Archive | SEAT

GOODWOOD Festival Of Speed 2015 (over 200 pics) #GoodwoodFOS

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Some Cars, Some Rudeness, and Sunshine, it’s the 2013 #SMMT day

Date May 2nd 2013, Time 07.50.  I arrive at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire for perhaps the Biggest party ever for the Motor Industry Professionals, Bloggers, and Car People lucky enough to have received an invite from the SMMT or Society of Motor Manufactures & Traders if you don’t like acronyms.

After a Safety Briefing and Industry talk from Mike Baunton (everything’s rosy by the way and getting better) it was time to head out and drive all the Cars on your to do list.

Everyone went straight to Mclaren who were making there first appearance at the SMMT day, the queue was as big as lidl at chucking out time, and my plan of action was something completely different, I would go to my pre booked appointment with Volvo then play it by ear and choose wisely and the most appealing to 60,000 a month audience members,and give you an honest opinion of their best and worst features.

My 1st stop was Volvo to my pre-booked appointment on the new V60 Hybrid

Now this is Volvo new Plug-in Hybrid with a 215bhp Diesel engine and a 70bhp electric motor and 4 wheel drive

The figures speak for themselves

Top speed 143,  0-60 5.8 seconds, Tax band A, spitting out a measly 48 co2 g/km which is very Impressive, and thats even more impressive when you think it’s powered by Diesel and Electricity.

Interior wise It’s a great place to be, very good seats as standard, and a limited edition designed Interior just for the V60 Hybrid.

On the road the Volvo V60 Hybrid can be selected to drive on Electricity for a range of 31 miles producing 50 kWh 70bhp & 200nm Torque, but the button I was interested in was The POWER button, this combines the 215bhp diesel engine and the 70bhp Electric motor which in turn, makes the V60 a True sleeper car.

On the Millbrook high speed bowl, the acceleration was Instantaneously available the Noise was sporty but a little to muffled for my liking, 100mph came up very quickly indeed and on the twisty Hill route the V60 was very sure footed through the bends, stable, agile and great fun.

The V60 Hybrid is entitled to the PICG subsidy of £5000 which makes the price £48,775.00 and 1st impressions would seem a little steep to some people but we have to remember Volvo Really have come up with an Industry Game changer

Simonscarspot Rating 8/10

Next up I tried the Volvo V40 T5 R-Design

Volvo’s Answer to the Bmw 1M and the Audi S3

Here’s the thing with Volvo, They’ve always been Marketed as a premium product It was always above Ford and Vauxhall but not as popular as Bmw and Audi, which is a good thing because while Ze Germans have been attracting a name for making fast cars, they’ve also attracted what TopGear call the Cocks car of choice, the one where a certain type of person buys to show off and basically drive like a cock, while in the Meantime Volvo have been lurking in the shadows perfecting a great car that’s fast, fun, safe, and doesn’t make you look or drive like a cock.

The V40 T5 R-Design  costs from £31,390, has 254bhp and does 155mph  and really is good, and definitely better than the Bmw or Audi offerings.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 7.5/10

Next up is the Mini Cooper S Paceman

This Mini is the first Mini I’ve driven since 2009,

It’s Aimed at the trendy city types who only need 2 doors and pick up rear passengers occasionally..

The interior is a mixed bag, it has some funky touches like the speedo and main dial, but then it has some very strange touches like the flying saucer key fob that you slot into the start hole and press THE smallest Start button in the world.

On the road I’m sorry to report that when I drove the Paceman at speed on Millbrooks High speed bowl and Hill route the Paceman felt very Twitchy, it felt like I was having to fight with every movement of the steering wheel to stay in control, and the hard suspension set-up didn’t help things either.

