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Seat Ibiza (1999 on)

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    7 Reviews
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      26.01.2011 22:27
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      Good first car

      ------------Intro------------- This Seat was my very first car, and I loved it to bits, it was great fun to drive and it was very nippy and great for general travel. ----------First Impression--------- When I first set my eyes on this car, It looked smart, stylish and sensible. The interior seemed okay, it wasn't the best looking interior ever but it was still fairly smart. ----------Interior-------------- The material used for the seats has quite a nice feel to it, smooth with some texture. The seats are adjustable both sliding backwards and forwards and tilting the back of it. The gear stick feels nice to hold as does the steering wheel. The centre consol and dash feels as though it's made fairly cheaply. My model the cool/s only came with a tape deck and a CD player could not be installed (making me waste many hours making mix tapes). When you turn the headlights on your centre consol and speed dials glow a blood red colour which you can change the brightness of. The air/con works really well you can set the temperature to how you want it. There is enough room in the back for tall people to fit there heads and legs. The glove box isn't the biggest and if I'm honest there is not a great deal of storage space unless you count the floor. The boot is a good size and would easily fit a dog like a Labrador. Oh You also get electric windows and power steering. ----------Driving------------- Driving this car is very fun it feels like a giant go-kart, the steering is very responsive as are the breaks and throttle pedal. It is very quick off the mark. There is hardly any roll in the corners with a stiff chassis. The gear changes are fairly smooth, and at times its hard to tell you even changed due to it being smooth. It can also be clunky in colder weather. The car rides the bumps well the suspension seems fairly soft and less hard then other cars I have been in. -----------Comfort----------- I found the Seat a very comfortable car I could drive for hours and not have any back pains or discomfort, the car rides smoothly too which helps greatly. The ability to change you seat position helps also. -----------Reliability------------ I would be a liar if I said I never once had a problem with my car. In general it's a great runner engine wise I have had no problems apart from in the winter when it wouldn't start. My right front suspension collapsed once when I was driving, this apparently was damage that was caused before I bought it. My centre console stopped working and it had to be replaced. I have heard this is a common problem. Temperature gauge stopped working. --------Costs/Insurance---------- Being a male and this being my first car I was expecting a big amount to pay however the Seat Ibiza was cheapest insurance I could find for myself even though it was a 1.4 engine and a group 4 insurance I ended up paying just over £1400. Petrol wise I was average around 36mpg Tax was £140 ----------Summary-------------- This car is a great first buy I would recommend it to anyone, maybe look at a newer model If you can as Im sure seat would have made improvements. I would take this car back if the person I sold it to offered me it.

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      15.05.2009 19:47

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      A good little city run around

      Performance - The cars lack of grunt shows up on motorways, although it has good punch at around 50 to 60 mph. However, from a 1.2 3 cylinder engine you don't expect it to be a race car! The handling is impressive, with nice thick tyres for the size of car grip around bends will impress you, and this is partly down to it having stiffer suspension than rivals such as the VW Polo. Comfort - The ride is firm, you certainly feel bumps in the road and added to that the soundproofing is poor, at speeds on rough roads you can barely hear yourself think. The driving position is customisable with the adjustable steering wheel height, although you cannot raise the seat like you can in a Polo so shorter people will find they have to be right up against the steering wheel to have a good view of the road. Space in the back is ok for two small adults, no more! Quality - The finish on the interior is a bit cheap and tacky, it marks really easily so you have to be really careful not to scratch it as you can cover it up! Equipment - You get a lot for your money with a CD player and Air-con Reliability - So far I have had to replace a back light fitting which had a leak so it misted up. I have also had to have the fan switch replaced for the air con as I could only have it off or full blast! Engine wise you are blessed with the same engine as the Polo and it's made by VW/Audi so it is reliable - no problems with it so far, touch wood!

