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Driven: Seat Ibiza 1.2-litre petrol five-door Reference

SEAT

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Review

This is the entry-level version of Seat’s best selling model, the Ibiza. The company has produced more than 3.5m examples of this supermini since its introduction in 1984, and more than 160,000 of those sold in the UK.

The brand has left its reputation for cheap cars behind and has blossomed under the careful eye of its parent company, VW Group. Seat cars are simply now great value for money.

Rather than opt for gaudy plastics and seat covers, the Ibiza has a neat, black dashboard to greet you. All instruments are clearly laid out and easy to use.

The brochure proudly proclaims: “You’re at the crossroads. It’s make your mind up time, and which way you go is up to you. Do you go with your head, heart, gut or nose? Sorry, you’re on your own.” Sadly, this is literally true, as the Ibiza doesn’t come with satellite navigation, which will be a stumbling block for salespeople nowadays.

But on the plus side, the Ibiza is a cute supermini that pootles along nicely and grips well to the road. And such a great name, seeing as it is aimed squarely at the young in age and young at heart, even affordable with trips to San Antonio every now and again.

With a 14.9sec 0-62mph time, the Ibiza is not going to break any records, but nor will it embarrass its young owner while racing round the local bus station.

It’s a well made, cute little car that stands out in quality above some of its rivals; and its popularity makes sure it is an attractive used car, too, so sales can be made on the back of strong residual values.

Price: £7,545
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol; 63bhp @ 5,400rpm; 83lb ft @ 3,000rpm
Performance: 0-62mph: 14.9sec; top speed: 103mph
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Efficiency: 47.1mpg (combined); 144g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £3,475 (43%)
Rivals: Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris
Strengths: Value for money, without appearing cheap

The Seat Ibiza is a Jekyll and Hyde character

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