Priced around £24,000 the Paceman Looks Funky for the people it’s aimed at, but just doesn’t deliver for those that actually like to drive.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 3/10

AlfaRomeo Guiletta 1.4 Tb MultiAir 170bhp

AlfaRomeo used to make some Mad Cars in their good old Glory days, the 147 GTA, the 145 2.0 twinspark, but have been loosing their way and have been limited to just two remaining models – The Mito and the Guiletta, and when I was asked which one I’d like to drive, my response was “The Fastest one please”

Now a 1.4 litre engine doesn’t sound a lot, but when it has 170 bhp a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds and a six speed clutch that can only mean one thing ‘Fun’,

Gone are the days of the Dubious Build Quality and the Mechanical Reliability of yesteryear! – since 2005 AlfaRomeo have been addressing these problems and although their reputation had been damaged, they persevered and have finally got their act together and produced Their best car to date!, out of the cars I drove that cost around £24,000 the AlfaRomeo Guiletta was the best of the bunch, it was surprisingly Fast around the High speed bowl, and very very Agile and communicative around the Hill course, whilst leaving a slight rawness to the handling, I threw it around the bends but nothing seemed to unsettle the mid size Alfa. In my opinion it even beats the Mighty Seat Leon for Handling.

My only concern on living with the Guiletta on a daily basis would be down to one thing, and one thing only!, and thats the Shiney Dash!, it’s a bit of a dust collector with all the shiney surfaces.

Priced from £23,155 a very good drive but needs to be cheaper to sell more!

SimonsCarSpots Rating 6/10

Fiat Panda 4×4

Fiat Panda 4×4 1.3 multiJet with it’s tried and tested 75bhp engine, with it’s tough little Dinky toy looks and it’s go anywhere attitude (It can as I took it up Millbrooks offorad course and it was so Amazingly good I took it round twice)

At £14,995 (approx) The Fiat Panda 4×4 isn’t exactly cheap for a small car, but it’s a 4×4 that you can take anywhere, it’s cooler than a Suzuki Jimny, and good fun.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 5/10

Bentley Gt v8

There are some Alright cars! some Good cars!, then there are some Great Cars! and This Bentley Gt v8 is one of them, (plus the fact that the Bentley Pr guy gave me the most unexpected compliment of the day ‘just checking, are you over 25?’ Me ‘yep I’m 39′ made my day)

Last year I drove the Bentley FlyingSpur and whinged that it was a bit overRated! More VAG group then Bentley, It’s really not the case with the Bentley Gt v8 with it’s machined aluminium facia, to it’s sumptious Diamond patterned leather seats, everything just shouts ‘Special’

On the road the Bentley Gt v8 is amazing! – handling that belies it’s size! –  and a noise from the engine that is truly in it’s own class. and every conceivable extra you could think off, one for the wish list.

SimonsCarSpot Rating 9/10

Rollsroyce ghost

Now If the Bentley GT v8 shouts Special!, then the RollsRoyce Ghost shouts out Sublime,

From the Moment you open the Doors to a Rolls you know you’ve arrived!, – (Now that should be their Company Slogan,) your just in awe of everything before you even sit down in the Ghost real wood Hand made, hand laid by a master craftsman, Real Leather Trimmed from the best cow hide available, the seats incorporating real Hungarian Goose down, and the deep Wilton Carpets that are so deep and sumptuous that they double up as a Duvet for your feet.

On the road everything in the RollsRoyce Ghost is Whisper quiet and as it should be, Refined and statesman like, But then at £280,000 it should do!.

Also the Ghost doesn’t feel as unwieldy or as cumbersome as it’s size suggest chucking the little Roller around Millbrooks Hill course was fun, and the Digital speedo in the Windscreen was brilliant, (it was so clear that I kept trying to touch it) and the Spirit of Ecstasy on the front of the Ghost would  always serve to remind the owner they have definitely made it in life despite being the being the baby of the (RollsRoyce) Manor.

SimonsCarSpots Rating 9.5/10

Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI 150 ps


What Can I say about the New Seat Leon thats not already been said before!

Well how about ‘This is V.A.G’s best offering to date,’

It Handles Sublimely! with it’s well sorted chassis,  It feels like it has more than 150 bhp, and for under £24,000 it’s joint 1st in it’s class, shared with the AlfaRomeo Guiletta as the most underrated fun you can own thats not a main manufacture list.

