SEAT Ibiza a

marvellous supermini

SEAT Ibiza, 2017, side, static
SEAT Ibiza, 2017, front
SEAT Ibiza, 2017, rear
SEAT Ibiza, 2017, interior
SEAT Ibiza, 2017, display screen
SEAT Ibiza, 2017, TSI 1.0 litre engine

IT seems to me that many drivers have forgotten - or never learned - how to overtake safely on two lane roads.

I've recently seen a number who overtook slowly, obviously without changing down a gear, and came very close to killing themselves in a head-on with oncoming traffic.

Please, always do it as fast as possible - and that means changing down one, two or even three gears and putting your foot down.

Despite a 1.0-litre engine with 95bhp, the SEAT Ibiza I drove recently proved very capable of swift, safe overtaking.

It really is a thoroughly enjoyable small car - with acceleration enough to give plenty of fun if you want it, and a real 60mpg if driven carefully. What's not to like!

The little three cylinder turbo under the bonnet is very willing, sounds lovely and revs sweetly all the way to 6,000rpm.

It's also available with a higher power output of 115bhp, but the car I drove doesn't give too much away to its more expensive brother.

Like almost every other small car on the road, it's front wheel drive of course, with a very sweet-changing five speed gearbox and a light clutch.

Sporty FR trim gives the driver four selectable driving modes: Eco, Normal Sport and Individual. These are a bit of a gimmick, but do alter steering feedback and response to the loud pedal.

The engine gives good acceleration from 1500 revs, and will pull gently from just above tickover even in fifth gear when you're trying to get maximum economy.

Acceleration is very good, with 60 miles an hour coming up in a little over ten seconds from rest, and plenty of urge through the gears.

In the past, FR SEATs have had stiffer suspension that spoiled the good ride of lower order cars.

Not any more! This one was comfortable over all kinds of surfaces, both at speed and driving slowly through town.

It also corners flat and with very strong grip, and has an excellent safe feel with superb balance when pushed very hard.

Lovely tactile steering sets off a delightful small car, with perfect weight and precision. I've always liked this VW system and it just gets better and better.

Inside, there's a beautifully clear dashboard, and decent rear legroom for the supermini class, but dark grey and black makes it all a little sombre.

It comes with Bluetooth, USB and aux-in, climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, plenty of adjustment for drivers sat and steering column, autonomous emergency braking and alloy wheels.

It also has front foglights with a cornering function that really works, split fold rear seat, sports seats and a very good eight inch touch screen to control sat nav and the infotainment

FAST FACTS

Price: £17,235

Mechanical:95bhp, 999cc, 3 cylinder petrol engine driving front wheels via a 5 speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:113mph

0-62mph:10.9 secs

Combined MPG:60

Insurance Group: 8

C02 emissions:106g/km

Bik rating:22%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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