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      12.08.2008 17:23
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      A great little car, sure to turn heads

      I ......... love ......... my .......... Seat! There! I've said it! This is something I never though I'd hear my self say 6 years ago. Fate taking ownership of a sparkling new Peugeot 106 I vowed to remain loyal to Peugeot until my time had come! However things change and when I was cut out of my 106 (not so shiny now) after a major road traffic accident I looked around for the best deal on a new car. My eyes were drawn to the Peugeot 207 - the sport version, no less but then a colleague at work suggested Seat. Comparing the specs between the 207 and the Ibiza I found that OK the 207 had an extra 0.2 litres in its engine, an extra 2 airbags and the lights blinked when the key plip was pressed oh, and the ipod dock was actually that, inside the glovebox. But really there was very little in it apart from £5000! Yes, you heard me £5000! so I opted for the Ibiza! I bought the 1.2 reference sport model. It has ABS, 2 airbags, CD player with MP3 input, electric windows with 1 touch control, electric locking, air con, temperature sensor, split rear seats, height adjustable seats and steering wheel, and to cap it off 15 inch alloy wheels. I am delighted with my brand new car. It has hit 90mph on the motorway and is capable of more but I always have so much traffic around! The brakes are 100 times better than my old 106 and the air con helps you to have a comfortable ride. And the best part - I paid £8495 - who needs a 207?

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        18.01.2007 04:32
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        Overall a great car for the price, and hard to beat for a smooth ride.

        The Seat Ibiza 1.2 is pretty much everything you could want or expect from any car at the price. It combines the German build quality of a Volkswagen (I'm led to believe its basically a Polo with a Seat body) with that touch of sportiness and flair you get from the Spanish Seat. I have the 3 door version. The cost is less than most of it's similar class competitors, and I've been very happy with what I've got for it (I bought mine 2nd hand at 2 and a half years old for around £4500) The gear ratios are excellent allowing for smooth changes, the engine seems to have a bit more pep than a 1.2 really should have, and it runs so smoothly it's like a dream. Of course this can lead to problems, having driven the old Clio and the Corsa prior to buying this, I expect a car to scream when it gets around 70-80mph. This baby just gets on with it, in fact on the motorway, I often catch myself running at 90, it just happens. Add to that the fact that if run carefully, you can easily get 400 miles from one tank. The size thing is strange, when set up normally, the back seats seem to have poor amounts of leg room, but when they are taken out, and folded down, the thing just seems to hold as much stuff as you can throw it. The standard radio/CD player is decent, though the speakers are a bit fuzzy and crackly at any sort of volume. The controls are fairly well designed and easy to work out, and the bits and pieces are sturdy and feel solid, so the interior is good. Add to that the best cup holder I've ever seen, a giant S (the Seat logo), which doubles up as a really cool boot handle and some nice smooth curves and this is a good package. There are a couple of flaws I've spotted. The lack of a light in the boot just seems like a careless oversight when you consider how much effort it would have taken to include one. I've twice had to get something called a coil pack replaced (my mechanic informs me this is a common fault with VW and Seat cars, and that there are 3, so I should prepare to replace the final one any time soon) though they're not massively expensive parts to buy. Also while the A/C is pretty good, the heater is pretty temperamental, it goes on no problem, but turning the knob down, or even right off often has no effect for several minutes, so I often end up cooling the car down by opening the window (a bit of a pain on a rainy day!)

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          05.11.2005 21:08
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          VW Polo disguised as Ibiza model