WellDone Seat

SimonsCarSpots Rating 6.15/10

Porsche Cayenne S diesel

Whats got 108 buttons, costs £71,000 and has a Twin-Turbo V6 Diesel engine?

Good to drive, Good Handling, Not a Bad price for this category of car but let down by having way too many buttons on the dash to fettle with,

SimonsCarSpots Rating 5/10

Jaguar F-type S

Jaguars World Car of the year, and it’s easy to see why,

Aimed at being the replacement to the original E-Type the designers have really pulled out the stops in creating what is Jaguars modern day Masterpiece, Completely fresh from the ground up, and a new interior that uses LCD’S behind Contemporary Toggle switches,

The Rumble from the engine on start up comes in 3 noise levels, Normal, Sport, & Orgasm,  driving the F-Type and everything just falls to hand easily the Handlings amazing the noise is immense, and the price is probably the bargain of the century for this type of car £67,500

SimonsCarSpot Rating 8/10

My Last car of the day but by no means least as this turned out to be my UnderRated star of SMMT

Nissan Juke Nismo

£20,000 for a Nissan Juke? I hear you Shouting!,,, Are you Mad? I hear you cry!,

Well the answer to your questions are Yes it’s just short at £19,995, and No!, I’m not mad this really was the underRated star of the SMMT day, for you see this Nissan Juke has not only been Breathed on by the boys at Nismo! –  this Juke has been swallowed, Gargled, & spat out again by said boys at Nissan –  But why did SimonsCarSpots decide to make it his UnderRated car of the Smmt

well Packing a 197bhp 1.6 litre turbo charged engine, it drove fantastically around the Millbrook high speed bowl, The acceleration was Rapid, the driving position was spot on, and moving to the Hill course The Nissan Juke Nismo powered up the hills without a problem, the CVT gearbox was brilliant, being of an slightly older design than the double clutch flappy paddle type, a Cvt allows you to wring every ounce of power and changes when the driver selects to change up rather than the Gearbox automatically selecting 300 rpm’s sooner than you wanted to, plus at Millbrook it felt the most composed yet complete car for less than £25,000

Welldone Nissan

SimonsCarSpots Rating 6.3 – 10

UnderRated Car of the SMMT 10 – 10


SEAT Exeo Sport Tech 2.0 TDI 170PS road test review by Oliver Hammond

Don’t worry. You’re not going mad. If the SEAT Exeo looks strangely familiar to you, that’s because it’s based on the previous ‘B7’ generation (2005-2008) Audi A4. The Exeo was originally launched in 2008 and SEAT have now decided to give it a bit of cosmetic surgery along with a few internal tweaks. The result? I reckon it now looks even more like an Audi than ever. But that’s not a bad thing, is it?

SEAT Exeo 2011 2012 facelift 2-0 TDI 170PS diesel Sport Tech road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - external Ashton Tameside Enterprise 09


SEAT have never been ashamed about heavily basing the Exeo on the older A4, so I’m equally unashamed to start off on this admittedly well-beaten track. The Audi A4 ‘B7’ model was actually in itself not a new car in terms of chassis, but merely a new look for the existing ‘B6’ platform, which had been around since 2001. The B7 generation certainly wasn’t a bad-looker, with its ‘new-Audi’ open mouth, conservatively sporty lines and solid image. Since the B7 was replaced, the Audi range has started to look very samey. Anyway, back to the Exeo. In my view, it’s not a bad thing being based externally and internally on the older A4. To complain about inheriting such respected looks would be like a guy complaining that he looks like George Clooney or Daniel Craig.

