort. The Seat Ibiza is an incredibly nippy little city car, which is easy to park and appears to be like a TARDIS... I recommended it to a friend a while ago and they purchased one and again are incredibly impressed, said its the best car they've had - and I'd agree with that statement. I test drove a few of its contemporaries and for the price, none even came close. Would recommend again and again.

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      30.07.2010 17:02
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      a nice little car

      ==Seat Ibiza 1.4 5 Door==


      Not so long ago I was driving around in an orange coloured Fiat Punto of a relatively old 1998 plate. Considering that fact that I work across the road from where I live and Himself has to walk 10 minutes to get to his work, the car is not often used and thus we care little about having some new top of the range car (well I do have to keep telling Himself how little we do actually care and he is coming around!). It just so happened that back in September 2009 the electrics of the car gave up the ghost a week after we had just paid out to have the head gasket half job repaired! It looked like it was going to be the day from hell.


      The journey that day without the electrics was short and made even shorter by the fact that someone decided to drive into the side of me and the Fiat Punto which is made of nothing more than aluminium crumpled like the tin can it was! The accident overall was nothing major but entirely the other drivers fault and the orange Punto was written off! But having the insurance pay out for my Punto and a tidy sum for the whiplash injuries I sustained we were able to get a new car and put some away for our house fund! (The day didn't turn out too bad after all).


      So we didn't set out to buy a Seat Ibiza but it just happened to be there at the right place at the right time. Living on the Isle of Wight you seem to pay even more for second hard cars as the dealers are not as plentiful as on the mainland and you are really limited to where to go. With this in mind, I decided to take my luck and buy a car off eBay! Knowing absolutely nothing about cars how much could go wrong!


      I was watching this particular Seat Ibiza because it has the 5 doors and a nice sized 1.4 litre petrol engine. The fact that it looked rather nice in the shiny red colour with the alloy wheels which shined further drew me to it like a magpie to a gem! Of course the price was dirt cheap as the auction had only just started and the mileage wasn't overly brilliant at 100,000 on the clock. So I kept my eye on it and waited. I did some research on various places (usedcarfinder was excellent) and this gave me information as to what this car would cost in various states and it didn't look like I would want to pay over £1400 for it to get a good deal.


      The car has a 2001 plate which again is not particularly new but it is the newest car I have ever owned and anything newer would cause me to worry too much about little scratches and where I park it etc. so with that and our budget in mind this was around the age we were looking for.


      After nearly having a heart attack waiting for the auction to tick over the last few minutes and putting our maximum bid in I had to have a whisky to steady my nerves! We had won the car for £1100! Bargain. So seeing as the car was over in Portsmouth we had to go over and get it. The people were lovely and so was the car. It had been well looked after and we have had no problems with it at all in the year we have nearly had it.


      It had been having regular services which as yet we haven't done and it passed its MOT which was a month or so ago which surprised us as none of our cars have ever passed first time! But the tax which we bought a few months back was higher than what we are used to at £155 for the year however this is still affordable and not as high as other cars.


      The Seat Ibiza we have is called a "Chill" and it does have a slightly annoying sticker which says this on the side and back of the car. There is no point picking this off as it would probably not come off very easily and I am not overly bothered by it.


      The interior of the car looks perhaps slightly better than it is, as there is a tape deck player which is contained within a digital panel which displays the temperature of the car both inside and outside. It has a picture of a car on and shows you in which direction the air is coming from. It displays whether the air conditioning is on or not and gives the information about the chosen radio station.


      We have not bothered to get the tape deck changed to the CD player which was taken out of our other car purely for the fact that we are never in the car long enough to listen to much anyway. I think last year we did less than 3000 miles so this goes to tell you how much we are actually out in the vehicle.


      Back to the Seat Ibiza and there is front electric windows but the back windows have to be done manually which doesn't bother me too much as these are very rarely opened. There is also the child lock feature on the car door which is always handy to keep the little man from jumping out!. The drivers door has a couple of buttons to allow all the doors to be locked and then for them to be unlocked again with another button. This feature is very handy for when I am driving alone and like to feel safe.