          According to the nice salesperson at my – fairly – local SEAT dealership, this year the SEAT has, for the first time ever, outsold Volkswagen in Germany. Here in the UK they are lucky to get a 5% market-share and are still considered ‘exotic’. To me the SEAT has never been ‘exotic’. My mother owned two SEATs before she had to give up driving due to deteriorating health. The SEAT range comprises a number of Superminis and larger family cars. One of the best known of them all is probably the Ibiza – voted Supermini of the year three years running (What Car? Magazine 2003-2005). SEAT cars are generally named after Spanish places (Toledo, Cordoba) as the company is Spanish – at least from the outside. On the inside, well, SEAT are owned by Volkswagen/Audi and therefore a lot of their technology and components are embedded in the car. In a way, the Ibiza is SEAT’s version of the VW Polo – only cheaper. When I walked into the dealership I had only intended to pick up a brochure and arrange for a test drive as I had narrowed the perfect car for me down to two – the Ibiza and the Mitsubishi Colt – but secretly fancied the Ibiza a lot more. I walked out an hour later having bought a brand new Ibiza. The car that I now own is the Ibiza SX 1.2 12V model in ‘black magic metallic’. I’m easy when it comes to colour – any colour is fine as long as it’s black or blue. But the car comes in a variety of colours that might suit your taste better, from Candy White via Yellow, Red and Blue all the way to Silver (Grey) and Black. Unlike a lot of other car companies, SEAT do not offer you hundreds of deals to get you through the door, you are lucky to get anything to be quite honest but it didn’t deter me. I didn’t want a ‘free sunroof’ (I never bothered with the one on my last car), free this that and the other knowing full well that it’s not really a bargain, the price is over-inflated to start with, allowing all those so-called bargains. Although a three-year free servicing deal would have been nice. Never mind. There was no free insurance either and only 6 months road tax instead of the 12 months you get from some other car dealerships. But I did get a full tank of petrol – I cheekily asked for it when I signed the contract. All my other cars came with about a thimble full to get me only as far as the nearest petrol station. A lot of other things seem to come ‘as standard’ like ABS (I could imagine myself fly through the windscreen first time I touched the breaks after three years of driving a Citroen Saxo), driver and passenger airbag with off switch, electronic windows, radio/CD player with 6 speakers, climate control, remote central locking (and two cupholders, for those who buy cars according to the number of cupholders). The steering wheel is height and reach adjustable which is a huge advantage. Auto-lock is installed as a safety feature as standard. The doors automatically lock when you reach a speed of more than 8 mph I think it says. I personally have never heard the doors lock but it’s nice to listen to the ‘phud’ when they unlock once I take the key out of the ignition. Don’t worry though, you are not locked in totally and can’t open the doors in an emergency. The driver side has a manual lock/unlock button and in locked mode the doors can be opened from the inside by pulling the door lever twice. However, entering the car i.e. at red traffic lights from the outside is not possible unless the car is unlocked from the inside. First time I turned the car on I noticed a few big differences between my old Saxo and the Ibiza. First of all, the key is much harder to turn in the ignition. Then for a moment I thought I was sitting in a Diesel car, then convinced myself it had to be a much higher-powered car, like an Audi or Mercedes. The car didn’t sound like a supermini, it sounded very much like a very expensive high specs car. Having driven a Citroen Saxo for a few years, I knew the Ibiza was going to be in a totally different league. For a start, the breaks were working. I have yet to find a Saxo driver who is/was satisfied with the breaks on the car. Driving the car is pure pleasure. The Ibiza not only feels like a much heavier car, it is pretty slow on the acceleration away from a full stop. But once it gets going, there’s no stopping it. The only thing I ever really liked about the Citroen Saxo was that I could outrun a much higher specs car at traffic lights as it was very quick off the mark. The Ibiza is a much heavier car and doesn’t pull away that quickly. But what really shocked and amazed me was the fact