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The Spaniards have recently given the Exeo a nose job, some eye surgery and a butt-lift – and I have to say I find all the tweaks more than agreeable. New bi-Xenon headlights with very attractive daytime running lights, partnered by equally eye-catching LED lights at the rear, make up the bulk of the exterior enhancements, save for a few re-angled creases. New alloys and paint colours are also now available and even though I’ve always been someone who prefers stealthy, discretely-coloured cars, I really took to my press car’s Emoción Red paint job. The 18” turbine-style ‘Quartz’ alloys also looked the business. The car being reviewed came in ‘Sport Tech’ trim, which is a relatively new option for the Exeo and externally-speaking, gives you sportier lower door mouldings, and tinted windows in the rear. It also came with a solar sunroof fitted. Granted, if SEAT try to squeeze many more years of life out of the B6/B7 platform and indeed the Exeo, it may be a bad move, but for now Continue Reading →


New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2.0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond

Having had a SEAT in our household fleet for over four years, my desire to put the Iberian firm’s new, revised Ibiza in range-topping FR guise through its paces was high – especially in light of the impressive headline figures of 143PS from its torquey 2-litre TDI engine and 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, while supposedly averaging an eyebrow-raising 60.1mpg. Un caliente hatchback bueno?

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - Bolton Abbey Steam Railway front 34b

Under the wings of the Volkswagen Group, SEAT as a brand has come on leaps and bounds in the UK over the last few years and has just experienced its most successful annual sales to date, ever. I don’t know how much of it’s down to the car’s being named after one of the world’s top party islands, but the Ibiza still reigns as the top-selling SEAT around the world. SEAT is a confident brand on a one-way upward trend, so nobody can blame them for regularly twiddling with their range, gradually introducing elements from their snazzy concept cars and making other improvements. The SEAT Ibiza is amazingly now in its fourth generation and looks, well… read on!

Passionate Hispanic styling? Not half!

This is the facelifted Mk4 SEAT Ibiza, introduced in the UK only a few months ago – so think of it as the Mk4b, as it were. SEAT call their improvement programme ‘Enjoyneering’ and they’ve enjoyneered the Ibiza very well indeed. Granted, the FR version I drove for a week didn’t possess a drop of discretion in its daring, shouty (and very popular, I might add) Lima Green colour scheme. But that’s what many buyers want from a warm hatch – the ‘look at me!’ factor. And when you do look purposefully at the revised 2012 SEAT Ibiza, what do you see? A crisp, clean, aggressive and solid face, for starters, courtesy of SEAT’s ‘Arrow Design’ philosophy, with its facial features sculpted round a ‘V’ idea. SEAT’s design bods have sharpened and narrowed the trapezoidal grille, lowered the air intake, made the fog light bezels more angular and added a few effective creases to the front-end, under the watchful eyes of new Design Director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. The headlights on the Ibiza are new, too, and the swage line gives the car a muscular, confident stance.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - Stalybridge arches 3

Face-on and from the front-three-quarters angle, the Ibiza FR looks great, dishing up enough sporty features to keep the warm hatch brigade happy without alienating more shy and retiring buyers who would go for the more conservative colours. It’s not in-yer-face design and perfectly blends Hispanic flair with Germanic quality and solidity. The FR badges on the front grille and boot let the more discerning admirers know that this is the ‘special’ model from the Ibiza range and the LED lights integrated into the swooping headlight clusters look fantastic.

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The side profile of the new Ibiza 5-door FR doesn’t look bad either, the swage line, kicked-up rear window, privacy glass and side skirts catching one’s eye, with the optional 17” Tagus wheels filling the flared arches nicely. All the lines and creases incorporated into the Ibiza’s sides flow cohesively to the rear. Okay, the back isn’t quite as aggressive and sporty as the Ibiza FR’s new face but the FR logo, twin chrome exhaust, crisp light clusters and actually-quite-attractive black bumper finish the car off suitably well. As ever, the large SEAT logo on the back acts as the boot release. And the design of the rear comes alive in the dark, with beautiful strips of LEDs which form a ‘tick’ effect.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - Stalybridge arches 4

The new SEAT Ibiza FR 5-door certainly does it for me in the design stakes and when you think about its realistic rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Swift, MINI, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Citroen C3, Fiat Punto and the Kia Rio, the Ibiza holds its head high with pride, looking equally as good as, if not slightly better than, the best of them.

Are you SEATed comfortably?

