Car that has regained its spark

Seat Ibiza
Seat Ibiza

SEAT is a company on the up.

It endured a few years when it seemed to have lost its spark, but these days the latest SEATS are confident and feature some of the best technology on the market.

Smart downsized engines, wide availability of twin-clutch sequential transmissions and a focus on customer requirements has driven the company back to success.

The latest Ibiza is a prime example of this renewed vitality. It looks sharper while at the same time drives down cost of ownership.

Best of all, it does this in an intelligent fashion, without compromising significantly on the perky attitude that exemplifies SEAT at its best. Even its diesel engines look interesting. The most economical of these is the74bhp 1.2 TDI E Ecomotive with its built in start/stop system. This diesel engine is a serious fuel miser, averaging just over 83mpg and emitting just 89g/km of carbon dioxide. To put that figure into perspective, that’s the same emissions as a Toyota Prius hybrid and 12mpg better fuel economy to boot. At the other end of the Ibiza’s diesel spectrum is a more sports-oriented 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit which deliver 142bhp and 130mph capability but which nevertheless still ekes almost 62 miles from a gallon of derv.

I’m as guilty as anyone of yawning when I see manufacturers going all-out to improve emissions and economy usually because it means a seriously compromised driving experience. The latest Ibiza proves it doesn’t have to be that way.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: SEAT Ibiza range

PRICES: £11,000 - £19,000 [est]

INSURANCE GROUPS: 3-28 [est]

CO2 EMISSIONS: 89-142g/km [est]

PERFORMANCE: [1.2 TSI 5dr DSG] 0-60mph 9.8s / top speed 118mph [est]

FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.2 TDI E Ecomotive] (combined) 83.1mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ABS, twin front airbags, ESP stability control

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/width/height mm 4227/1693/1445.