how quiet the car actually was. First time I had to stop at a traffic light I had myself convinced I had stalled as I could not hear the car at all. I was almost convinced I was driving an electric car as all I could hear was a little ‘whirr’ sound. The car has a nice sporty look, but it also means it lays lower and before I knew it I had ever so briefly ‘floored’ my brand new car when I took a speed bump a little to sharp. The Saxo had enough suspension to simply hop over the bumps. But it taught me to slow down and manoeuvre more careful. After all, that’s what they are supposed to be there for. It even has a spoiler on top of the back window – I never had one of those sporty gadgets before. Neat! For the first 1000-1500 miles you are supposed to ease the car in and not drive more than 75% of the max speed. With a top speed of approx 103 mph I had no problems staying within speed limits of 70 mph when I shot up the A1(M) towards Hatfield Galleria Outlet Shopping Centre. I had never been there despite having lived less than 20 minutes away for most of 15 years. It only takes me a minute or so and I am on the A1 northbound and unlike my old Saxo, I barely noticed I was going at a slightly higher speed. Overtaking was no problem, the car stayed nice and quiet and there was no noise, no rattling sound telling me I was going too fast. In the Saxo I knew straight away when I had reached 70 mph because the noise inside the car drowned out any radio, CD or conversation. The inside is fairly roomy. As I don’t often have passengers in the back, I can’t imagine anyone complaining, yet about the car being too small for passengers. I have the 3-door model, could have gone for a 5-door but for some reason, the 3-door model looks more sporty. I never really liked the idea of 5 doors on a small car, it just doesn’t look right. But that’s probably just personal taste. The interior is muted grey with a small pattern on the seats, nothing too nasty. The door panels are given a bit of fabric treatment but the rest of the inside looks and feels a little ‘plastic’. The instruments are easy to read, although I had to get used to the fact that everything seems to be ‘on the wrong side’, I was used to having the RPM counter on the right and the speedometer on the left, it’s the other way round in this car. Also the petrol indicator moves from full on the left to empty on the right – the opposite of what I had before. But it only takes a few days to get used to it. I don’t know how many other cars have the same system for the lights but I was used to switching on the lights from a stalk on the steering wheel. The SEAT has a little knob to the bottom right on the dash where you switch the light on and off, as well as make adjustments to the intensity of the ‘instrument illumination’ something you might have to get used to in this car as the panel lights up in a rather striking red. You can dim it down a little otherwise you might give off a rather reddish glow to other drivers on the road. Wipers are the same as on every car but I did notice that the wiper for the interval wipes comes with and extra little shift button to increase of decrease the time between wipe intervals. A nice little touch as sometimes the rain is just not strong enough to have the wipers come on at shorter intervals. Fuel economy I’m not really sure about. My car is driven mainly in town and rarely out of town, dual carriageways or motorways. The mileage meter is split into two, top is the total driven, the bottom one can be reset. I use that to keep an eye on mileage and I get between 390 and 410 miles out of a tank of petrol (45 litres). It’s getting colder and I know in summer I get far more miles to the gallon than in autumn and winter. The SEAT Ibiza is available from £6995 on the road for the ‘Reference’ model (special offer at the moment), also a 1.2 but with less gimmicks. Well, I’m happy with my decision and hope that nothing will go wrong with the car. Anyone who’s thinking of buying a small hatchback or supermini, give SEAT a look into. They are good little cars, strong, reliable and cheaper than you might think. Everything is going very well. If only I could work out how to synch the radio/CD with the ignition to come on and go off automatically I will be a happy bunny. I am not a car dealer or mechanic who knows much about cars so this review is written based purely on my own experience of how the car handles and how I get on with it. It is not intended to be conclusive as there might still be bits I have not yet discovered. © Teena2003/Minnitee