Has the solid quality associated with cars from the upper tiers of the Volkswagen Group trickled down to the SEAT range and this latest Ibiza? Yes, it has, from the thudding doors and tight panels to the sturdy if slightly sombre interior. The sports bucket seats were surprisingly brilliant, providing a lot of support but managing to not be overly hard either. The driver’s seat is handily height adjustable and the red stitching brought some sporty flair to the cabin. I just wish the seats were electrically adjustable. The flat-bottomed sports steering wheel bears an FR badge and red stitching and the FR spec’ also gives you a leather gearstick gaiter. But that’s where the sporty touches end, really. In the same ilk as Skoda vRS models, the Ibiza FR I drove was definitely conservative inside. No bad thing, though, unless you’re someone who likes flamboyant interiors like the Kia Soul Hunter’s tartan seats.

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Space in the front was decent enough for a relatively small car, but oddment storage areas weren’t as plentiful as I would have liked, being mainly restricted to the glovebox and door bins. The handbrake and plastic area it’s seated on along with the 12V socket and cupholders were all rather cheap feeling – not flimsy, but not tactile. The grab handles weren’t damped, either. But all in all, the interior of the new SEAT Ibiza does feel like it will last and is on the whole of a good quality. The red hue to the instruments, climate control and central infotainment system provides a classy aura, the design of the air vents in the centre of the dashboard is attractive, SEAT have used soft touch materials across some of the dashboard and given the FR’s steering binnacle a glossy metallic look. The CD-radio system produced a very good sound indeed with no discernible distortion even when cranked right to the max’ and the digital climate control system worked efficiently, pumping out cool or warm air very promptly after I’d selected it.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - front cockpit

I took three passengers on a 30-mile journey and the two tall rear passengers commented that although the headroom could have been slightly better, they found the back seats in the Ibiza FR very comfortable and supportive and they surprisingly had no complaints about legroom – but remember that it was a fairly short journey.

Forgetting the price for a moment, the specification of this 2012 Ibiza FR 5dr was pleasantly high, fitted with cruise control, light and rain sensors, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and auto-folding door mirrors courtesy of the ‘Technology Pack’. The Bluetooth Communications Pack came with USB and AUX sockets, handsfree phone connection with voice control and two dedicated speakers and an adaptor for full iPod integration. The Bluetooth wasn’t as easy to connect to as other systems I’ve used, ironically because it’s a rather more simple system and puts the onus on the phone handset, as the car ‘end’ is always on. A feature I always appreciate is Hill Hold Control, which this FR had, along with Bi-Xenon Adaptive headlights with washers and LED DRLs, which looked great and worked well. Other options fitted to this particular car included privacy glass, rear electric windows which I feel I should mention cost £155, a panoramic glass sunroof and a pre-installed TomTom sat nav which you could shove away in the glovebox whenever you park up or just don’t want to use it.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - dashboard front stack

Practicality & Manoeuvrability

I wasn’t expecting the boot to be up to much, having made a few quick glances into it during the first few days. Then came the usual weekend supermarket shop test and to my pleasant surprise, the SEAT Ibiza 5dr’s boot swallowed our eight usual shopping bags comfortably. Thumbs up there, then – although you might struggle when it comes to fitting a family of four’s suitcases in the boot for a staycation or the like. The actual volume of the standard boot itself is 270 litres, expanding to 601 litres when the split-folding rear seats are flattened. This obviously allows you to carry much larger loads, minus any rear passengers of course – but bear in mind that there’s a pronounced boot lip hindering load-in somewhat, the wheel arches eat into some of the boot space and the exposed yellow foam undersides of the rear seats are a bit ugly. Generally speaking, it’s a good, old-fashioned, ‘does what it says on the tin’ kind of boot, with no fancy storage boxes in its walls, no bag hooks or the like, but is of a reasonably good size for a small warm hatch like this. Folding the back seats down is a doddle and a space saver tyre is stored under the boot floor.

