Seat Ibiza

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Indy Lifestyle Online

It's a typical British day - dark, dank and desperately dreary - but at least drivers can now have their very own bit of Ibiza thanks to Seat.

Old Ibiza was a tremendous little run around and brilliant to drive but it belonged to a different era.

The latest incarnation gets the sporty family look that we have seen in Altea and Leon with bold lines and aggressive aesthetics.

They may only be powered at the moment by a 70PS 1.2, 85PS 1.4 or a 105PS 1.6 litre but you would never know to look at them.

Muscular haunches, deep front grille, sexy lights and squat stance give Ibiza head turning appeal. It is not surprising really when you consider that it was penned by a former Lamborghini designer.

Like most small cars nowadays Ibiza has grown. It is longer, wider, more spacious, with a boot eight per cent larger than its predecessor. To fit in with modern demands it is also safer, cleaner and kinder on the environment.

The SC offers even better looks than the five door Ibiza. I suppose it stands for sports coupe.

What you get is a sexy three door version of the Ibiza which is marketed with extra sporting appeal to overcome the fact it won’t be as practical.

It's a very good looking car from any angle. Be very careful in town or you could have a shunt in traffic as you try to catch a look of yourself in shop windows.

If any criticism at all was to be levelled at old Ibiza it was the interior which was a bit thin, a bit shiny.

The new model sets that straight with much improved materials. It is still not overly fussy or intricate - you can see the designers have favoured the minimalist approach - but it all feels much better put together.

What will get the Ibiza party started is the way it drives. There's not a great deal to choose between the 1.2 and the 1.4. It is only when you invest in the 1.6 do you feel the difference in performance.

They are all equally refined and gentle on the wallet in these times of highway robbery.

Throttle, clutch and gearbox are a delight making town driving a particular pleasure. On the open road it excels with high levels of refinement, great steering and excellent ride.

What the world will be waiting for is new Ibiza in TDI form, particularly the amazing Ecomotive.

At the moment this breath-takingly frugal diesel is still in the old bodyshell - and it is still a great car. When it makes the big switch it will be unbeatable.

There can be few cars on the road that boast a combined consumption figure of 73mpg. Now you would imagine that the only way to do this is to produce an engine so gutless that you are never going to go above the benchmark 56mph.

But no, this 1.4 litre three cylinder is an absolute powerhouse. Choose the right gear and it picks up speed quickly. The ratios are exceptionally tall so expect to relearn how to drive and take the cog below the one you generally would.

Do that and it will sprint, overtake and climb hills like no other. You have to be motoring before you even consider using fifth. When you do the revs drop right down the scale.

Lift off to coast and it feels like the fuel is switched off completely which is a bit strange at first. But there is some very clever technology going on to eek out the fuel which it does to tremendous effect. With 100 miles on the odometer the fuel gauge was still reading full. With more than 200 registering, the needle had only moved to three quarters – phenomenal and with fuel at £6 a gallon it can’t come quick enough to the new range.

With its fresh modern styling and hi-tech wonders, such as docking for your iPod or Tom Tom, new Ibiza can't fail to appeal to the clubbing singletons who are out for a good time at an affordable price and looking to a bright future.



Car facts

Model: Seat Ibiza

Engine: 1.2, 1.4, or 1.6

Drivetrain: five speed manual

Power: 70, 85, 105PS

Top speed: 101, 108, 116mph

0-62mph: 15, 12.2, 10.5secs

Insurance group: 2, 3, 5

Miles per gallon: 47.8, 45.5, 42.8 (combined):

CO2 (g/km): 139, 149, 157

Price: from £8,820.00 to £11,095.00



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