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            04.09.2002 14:36
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            Okay, okay. I know it was very naughty, and maybe I shouldn't have succumbed to temptation but I did take, what I thought to be, proper precautions - honest! But it was that feeling, the familiar urge. I just had to do it. I couldn't resist. I was on a motorway, the road was empty, so I gently squeezed my foot on the accelerator until ... zzoooommmm ... I topped 100 mph. I had a silent(ish) whoop and then slowed down to seventy again with a big, ear to ear, grin on my face. Oh come on, you'd have done the same, wouldn't you? I mean if the brochure says it does over a ton you've got to make sure they aren't telling porkies, haven't you? Well I had to, because ... I've got a sparkling, spanking, brand new Seat Ibiza, the latest 2002 model, and it was all mine on the 1st of September - la la la le la! Yep, I've really turned into the sort of person I used to mock - suit, briefcase, expenses, new car! Three years ago, if you'd told me, I'd have laughed in your face. Still, there we go, time flies, we change - whoosh. I could fib and tell you that I've bought the top of the range model with 130 bhp but, as I don't really understand what that means anyway, I'll tell you the truth. I've just got the basic 1.2 engine, but it's lovely. It has a fantastic feline front, ever so sexy curved headlights and the car looks happy, but with a hint of underlying sensuality. Mine is a knockout Flash Red colour, so you'll see me coming - which will make a change for my neighbours from just hearing me. It looks super, providing you are wearing sunglasses, and contrasts just right with the black radiator grille, door handles and mirrors. I think it's beautiful - now don't any of you 'experts' dare to knock me down! Let me enjoy my moment - please. Oooooh where shall I begin? It's ... it's ... oh I know, it's got air condit ioning as standard. Imagine being really cool in summer, hey, especially in my shades as well. No more arriving hot and sticky. I'll be Ms.Sophistication as I elegantly swing my legs out of the front seat, hopefully avoiding tripping over the kerb or flashing my knickers. And the seats are nice, they've got bits coming slightly out at the side so they sort of mould to your body, if you know what I mean, and there are headrests front and back. And you can be cooler still as there are one touch electric windows. Hee hee and remote central locking with deadlocks - clunk-ker-click, I love doing that - clunk-ker-click It's no good, I'll have to bring some semblance of order to this review. "So tell me, why did you chose a Seat Ibiza, Kay", erm, pretend that's somebody sensible interviewing me - right? Well, my Volkswagen Golf was getting past it's best, so I thought it was time for a change, before anything major went wrong. I was thinking 'used car' but another decent Golf seemed way over my budget and a Polo lacked that 'something' to make me go 'oooh' or 'wow' - maybe it was the hole in the middle. I like VW's, as you may have noticed. I think this is because I've grown up with them. My dad has had lots: Jetta, Passat, Golf etc. I associate them with reliability, and that's one of the essentials I want from a car. I'd looked at a couple of Golfs but they seemed a bit basic inside. Then someone said to me, "What about a Seat?" I didn't know at the time, but Seat is now Volkswagen and the engines in the Ibiza model are actually identical to the Polo. The difference is the far superior (in my opinion) body styling and the fact that they are made in Spain. When I saw the new 2002 Ibiza I thought it looked great, it felt right, plus it had many extras as standard - like the air conditioning, electric wi ndows and remote locking, I've already mentioned, plus radio/CD player with eight speakers, side protection bars, power steering, front air bags, tinted windows, adjustable steering wheel (height and reach), pollen filter, RPM counter, outside temperature guage and so on. There is also a three year warranty, twelve year bodywork anti-corrosion warranty and three years Seat Assistance in the unlikely event of breakdowns (this service is provided by the AA). When I worked it out, I could get a better spec new car for just a little more than the price of a newish second hand Golf. As I now get car expenses with my job (they must be mad) I thought, "Why not? That'll do for me." "So why did you chose the 1.2 model, Kay?" 