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Manoeuvring the 5dr SEAT Ibiza FR was aided by means of its good turning circle (10.48m to be precise), good visibility and compact dimensions. This press car wasn’t specified with parking sensors, but you can get by without them on a car like this. The steering was nicely weighted at slow, town-driving speeds, so it wasn’t an effort to thread the Ibiza FR in and out of tight spaces and the modestly-sized 45-litre fuel tank will see you through plenty of miles thanks to the car’s excellent fuel consumption. The Ibiza FR 5dr is therefore an ideal car for singletons, couples or small families.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - boot luggage capacity

On the road

A warm hatch like the SEAT Ibiza FR, and especially one as daringly-coloured as this one, had better perform well. And fortunately for the latest FR 2.0 TDI, it does. The clutch and pedals were nicely positioned and had a good feel to them, which definitely helps for starters. The 2-litre, 143PS diesel engine isn’t the most muted out there, but if you’re at all familiar with VAG engines, you’ll have expected that like I did. The gearstick itself felt a bit flimsy but the actual gear changes and 6-speed gearbox were very smooth, which is something that can either make or break one’s bonding with a car. In this case, it helped make it. The gear ratios seemed sensibly programmed, too, whether I drove sportily or sedately. Gears one to four are set up for brisk progress, with the longer-ratio fifth and sixth gears reserved for achieving that excellent fuel economy on the open road.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - Bolton Abbey Steam Railway rear 34b

What with the FR badges, more aggressive styling and ‘look at me’ colour, I just couldn’t help myself but push the Ibiza FR from the off. And I must say that considering a 2.0 TDI engine was providing the power, it was a positive experience. There is a bit of diesel clatter, yes, but the exhaust note’s reasonably decent at the same time – and boy, the engine was pretty punchy. Generous power was on tap in all the gears, allowing you to either sprint away from the lights, pull quite nicely to execute audacious overtaking moves on A-roads and motorways and climb steep gradients without having to worry too much about dropping down the gears. A lot of the Ibiza FR’s ability to pick up its skirts and build up speed nicely is down to the impressive 320Nm of torque from the 143PS engine, combined with the smooth 6-speed manual gearbox. The quoted 8.2 seconds to get to 62mph sounds and feels about right and the Ibiza FR will apparently do a top speed of 130mph.

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The chunky sports steering wheel is attached to a well-balanced and weighted electro-mechanical, speed-sensitive steering setup which promotes confidence in you to chuck the Ibiza FR 5dr round bends. If you like pushing a car to its limits (or to the boundaries of your own limitations, more like) you’ll encounter a bit of understeer, but the majority of drivers won’t notice it, as the Ibiza FR 2.0 TDI dishes up a lot of fun even with driven a long way short of its capabilities. It’s the Ibiza range’s sporty offering so yes, the ride has been firmed up on the FR, but I honestly didn’t find it bone-shaking and thought the car tackled the UK’s pothole-ridden roads very well, not crashing into potholes with any annoying jarring, but biffing through them with confidence. The firm ride naturally works wonders on the twisty stuff, too, the FR sitting 15mm lower than other model variants and having a stiffer anti-roll bar fitted. I’ve driven several other hot or warm versions of various makes and models in recent months and was impressed by the Ibiza, which was more immediately engaging that the Fiesta Metal which really needed pushing hard to get any sporty satisfaction out of it, as did the Skoda Octavia vRS in fact. I didn’t find the Ibiza FR diesel quite as engaging and addictive as the Suzuki Swift Sport, but admittedly the SSS is a different kettle of fish – and what the Ibiza FR 2.0 TDI does bring to the table by way of USPs is frugality, punchiness and a sprinkling of Iberian individuality. Just ignore the gear change indicator and trust your own instincts, whilst realising that the Ibiza FR isn’t a rev-mad kind of car so there’s no gain to be had from pushing it into the red. Just let the mid-band torque do its thing and you’ll be happy.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - Bolton Abbey Steam Railway side 34d

SEAT publish a combined fuel consumption figure of 60.1mpg and I was pleasantly surprised to have averaged 56.1mpg over the course of the week, which included a lot of spirited driving. The 45mpg I always saw on the display when tootling around town is equally close to SEAT’s official urban figure of 47.1mpg. CO2 emissions are fairly good at 123g/km, it sits in road tax band D so costs you nothing for the first year, servicing is every 12 months or 10,000 miles (and shouldn’t prove expensive, from my experience with SEAT main dealers) and BIK is 18%.