      The car has both front windscreen wipers and one back one. These have the fluid sprays which are easily used with the right hand side arm by the steering wheel and the fluid is easily filled up under the bonnet and is often done by me!


      The driver and passengers of the front seats both have airbags which we haven't tested out yet and touch wood we never will but also touch wood that they do work and are all present and correct!


      There are five gears to the car and as it is a manual car the clutch is there are works well. Plus there is a little foot rest next to this pedal which means you foot is never too far away and is a little bit of luxury in my opinion as the Fiat didn't have this!


      The indicators of the car are operated by the left hand arm under the steering wheel which was different to the last car as they worked either side but really this is not a big problem and didn't take really very long to get used to using it this way.


      There is one thing that still does make me have to stop and think about it, especially as like I said I don't use the car that often especially at night, and that is the headlights. These are found not on one of the arms under the steering wheel as I have had with everyone of my other cars, but on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel. It takes me a good while to remember they are there! Thank goodness there is a little beeping noise to remind you to turn them off if you switch the engine off and take out your keys otherwise the battery would go flat on me!

      There is another beep that the car makes and it is rather loud and makes me jump out of my skin each time I hear it, and that is the fuel warning sound. Not only does a small orange light appear on the dash but also this piercing beep that happens every time the car is turned on and it needs petrol. Also if you are beginning to run low whilst driving and the light flashes on you may not notice but the beeping sound that comes is enough to make you crash! Plus the fact that you can do a good 30 or more miles without running out of petrol totally is a little bit of a wind up!


      The car having 5 doors is what we needed especially when having the little man and these doors are good but the only problem is that of the two sets of keys that we were given, only one of them has the remote central locking. Of course I bagged myself this key and Himself has to lock it manually by the one key hole that is in the drivers door (which can be a little awkward when he has the little man).


      It did take me a while to suss out the boot too as I couldn't work out how to open it. There is no flicker inside the car like a lot of my previous cars I have had and there didn't appear to be a lock in the outer part of the boot either. It took a while but we eventually worked out that you need to push in the Seat badge at the back of the car for it to act like a type of handle! It is ingenious and I couldn't believe how well hidden it was, I am very easily pleased!


      The handling of the car is pretty good but I suspect with the Seat Ibiza's this would change from each car to each car given all the different circumstances the car has been put through. I can say though that even though our car has done over the 100,000 miles mark, it drives smoothly and we have really had no problems with it.


      We generally top up the tank with around £10 per every week and a half and that seems to last us around the 50 miles or a little bit more of course depending on if our journeys that week are made up of very short ones or not so short ones! I am sorry if this review has not been overly technical but I am not much for cars and all I know is that my experience of this Seat Ibiza has been positive. It is a car that looks good, was purchased cheap and runs well.


      For a little run around I think it is a perfect car that was well worth the money. I cannot really find any fault with it and considering its age and the amount of miles that it has done, it is surprising that we have not had any problems with it at all compared to the Punto where we were in the garage everyday since the day of purchase more or less.


      I have to say that in my experience with only the limited number of previous cars (Austin Metro, Ford Escort, Fiat Punto) that I have had, this has got to be the best one so far for not needing the garage so much and being reliable. It still has a fair bit of power in it and can easily do over 100mph on the motorway on the one occasion that we did take it across that bit of water.


      To wrap it up then, I feel that I can only give me little Seat Ibiza Chill top marks of 5 stars out of 5 and a very high recommendation. I just hope that now I have written this review it hasn't jinxed me and the thing will fall apart when it gets taken out next!


      Many thanks for taking the time to read.

      I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.

