SEAT Ibiza SE 1.4

TDI Ecomotive

SEAT Ibiza, front action
SEAT Ibiza, side action 2
SEAT Ibiza, side action
SEAT Ibiza, rear action
SEAT Ibiza, dashboard

THE diesel-powered SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive really demonstrates just how frugal and efficient some cars have now become without going down the electric or hybrid route.

Here's a car that, on paper at least, can return almost 80 miles to the gallon. On top of low fuel costs buyers can also look forward to not having to fork out anything for road tax as it emits just 93g/km of CO2.

The SEAT might not be alone, indeed it has Volkswagen group stablemates like the Skoda Fabia Greenline and VW Polo Bluemotion. Price-wise the Seat sits between the two.

Last year saw the model given a mid-life makeover that was very much a refresh rather than an overhaul.

The most distinctive update was a more pronounced and distinctive front end, with new headlights, grille and front bumper. Suspension modifications have also enhanced the driving dynamics.

The Ibiza is a good looking small car that has appeal without going down the retro or overtly funky styling routes and as such in its current incarnation has aged well.

On the inside it is tastefully done out, characterised by decent fit and finish and featuring switchgear that is plain and functional though good quality nonetheless.

In line with the trend for all small cars to get bigger the Ibiza is surprisingly roomy for a supermini.

In terms of powertrain variants there are plenty of options to choose from, most of which err towards efficiency rather than performance.

This super-efficient diesel sits mid range overall and the only downside is having to fork out a little extra for the diesel over one of the small petrol versions.

Petrol predominates in terms of engine options - a three-cylinder 1.0-litre in either 74bhp or 109bhp form, a four-cylinder 1.2-litre available with 89bhp or 109bhp, a four-cylinder 1.4-litre 148bhp TSI and a 1.8-litre TSI in the Cupra.

There might only be one diesel but its available in three power variants - 74bhp, 89bhp or 104bhp.

Is it worth plumping for a diesel? If you're buying an Ibiza as a city runabout then a basic three-cylinder petrol model makes sense but if you want it to double-up as a family car and take to the open road and the motorway network then a 1.4-litre turbo diesel in any of its states of boost probably represents a better bet for the added power. This was the lowest powered version but it didn't feel lacking.

That said, in some ways it's a tough call and given the raft of petrol options, some really do give the diesel a run for the money when it comes to combining performance and economy.

Handling has always been an Ibiza strength and this continues to be the case. It might share underpinnings with its VW stablemates but it has a slight edge when it comes to offering a fun and rewarding drive. Opt for a more performance-focussed FR or Cupra and the ante is upped even further but even in this more utilitarian diesel it impresses.

Another Ibiza strength is a generous array of standard equipment whatever the trim level. Even an entry level E comes with a five-inch touchscreen, a USB port and four-speaker stereo.


SEAT Ibiza SE 1.4 TDI Ecomotive


Mechanical: 74bhp, 1,422cc, 3cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 13 seconds

Combined MPG: 78.5

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 93g/km

Bik rating: 16%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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