In Summary

The new SEAT Ibiza FR 2.0 TDI 5dr looks great, if not as sporty as its SC sibling nor indeed the new Cupra when it comes out. It offers the practicality of having decently-proportioned doors and reasonable amounts of space for rear passengers over short and medium journeys, combined with a more than ample boot. It’s let down a little by some poor interior plastics but does feel robust and is ergonomically sound with a good driving position and plenty of standard and optional kit. The 2-litre diesel engine is standard VAG fare but suits the small Ibiza well, giving it plenty of punchy torque and a fairly fun driving experience.

New 2012 SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2-0 TDI 143PS road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - FR badge closeup

It’s definitely a warm hatch as opposed to a truly hot one, so it’s best not to compare it with the Clio RenaultSport nor any of the other hot hatch greats, leaving the Ibiza Cupra to tackle those boys. The £16,840 base price of the Ibiza FR 2.0 TDI 5dr I tested puts it at the top of price band for small warm hatches and the total price after options of just over £20,000 does make the Ibiza 5dr FR expensive, costing about £1,000-£1,500 more than rivals carrying the same options. But which of them offer a powerful 2-litre diesel engine putting out 143PS whilst returning a combined MPG figure of 60.1? Perhaps only the equivalent MINI, which costs slightly more. This sets the Ibiza FR 5dr diesel apart and certainly means it’s worth considering if you’ve got a child or two and do a lot of miles. Overall, a very good effort from SEAT.

© Oliver Hammond


Specification of the New SEAT Ibiza 5dr FR 2.0 TDI 143PS tested in this review

Engine: 1,968cc, 4-cylinder diesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Max Output: 143PS
Max Torque: 320NM
Top Speed: 130mph
0-60mph: 8.2 seconds
Combined fuel economy: 60.1mpg
Fuel tank capacity: 45 litres
CO2 Emissions: 123g/km
Gross Weight: 1,696kg
Max Towing Weight (braked): 1,200kg
Boot capacity: 270 litres (rear seats up), 601 litres (rear seats down, brimmed to the roof)
Dimensions: 4,082mm long, 1,693mm wide including mirrors, 1,441mm high

Standard Specification includes (but not limited to):

Height adjustable passenger and driver’s seats
12V accessory socket in centre console
Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
Illuminated boot
3 cupholders
Illuminated glovebox
Auxiliary input socket
Isofix system on outer rear seats
Body colour door handles, mirrors and bumpers
LED tail lights
Leather steering wheel and gear knob with red stitching
Child locks on rear doors and Deadlocks
MP3, AM/FM radio, (single) CD player, four speakers
Coming home lights
One touch electric windows (front)
Cruise control
Air conditioning with pollen filter
Rear wiper
Digital clock
Remote central locking
Driver and passenger airbags
SEAT logo boot release
Electric headlight adjustment
Electro-mechanical, speed-sensitive power steering
Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
Split folding rear seats
FR Sports seats
Sports suspension (15mm lower)
Audio controls mounted on steering wheel
Front seatback pockets
Trip computer
Front side airbags
Twin chrome exhaust pipes
Tyre repair kit
Volumetric alarm

Options fitted to this particular press vehicle:

17” Tagus alloy wheels £150
Space-saving spare wheel £95
Climate control £310

Technology Pack (cruise control, light sensor, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, electric folding mirrors) £550

Bluetooth Communications Pack and USB/AUC port with handsfree phone connection, voice control and two additional speakers, plus adaptor for full iPod integration £410

Hill Hold Control and tyre pressure monitoring £50
Bi-Xenon headlights (Adaptive Front Lighting System – AFS) £765
Dark tinted windows £155
Rear electric windows £155
Panoramic glass sunroof £490
Navigation pre-installation for TomTom sat nav £40


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