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        28.07.2010 10:04

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        Not the most efficient, but as good as most small petrol cars

        Although not the flashiest car about, the seat is very realiable, comfy inside, responsive and well made. It does not have air conditioning or a CD player, but the next model up does have these. The interior design is classic and does not look cheap like some. The fuel economy is not fantastic, getting about 320 miles out of tank, which costs just over £40 at the moment, but is comparable to most 1.4 petrol cars about. Parts are quite expensive if something does go wrong, but that is a common story these days with most cars. The insurance and tax are both reasonable. It is actually quite a spacious car, and if you put the back seats down there is plenty of space to transport things about, like bikes or furniture. Having five doors is also a big advantage if you take passengers regularly. Our Seat is about ten years old, and has had no real problems with it, apart from the usual wear and tear such as tyres wearing out and needing new break pads. Out of all the cars I have owned this has been the most reliable.

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        12.07.2010 19:09

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        Great car

        I learnt to drive in the seat ibiza and i must say that its is wonderful to drive, i would highly recommend it. I cant wait to be able to afford to get a seat ibiza and i find it such a nice drive, and its a very comfortable car, and you feel quite safe and secure in it. Its also nice as being a 1.4 it isnt too powerful, but its powerful to get you up hills with ease. Great for a newish driver, and great for a first time car. I think it is also pretty economical especially if you get a diesel. Quite spacious and the boot is a reasonable size. Not too big to handle, but big enough for a family car, very family friendly with good safety features.
        Overall a great car to drive, and like i said i cant wait to be able to afford to buy myself one as it is lovely to drive.

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        31.07.2009 20:25
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        Brum would be Jealous

        In June of this year, after a prolonged run of the RAC delivering me home from work via the hard shoulder of the M25, and once being towed for a mightily useful 30 feet by the Velvety Hi-Vis adorned Traffic Wombles before they stopped and left me stranded on the M4, I'd had enough.
        I was in the market for some wheels. Some proper whips dude.
        I was going to buy a car. Actually buy an actual car.
        Of my own.

        It's the nearest sensation to feeling like an excited child without risking misunderstanding peasants with pitchforks.
        Luckily for me, the entire banking system had collapsed across the globe, and as a way of an apology for the inconvenience, the not-so Alistair Darling offered to give me £2000 for my bucket of nuts, so long as I bought a shiny spanky new new car.
        After careful deliberation and driving lots of different makes and models of cars that were way out of my price range, I set my budget at £7000 and suddenly came over all sensible and rather than get a very basic brand new and possibly Korean car, I'd get a better specification, and probably electric windows if I bought a 3 year old car instead, forfeiting the £2000 discount but saving about £5000 on the same brand new versions.
        In my price range were Vauxhall Astra's, Ford Fiesta's and Focuseseses, and other ones, that I didn't like much.

        What did I buy? I bought a 5-door 2006 Seat Ibiza 1.4.SE DAB.
        There are some numbers and letters there that the friendly car salesman kindly explained to the somewhat bewildered man who was blinking at him.

        The 1.4 Engine size means I can poke along comfortably on the motorways in any lane I choose and I won't have to lean forward going up hills like I had to in my old 1.0 Corsa, and pootling around Imperial Town I benefit from around 40 imperial miles to the imperial gallon, and the fuel tank costs about £50 to fill, when filling at a scandalous £1.04 a litre. That's £4.70 a gallon. Is that good? Who knows.

        The 'SE' in some mystifying car way means my wheels are not steal but they are Alloys, I get spot lights for when I drive into the foggy 1930's London, the seats are a bit bucketed to annoy any full sized Americans I might meet, the Air Conditioning for when opening the electric windows just won't do, a CD player (CD's kids! remember those?) and disc brakes front and back, instead of those rubbishy drum brakes, obviously.

        The DAB bit is what made me buy the car. I decided I wanted it before I'd driven it because it had a DAB Digital radio, and also an IPod connection in the glovebox. I didn't even have an Ipod at the time, but I did have gloves. Having DAB in my car means I can listen to Radio One 3 seconds behind everyone else in the traffic jam and occasionally sounding like I'm under water, or I can scroll through a seemingly endless choice of easy listening before finger-raving to the Gaydar station.