'Price' I think is the one word answer. There are also 1.4 petrol models and 1.9 diesels but the cost leaps up. The one I bought has a list price of £7995 but I managed to squeeze a deal of £7522.80, a saving of £472.20. This was cheaper than I could find on the Internet (for a non import model). Obviously mine isn't going to be as powerful as perhaps I'd have liked but it's ideal for my part of the world and, as I've proved, does over 100 mph. One of the diesels will shoot up to 129 mph but I guess that isn't a lot of use in this country. It would be good though! I'm also conscious of trying to use less petrol and also CO2 emissions. The 1.2 Seat should do an average 47.1 mpg and up to 55 mpg at 'extra urban' driving conditions - I think this is half steady driving and half varying speed driving. The CO2 emissions are rated EU-4 or 144 g/km - sorry I can't enlarge on what that means, but the road fund tax is £100 (this was included in the 'on the road' price) "Is there anything you don't like about the car, Kay?" See, people always have to be a bit negative, don't they? Of cour se there blooming isn't, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it, would I? If you are going to compare it to say an expensive new Merc, then there would be a few things that aren't quite as good. At the end of the day you mostly get what you pay for, but with an Ibiza I believe you get good value plus a bit extra - which is always nice. Seat say, for example, that the car will take up to five people. This is true, but the three in the back would be a bit cramped and would need to be on friendly, cheeky terms - there isn't heaps of leg room for back seaters. This doesn't mean that the car is titchy. It isn't. It's 3.95m by 1.7m which is a respectable size for this class of motor. To be truthful, as I must, the only questionable thing I first had about the Ibiza was the fact that the roof is rounded down slightly at the front and so the windscreen seems lower at the top, visability wise, than I've been used to. But, after driving the car, I don't notice this at all now and there is plenty of headroom. "Kay, what about ..." Oh go away, I've had enough of you now. Look, this is a lovely looking car. BF says it's like me: a comfortable ride, shapely silhouette and integrated bumpers - sexist so and so. And it's got a nice sized boot as well - no remarks, please. It'll take 267 litres of luggage, which is a lot of bottles of red wine. It also has a split back folding seat in case you want to carry any awkward sized objects or odd shaped passengers. And there's a dinky cup holder on the dashboard, not sure what cup size it'll take, only an 'A' I should think. It's a nice little motor. Let me quote to you from the Seat Ibiza bumph: 'You're the kind of person who values your individuality and doesn't want to be constrained by convention. You know that the best feeling is to get into a car where you can feel the passion in its design and the power as soon as you start the engine - a taste of what's to come' Gosh, that's it, exactly. And a bit more ... 'The newly designed rear light clusters give anyone left behind a glimpse of what they've missed ...' Mmmm, I like the sound of that as well. I love my new Seat Ibiza to bits so, be warned, I'll bash anyone who disagrees! - Kay Update - Prior To Posting This Review: In The Doghouse! Yes, I'm in the doghouse and had a smacked bottom. It seems I shouldn't have tried to do 100 mph yet as, according to my Seat manual and 'He Who Knows Everything', the car should not be driven at more than 75% of the top speed for the first 1000km. I have to also drive gently for up to 1500km. So there you go. As you can imagine, I'm now driving round like a little old lady on a Sunday outing to make up for being so evil! The car is fine, it's comfortable and at night the dials and radio have a sensual red glow. I do notice the smaller engine than I had in my Golf but I don't see this as being any great problem, I'll soon adjust. Think that's it! - Kay

