Super economy from

SEAT Ibiza

SEAT Ibiza, front static
SEAT Ibiza, upright static
SEAT Ibiza, side static
SEAT Ibiza, rear static
SEAT Ibiza, front seats
SEAT Ibiza, boot
SEAT Ibiza, rear seats

IT is way past time a new brightness limit was introduced on the latest LED stop lights and daylight running lights.

They dazzle even in low light situations during the day never mind at night.

The original stop light power maximum was 21 Watts and that was fine for 50 years.

But now, a set of three Watt LEDs is about twice that brightness and can be so distracting that it is positively dangerous.

All the powers that be have to do is set a brightness limit in lumens to match the old 21 Watt bulbs and the job would be done - except of course, for the many cars that already have them.

This was brought home to me yet again recently on a dark country road when a Mercedes in front suddenly braked and then swerved around a bike.

Its brakelights were so bright I was momentarily blinded and if I had not copied the swerve automatically, I would have hit the cyclist.

That day, I did a 120 mile round trip in the SEAT Ibiza 1.4 TDI, and had enjoyed its well-spread range of abilities and its excellent economy.

There's a new model waiting in the wings, so it could be that this Ibiza will soon be available with very worthwhile discounts.

It was the Ecomotive economy model and in my hands, without trying at all, it achieved an excellent 56 miles per gallon in all kinds of driving.

The three cylinder engine is smooth and refined, with just a hint of a thrum at very low revs. It does pull well from low revs however, even in fourthgear of five, and is pulling hard by 1,500 revs.

Above 60 miles an hour acceleration is fairly linear and slow, but that might be because this was the Ecomotive.

It has a very comfortable low speed ride even in town and also holds the road beautifully. The cornering balance is excellent and there's great feel from the steering.

The seats are comfortable and supportive and the driving position is good for all shapes of driver. However, with a six footer like me in the front, there is no legroom left behind.

It comes with stop/start, which works reasonably well, but you have to push your foot almost down to the floor to get it to restart.

I managed to beat the system more than once coming to a stop and then wanting to move off again straight away so I turned it off.

The SE Tech model comes with a good sat nav and the controls for stereo, phone and traffic systems were all operated from the same big screen.

FAST FACTS

Price: £16,545

Mechanical: 78bhp, 1,422cc, 3cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 12.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 78

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 93g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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