        All together, it meant that I was getting what I considered to be a nice collection of extras compared with the Vauxhall and Ford choices.

        And it was a nice blue-grey colour too.

        Time to show a proper manly interest and pop the bonnet.
        Crushingly for my grease monkey ancestors, I'm not the DIY type - I retired my screwdriver after an incident where I managed to make the kitchen light switch control the bathroom bulbs - so I was delighted when, under the bonnet, Seat have helpfully made all the things that plebs like me are allowed to touch coloured brightly orange - the washer bottle reservoir cap, the oil filler cap, and the dipstick, that's the wiry thing that you always pull out and have a look at knowing full well that you haven't got a cloth to wipe it with, so your efforts are pointless.
        Everything that cost money to fix is protected beneath a bit protective piece of moulded plastic that carried the Seat Logo, but should really say "Do not touch under any circumstances."
        This however, wouldn't be a concern, because this was my new car and new car's don't break down, because that's not allowed.

        The dashboard has both a rev counter and speedometer, and there's a digital display that tells you all sorts of information like the temperature, so you can sit in your car until it gets warm enough to get out if you please, and average speeds and mpg figures, all at the toggle of a button, although surprisingly fascinating considering you're supposed to be looking where you're going rather than how many hours you've been driving for.
        Then there's the hoarder's favourite; the secret cubby holes. I've got a slot thing that's big enough to slide my phone in but too small for me to put my hand in to get it out again, there's one cup holder behind the handbrake and there's one that pops out of the dash making me feel like I'm Scotty on the Starbuck Enterprise.
        It was almost a week before I found the top secret pull down compartment that's by my right knee and is the perfect size for a bag of Wine Gums and some sunglasses.

        The boot is plenty big enough for the weekly shop, or one of those child-carrying prams, with or without child.

        When it comes to actual driving, my daily commute takes me on the A41, the M25, the M4 and the A316 - a route which is essentially Radio 2 Traffic and Travel Bingo, eyes down for a full house, average speed 9 mph.

        On Motorways, there's very little road noise, although even if there was I'd rectify this by turning the radio up, and the engine will happily achieve 70mph in fourth gear and for only 4 Revs.
        That's right. Just 4.
        It'll also go a bit quicker in fifth, and you don't necessarily have to move out of the way when someone in a Vectra and a Bluetooth headset starts trying to look in your boot.
        On the A roads it's nippy, in the Jeremy Clarkson terms, not the Britney Spears way and in car parks, the power steering is very light and one-hand parkable and the engine idles very quietly - to the point where you occasionally rev the engine just to dispel the fear you've stalled without noticing.
        It goes around corners in a timely manner, and as I haven't hit any walls, animals or people whilst doing so, I'm going to say that the overall handling is very agreeable so it possibly doesn't matter that the insurance group is only a 4.

        In heavy rain and after accidentally having to go through a few pedestrian-splashy road puddles, I did find myself pulling a bit of a terrified face when I approached the traffic lights and the car decided to slow down a bit, but it was as though actually stopping wouldn't be on the menu before eventually the breaks kicked in and I came to a complete stop about 3 inches away from the car ahead of me, although this is possibly more a judgement of my driving prowess than any fault of the car.

        Overall, I'm delighted with my purchase even if I do have to pay a man at the bank £210 a month for the next 36 months, I've got a car I can needlessly unlock and lock from across the road, and that is enough to entertain me for at least 35 of those.
        That, and the fact I might find more secret drawers.

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          17.03.2009 17:11
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          Great car for a run around

          This was my first car when I passed my driving test and after a short time driving a Ford Focus I ended up back in my little Ibiza. I know very little about the mechanical side of the car but I do know that it is very reliable.

          Model
          The car is a 1999 1.4 litre petrol engine in a bluey purple colour. It is very nippy with acceleration and quite economical with fuel. From a fuel tank which costs about £33 I get 350 miles so work out the miles per gallon if you want! I figured out about 8p per mile.