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              24.10.2001 04:06
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              ~ ~ This car from Spanish car manufacturers Seat is one of the most stylish and exciting to drive in the “supermini” class of vehicles. It’s hard to believe that the Seat Ibiza has been around now for seventeen years, the very first rolling off the production line as far back as April, 1984. Since then over 2.5 million Ibiza’s have been produced at Seat’s ultra-modern factory in Martorell, which is the largest manufacturing plant in the whole of Spain, and the second largest passenger vehicle factory in the whole of Europe. ~ ~ Ever since the very first version hit the streets all those years ago, the Ibiza has enjoyed a reputation as a strong and reliable vehicle, with a touch of sportiness. (OK. Maybe not the very first models) The second generation Ibiza released in 1991, the “Ibiza New Style”, was much better than the first, with a system Porsche 1.7-litre engine that developed all of 105bhp. But it was in 1993, the year that Seat opened their Martorell factory, and came under the wing of the massive and powerful Volkswagon Group, that the Seat Ibiza truly came of age. The new model was fully developed by Seat’s own design team in Spain, and competed highly successfully in the World Rally Championship in the 2-litre category, winning the title in it’s class for three consecutive years. (1996, 1997, and 1998) As a result of this success the highly proclaimed “Ibiza Cupra” was launched, and Seat went on to carry out many innovations in small car technology, being the first manufacturer to introduce “Turbo Diesel Injection” (TDi) technology in this class of vehicle, initially with a 90bhp version, later upgraded to a 110bhp version. ~ ~ The latest model was launched in May, 1999, and the Spanish company used both the money and technology available to them from the VW Group to improve the Ibiza in a fairly dramatic fashion. Over 6,000 “ ;tweaks” and changes were made in order to make the car more competitive with the likes of the Ford Focus and Opel/Vauxhall) Astra, as well as the Peugeot 306, Honda Civic, and VW’s very own best seller, the Golf. In fairness, it has to be said that all of these cars are very slightly larger than the Ibiza, but on the other hand, the Ibiza offers comparable (if not better!) equipment levels, and, off course, a MUCH smaller price tag. ~ ~ So how did Seat improve the Ibiza? Visually they have made it not unlike its big brother in the Seat stable, the Toledo. It’s been given a much more aggressive looking front end which is dominated by a very prominent new grille, featuring the Seat badge, the very distinctive “S” symbol. The rear end looks equally well, and here Seat have made very clever use of the Seat badge, which doubles up as a handle for the boot. The car looks sleek and sporty, and if you add a nice set of 17 inch spoked alloys (which were on the car I looked at) then it looks for all the world like a far more expensive “hot hatch”. ~ ~ Of much more interest to most customers is what Seat have done to the car’s interior. This is simply fabulous, and totally unrecognisable from the older version of the car. The old, shiny plastic mouldings have been replaced with a much more subtle and upmarket look that wouldn’t look out of place in a car of twice the price. A screen is mounted in the centre console displaying the time, the exterior temperature, and showing the climate-control air conditioning settings. The seats are firmer and more supportive, and it has a three-spoke leather steering wheel with an airbag, that adds to the air of “quality”. It isn’t any bigger than its predecessor though, although the amount of space will remind you more of a Focus than a Fiesta. Those used to a VW Golf or an Astra might find it just a tad on the poky side, but there is more than enough interior space for four grown adults to travel in relative comfort, and it will take five at a pinch. (although you wouldn’t want to be going too far!) Even the boot offers a very impressive 270 litres of capacity, (two largish suitcases) and this is before you fold down the 60/40 rear seat. The standard equipment levels are simply superb, (on all except the basic 1-litre) with a good radio/cassette, immobiliser, rear fog lights, height adjustable seats, and just about everything else thrown in. In fact, Seat put their VW cousins to shame, who would probably even charge you extra for the wheels and steering wheel if they thought they could get away with it. ~ ~ The performance, ride, and handling are good too. The suspension has been stiffened up considerabely, which means it no longer “wallows” so much on corners as the older model had a somewhat frightening tendency to do. The power steering is responsive, with good feedback to the driver, and doesn’t feel too light as is often the case in smaller cars. The car I drove was a 1.6-litre Sport model, which was quick and very agile, reaching 60mph in only 10.7 seconds, and going on to a top speed of 117mph. The basic 1-litre entry model (which I believe Seat no longer market in the UK?) is much slower though, taking all of 19.4 seconds to hit 60mph, and with a top speed of only 90mph. (with a good tail wind!) The 1.4-litre, which is the most popular, gets to 60mph in 15.1 seconds, and will shift you to a top speed of 98mph. (a bit more respectable) If it’s speed you’re after, then the version to go for is the 1.8-litre Turbo Cupra. This is an “animal” of a car, with a 0 to 60mph time of only 7.9 seconds, and a top speed of 135mph!! And the very economical and ultra reliable 1.9-litre turbo diesel will get to 60mph in 12.1 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 112mph. <br>Servicing intervals for all cars (except the diesel) are 10,000 miles, and all except the Sports and Cupra models carry a full three-year parts and labour warranty. (One year for the sporty jobs) Talking about economy, this is another major plus in favour of the Ibiza. All the petrol models will average out somewhere in the 40 to 50mpg bracket, with the diesel giving you nearer the 60mpg mark. It’s also an ideal car for a younger driver, as it is not expensive to insure, unless off course you go for the Turbo or Sports models. ~ ~ There are some drawbacks. Although the Ibiza is much cheaper than its cousin the VW Polo, it also suffers from far higher depreciation, and the price will drop like a stone as soon as you drive it out of the showroom. On the plus side, this means there are some real bargains to be had in good, clean, low mileage second hand models. Price wise the Ibiza is practically unbeatable. In the UK, the entry level 1.4-litre starts at an incredibly low £7,590, with even the top of the range 1.8-litre Turbo Cupra only costing £13,390. Off course, they are FAR more expensive here in Ireland, due to the iniquitous VRT (Vehicle Registration tax) imposed by the robbers in the Irish parliament!! For full price details visit one of the excellent car websites like “www.autotrader.com”, or the Seat website itself “www.seat.co.uk”. A lot of car for the money, and as long as you’re prepared for the depreciation, and don’t intend to trade it in after six months or so, an excellent buy.

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