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SEAT Ibiza S 

SEAT Ibiza SSEAT are of course now part of the Volkswagen-Audi Group, so in buying a SEAT you are at least in part buying into the quality associated with those brands. What that quality is, is a little more contentious, but for SEAT (as with Skoda) involvement with the group certainly marked a change for the better. Many years ago my dad bought a poverty-spec 1.3 VW Polo, so it was quite eye-opening that the Ibiza (which is essentially SEAT's version of the Polo) comes with substantially better equipment levels, for less money than Dad paid even then! Even now, the principle of SEAT seems to be to provide more car for less money than the VW equivalents, and they largely succeed. Corners are cut, with the quality of the panels and paintwork being questionable, but generally the Ibiza is a great car for the money. I got a free upgrade from a 1.2 to 1.4 S, which adds ABS braking to the obviously slightly larger engine. Standard features include electric front windows, remote central locking, power steering, air conditioning and proper three-point seat belts all round. It's a car though, so plenty of grumbles, including: it's a bit rattly, the suspension is hard and sometimes noisy, the CD player has its quirks, it's a bit underpowered at times and the fuel economy is a touch disappointing. It has had to have a couple of minor warranty repairs done, but mechanically it has proven pretty sound and reliable so far, and it's generally very comfortable and responsive to drive.

Rating: 3/5

Website: www.seat.co.uk

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