          Interior
          The seat are all fabric upholstered in a grey colour with blue design in the middle of the front seats. The dashboard is dark grey and the glove box is quite spacious- I can fit a large can of deicer, a cover for my front seat, a dashboard polisher as well as a few essential girly items. There is quite a lot of room in the back seat as I frequently have three children in the back and can fit two car seats at either door without the child in the middle being uncomfortable. There is enough room for three adults to sit in the back but I wouldn't fancy doing a long drive.

          Features
          The model I have came with a 6 cd changer which is placed in the boot but controlled from the main dash, there is also an FM radio and a tape deck. The boot itself is very roomy and there is plenty of room for a weeks shop in the boot as well as a ful size childrens pram.

          Driving
          As I said the handling on the car is very good and it can accelerate quite easily. The power steering is very responsive the the ABS is very good. Apart from this these technical things I have nothing else to say apart from the car is a pleasure to drive

          This car is a great car, especially for a little run around. It is economical and has cost me very little over the last 3 years to maintain. The road tax for one year is £120 and it is in a low insurance group.

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          08.08.2008 23:10
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          A car that you can run without knowing anything about cars = awesome

          Seat Ibizas are great. They are like VWs for people with less money. I am going to start this review with a great big disclaimer: I KNOW NOTHING WHATSOEVER ABOUT CARS. This is not a technical review. I don't understand the engine of my car. I have three male housemates who think I am the biggest loser ever because I have pretty much only just learnt how to open the bonnet.

          But here's what I do know: I LOVE MY SEAT IBIZA. It's old and frankly ever so slightly beaten up (I hold my hands up for that - nothing to do with the Ibiza, more its rubbish driver).Most importantly, it is a car for people that don't know anything about cars. It's brilliant!

          I learnt to drive in a Seat Ibiza (sea green - important to me anyway). I then got an ancient VW Polo (navy blue but looked purple in some lights) shared with my sister, known as 'The Beast' because it was apaprently indestructible. It's all hers now and the engine remains solid even though it's argued with a few too many cars/lorries and ASBO youths (it did not enjoy its year's residency in Birmingham). And now I have my Seat Ibiza (red - the discerning Seat owner's colour of choice). It's awesome. The VW engine means I never have to worry about it. It truly is indestructible. It's over 10 years old now and it truly goes like the clappers. I am never late for anything because the Seat never lets me down (of course I've probably picked up a load of speeding tickets on the way there but I choose not to blame it on the Seat).

          It doesn't have a CD player which isn't the best but I have been led to believe that this was possible if only I knew how, so I don't hold that against it. It also doesn't have the biggest boot ever (althouggh obviously the rest of the car is fairly small and compact anyway; it's just in proportion with the rest of it); however you can put the middle seats completely flat and then you can fit all kinds of crap in it. It managed my Ikea flat pack furniture so that's good enough for me. I even quite like the seat covers.

          Fuel consumption is also prettygood, which is helpful in these dark times. I enjoy not paying the price of a small house to fill up my tank. The only think thatI really actively dislike about my Seat (and I still can't bring myself to use the word 'hate' you'll note) is that in order to open the fuel cap I have to leave the key in the ignition and by default I therefore have to leave the car unlocked. I think this is a pretty crap feature; I am usually in the car by myself and don't like it if I have to stop in the dark at a quiet petrol station to get petrol knowing the car will be unlocked and anyone could get in. But in the scheme of things it's not such a big deal.

          So this is the second Seat Ibiza I've driven and they were both fab. They never let me down and they are so easy to drive. Nothing to tax me at all, and frankly that's what I'm looking for in a car. That and pretty paintwork. VW quality at Seat prices - can't say fairer than that.

          The next one's going to be yellow.

