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The Ibiza was styled by the former design boss of Lamborghini, and it is a great looking car. Its sculpted bodywork and slanted headlamps set the Spanish supermini in addition to the competition. Don’t be fooled through the SportCoupe name attached to the three-door model – the stylish SC continues to be a hatchback. Both three and five-door versions are available in three trim levels – S, SE and Sport. Entry-level S models are sparsely equipped, but SE and Sport versions add air-conditioning and alloy wheels. Cupra and three door Bocanegra SC editions are impressive hot hatches, and also have what must be done to satisfy even the most demanding drivers.
The Seat Ibiza is among the sporties looking superminis you can buy – specifically if you opt for a high end Cupra or Bocanegra version. The cabin feels spacious up front and the driving position is just right but tall adults will need more headroom within the back, while rear legroom is merely average. The dashboard is neatly styled however the quality of some plastics is below par – and also the contrasting beige colour pallette looks cheap compared to the classy black alternative.
Driving and Performance
Flagship Bocanegra badged versions of the SEAT Ibiza offer impressive performance, thanks to single.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine with 180bhp. Capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in only 8.2 seconds they are easily a match for rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo GTI. Firm suspension and accurate steering make them engaging to drive, but on bumpy roads, the focused setup can become a little uncomfortable. Sporty Cupra models provide a better compromise. Elsewhere in the range, the 1.2-litre diesel engined Ecomotive badged version is really worth a mention. It’s lightweight and torquey diesel engine make it surprisingly good fun on winding roads.
MPG and running costs
SEAT’s economy star, the 1.2-litre diesel engined Seat Ibiza Ecomotive will return 80.2mpg – which makes it one of the most fuel efficient superminis money can buy. Equipment levels are reasonable, and in like-for-like comparisons with its rivals the Ibiza is usually much cheaper to purchase. Five door models command a little premium over their sporty SC stablemates, but hold their timid player, meaning they’re worth more when it is time for you to sell them on.
A large 292-litre boot helps to compensate in five-door guise, and the sporty SC still provides 284-litres. Both cars offer a reasonable quantity of space inside, but the plain cabin is not exactly the last word in versatility. A new version, because of be launched in the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 will put this right.
Safety and reliability
The Seat Ibiza put in a strong performance during Euro NCAP crash tests and was awarded five stars for occupant protection. Its overall score of 91 can also be impressive compared to its supermini peers. However, it’s worth pointing out that ESP is only available being an option on some models.
To buy Seat Ibiza simply log on to: http://www.bartletts-seat.com