Seat extends long arm of the kit list

BUYERS will inevitably gravitate toward the 1.4-litre SEAT Ibiza models and now there’s even more reason to do so with this kit-rich special which throws in hundreds of pounds worth of extra equipment freee of charge. Those seeking a good-looking, well-built, value for money small car will find their needs met here and in some style.

The 1.4-litre engine in the SEAT Ibiza is a four-cylinder, 16-valve unit with a multi-point fuel injection system. It’s modern but no more so than similar units that can be found powering the Ibiza’s rivals.

It produces its maximum power of 84bhp at 5,000rpm and peak torque is measured at 132Nm at 3,800rpm.

The 12.2s 0-60mph time is usefully faster than the 15.0 seconds that the entry-level 69bhp 1.2-litre engine takes to accomplish the same and the 108mph top speed leaves little room for concerns about it’s ability to keep up with traffic.

The previous Ibiza’s driving experience won praise from all quarters and this car continues that approach. It remains impressively composed in corners and the sharp steering makes it easy to spirit about the place.

Sport models feature firmer suspension but even here, the ride isn’t harsh and the things that shine through after a stint in an Ibiza are its comfort, refinement and the overriding big car feel. These are qualities we’d more readily associate with Volkswagen’s Polo than SEAT’s Ibiza but they’re highly desirable ones none the less.

The Ibiza runs on the Volkswagen Group’s latest small car platform dubbed the ‘agile chassis’. It comes in the basic five-door bodystyle and as a three-door ‘SportsCoupe’ which looks lower leaner and meaner with design cues more obviously lifted from the Bocanegra concept car and the 16-inch alloy rims exclusive to the Copa are certainly handsome.

The interior of the Ibiza is an upmarket affair with some nice trim finishes and good amounts of space front and rear. The sparky design of the outside isn’t really carried over internally and the dash follows a more conservative feel that veers towards style rather than fashion. The colour scheme might be a little grey for some tastes but the Ibiza always feels a quality product when you spend time sat in it.

Dip too far down a supermini’s engine range as a buyer and if you’re not careful, you can start to lose out on capability that you need.

The 84bhp 1.4-litre engine in SEAT’s Ibiza is probably as low as you’d want to go if you plan on undertaking regular long distance trips but it still offers the good fuel economy and accessible asking price that is essential at the lower end of the supermini sector.

As the Copa, though, it looks an even stronger value proposition.

Whichever SEAT Ibiza engine buyers choose, they’ll be getting a good-looking supermini with a quality feel throughout. SEAT has high hopes for the Ibiza and rightly so.

It certainly has the wherewithal to give the sector’s big guns something to think about.

CAR: SEAT Ibiza 1.4 16v Copa

PRICE: £11,840 - £12,570 - on the road

INSURANCE GROUP: 8

CO2 EMISSIONS: 149g/km

PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 12.2s/ Max Speed 108mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 45.5mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front airbags and side, seatbelt pre-tensioners, ABS

Steve Walker