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          22.04.2004 03:25
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          Its a sad day when you get rid of a car after seven years, but when the said car is becoming the butt of jokes and is not up to lots of motorway driving it doesn't stand much of a chance, especially at bank holiday weekend with lots of chances to sell it to interested buyers. This meant that my old 205 had to go to be replaced by a more modern car. I have now own a Seat Ibiza 1.4S (Y reg, 3 years old at time of writing) which has put in several thousand miles already. Seat cars have now built up a solid reputation, with the poor first generation models being vastly improved on as owners VW stamped their build quality on the cars whilst still keeping the stylish looks - I think the Ibiza and Leon both stand out from many of the small family and superminis today, of which many are starting to look the same, Golf Mark 5 for example. The range of colours of the Seats is similar to Volkswagens, there are also many parts from VW cars brought across so hpefully this ought to translate into reliability and cheaper repairs. Having a distinctive car also makes finding it amoungst all the Meganes and Focuses in a large car park less of a problem. The Ibiza turbo-diesels are especially will thought of, with their economy and brisk drive, the diesel engines as usual helping midrange acceleration. I looked for the TDi version as a second hand or nearly new car but had real trouble finding any for sale so I guess that the owners are happy to keep them. The main good points are within the drive and handling. Having a car with all the modern equipment (more later) and larger size I assumed it was going to wallow but was impressed with just how nippy the Ibiza is. The 0-60 for the 1.4 is rated as 15.0 seconds but I have found it much quicker from a standing start than many other cars and can easily build up speed
          from a stationary start to 30 or 40, having no problem keeping pace with other cars pulling away from lights. However the relatively small petrol engine shows its limitations on the midrange when speeding up from 50+ so you do have to be careful about what lane you are in going up hills or sliproads as the acceleration suffers. There is a bit of road noise at higher speed but not much, you can certainly have a conversation on the motorway without shouting at your passengers. I found the general cabin comfort leagues ahead of my old car (93K Peugeot 205). There is plenty of legroom in the front and back, even with front seats back. The handling is precise and responsive - I have thrown this car about a bit on the Welsh roads and it is very sure going round bends. As with most small cars it tends to understeer slightly but it holds the road well. Also you notice just how little cabin roll there is compared to older cars - circling a roundabout the car does not lean over at all and you do not get any feeling of the car tilting. It is also smooth going over bumps or speedhumps even though it seems the car rocks backwards and forwards. The gearbox is good and feels precise when moving from gear to gear. Having test driven a few cars before this one, I found there much less 'play' in the gearstick, especially compared to older model cars. Reverse gear requires pushing down to select which takes, well, at least 2 minutes to get the hang of. Driving position you get a good seating position and height although there is not a great deal of room to rest your left foot when not using the clutch. The higher back and side pillars restrict the view to the back and sides slightly but it does have convex edges to both mirrors. Also the rear window is so high that it is very difficult to tell how much room there is behind when reversing - parking takes some getting used to bu
          ilding up the courage to continue backing up when the car behind has long since vanished below the rear window. In general the boot is deep and easy to fold up or down the rear split seats if needed - although you have to remove the rear headrests if you want the rear seats to fold all the way down. Equipment-wise the 1.4S is very well covered. It has power steering, remote central locking, electric front windows, climate control, air-con and stylish grey-blue racing trim and seats in the car. It has the standard Seat integrated radio and control panel with a large digital display showing the radio cassette and climate control settings. The stereo also automatically increases in volume as you change speed to motorway driving. Although this is probably a 'nice to have' I quickly found it very valuable for driving to and from work, going on and off the motorway and waiting at lights. I have not had any use for the aircon as yet, and being around Bristol and Gwent it will probably only get used for one or two weeks a year at most. However it is very easy to set - a red and blue button increase or decrease the temperature in celsius on the main panel - if aircon is on it the cabin stays at this temperature. The airblowers can vary over several settings from low to almost gale force. I found this useful in wet conditions where the demister quickly cleared the windscreen. I found the equipping one of the main reasons I chose this model over the SDi, which although had a much better economy (about 60 miles) and handled and drove similarly, is very basically equipped (it does not even have central locking and the trim is just downright offensive). However I would have been happier with a CD player and stalk controls on the car, but you can't have everything. Going onto running costs, the fuel consumption is listed as about 42mpg
          . I have found it a bit less than this so far - doing mostly motorway and ring-road driving I fill up the 50 litre tank and get about 350 miles out of it. You should not run out of petrol though as there is a loud beep when you are down to about 1/8 of the tank left or whenever you start the car with a nearly empty tank, from the dashboard not from me. Insurance is around group 6. I haven't got onto servicing the car as yet so I cannot comment. However the car has put in several thousand miles already and I can say that I don't have any complaints. So overall I'm happy although I keep thinking what one of the turbo diesels would have been like and whether the extra cost would make it preferable to a petrol version.

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            14.01.2002 20:25
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            ~ ~ Sorry if that title has misled you just a little. It doesn’t mean I have “retired” from my opinion writing here at dooyoo, but I have taken a decision to take a far less active part in driving my taxi than in the past. What has this to do with an opinion about a Seat Ibiza car, do I hear you asking? Well, quite a lot actually. I’ve now taken up a new position with the taxi driver’s trade union here in Dublin, as editor of a new monthly in-house newspaper, and have rented out my taxi to another driver. (Although I’ll still do the odd shift here and there!) So I needed another car to get me around the city when my old “joe maxi” was out working. ~ ~ A few of you may remember I wrote a glowing review a while back about the new Seat Ibiza, the supermini from the VW-owned Spanish car manufacturers. So taken was I with the car when I test drove it, that when it came time to look for some new personal transport, I decided that the Ibiza was the one for me. However, not being a Scotsman for nothing, there was no way I was going to shell out the “spondoolicks” for a brand new vehicle, and put vast amounts of taxation into the coffers of our money grabbing Irish Government. So it was onto the phone to one of the local Seat main dealers to ask them to keep me informed if they took in any good, clean second hand models in a part exchange. (The fact that I golf fairly regularly with the proprietor helped!) I told him I was prepared to spend a maximum of £3,000, (Irish Punts) and within a few days he was back on the line to inform me he had the very vehicle. A 1996 model 1.4-litre Ibiza CLX, five door (hatchback) in gleaming black metallic, sold and serviced by them from new, with only one previous owner and 50,000 miles on the speedometer. A test drive quickly followed, and after knocking him down from £3,000 to £2,800, (well, it DID need two new front tyres!) a
            nd after receiving a written three month warranty, the deal was struck. ~ ~ So what decided me on the Ibiza, as distinct from all the other good superminis out there in the marketplace today? First off, what you are really buying is a tried and tested marque, as all the Seat cars are based on their equivalent Volkswagen models, and use VW chassis, running gear, and engines. The main difference is that you DON’T pay VW prices, which are notoriously high, even for second hand models. This means that they are highly reliable, with good, sound engines, and with parts readily available from motor factors, garages, and scrap yards. And with service intervals of 10,000 miles, they wont cost you an arm and a leg to maintain. The car looks “sporty” without falling into the higher insurance brackets, and so doesn’t cost a fortune to insure. And with a 1390cc engine, it is also cheap to tax, as the road tax here in Ireland is based on the cubic capacity of the engine. (the bigger the engine, the more expensive the road tax) ~ ~ So onto the car itself. First off, this isn’t the most recent model Ibiza, (which I wrote about in my previous review) but the one prior to the current model, and come April, 2002, there will be yet another new model launched, which according to all reports I have read so far, is about to take the supermini sector of the car market by storm. So the car I purchased is fairly basic by current specifications, with no air conditioning, no electric windows and mirrors, no immobiliser, and with only one airbag. (the driver) The lack of an immobiliser doesn’t particularly bother me, as I’m a firm believer that the best deterrent for a car thief is a stout chain and padlock wrapped around the pedals and the steering wheel. And here in Ireland you might only need the air-conditioning for about one week out of the year. (if you’re lucky) Although to be totally honest, I
            would have preferred if it had been fitted, as it makes a HUGE difference in damp and muggy conditions when it comes to demisting the interior of the car. ~ ~ In all other respects the car is ideal for me. The seating is not garish, in a very subdued light grey pattern, and the seats are both firm and comfortable, with ample legroom in the front. As in all cars of this type, the rear seat passengers are a little cramped for space, and while it can take three full grown adult passengers in the back, (at a pinch) I wouldn’t fancy it much myself if you were travelling much more than a short distance. But as the “mad cabbies” family consists of myself and my better half, and my wee lass, (who is ten) then the rear accommodations weren’t a vital factor. And in any case, we still have our trusty family car (Nissan Primera, soon to be changed also) for long journeys and family outings. The boot space is also limited. Stick in a largish suitcase and that’s about your lot, although in fairness you can pack in a good bit more once you remove the rear window shelf, and even more still if you utilise the option of folding down the 60/40 split level rear seat. There is only a small glove compartment, but it has a couple of handy compartments in the front doors for extra storage, and also a good space underneath the handbrake and in front of the gear lever. The interior is black plastic, but again it is of the “grainy” variety, and looks well, especially when treated with some specialised cleaner to get it shining. No CD-player, but the radio cassette is adequate, with six speakers (four in the front, two in the rear) and gives a good tone except when travelling at high speed, when you have to constantly adjust the volume levels. The instrumentation consists of a speedometer and rev-counter, but a nice touch is the way you can dim the subdued orange lighting to your own taste. It has dual speed and i
            ntermittent wipers, and also a rear screen wiper and washer fitted. My car came with a nice set of four spoke alloys, which along with the black metallic paintwork, and colour coded bumpers, mirrors, and spoilers front and rear gives it a truly sporty appearance. Two small spotlights fitted into the front spoiler complete the sporty look, as does the non-standard stainless steel exhaust pipe that the previous owner had fitted. One little “crib” that I do have is the lack of a foot rest beside the clutch. I’ve been used to one of these for so long now that I keep automatically putting my foot where it should be, and find it very aggravating. No doubt I’ll get used to it in time! ~ ~ So is it as “sporty” as it looks? Well, the quoted performance figures for this particular model are a 0 to 60mph time of 15.1 seconds, and a top speed of 98mph. I have no reason to dispute these figures, but they don’t tell the full story. I have rarely driven a small car (less than 2 litres) that has such a willing and free revving engine. In first and second gear in particular, you can really make this little beauty shift, and it is a great temptation to do just that, even when I am using it primarily for city driving. It’s from about 50mph upwards that the car lacks a little “oomph”, and where you have to watch yourself a little when carrying out overtaking manoeuvres in particular. The gearbox is highly flexible as well, and is just as happy at 1500rpm doing 30mph in 5th gear, as it is at 4500rpm and 90mph on the motorway. (OK. OK. I know it's not legal!) The power steering is accurate and precise, and the road holding leaves nothing to be desired. Despite throwing the car around corners in a fairly energetic fashion, I have never even come close to the feeling that I was no longer in complete control. The ride is excellent as well, and while the suspension is on the ̶
            0;firm” side, you don’t feel every bump and hollow in the road like you can with some small cars. And the fuel economy is great, especially compared to the 2-litre car I am used to driving. So far I’m averaging about the 35 to 40mpg mark around town, rising to about 45 to 50mpg on a long run. Depending, off course, on just how heavy footed you are with the accelerator. ~ ~ So after two months of ownership, this little Seat Ibiza gets a big thumbs up from the “mad cabbie”. Excellent value for money, and a true “bargain” at the price. That’s what I get for test driving so many different cars to write my car reviews. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I was so taken by one that I actually ended up having to shake the mothballs out of my chequebook! ~~~~~~~~~~~ £2,800 Irish Punts translates to €3,555.28 or £2,190.89 Sterling. ~~~~~~~~~~~

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