SEAT Ibiza ST SE Copa – Potentially 91.1 MPG
We can’t understand how the term super-mini seems to apply to almost every small car now days, and by way of example, the car we are testing here is a 5dr hatchback with estate car practicality, yet it’s referred to in the industry as just that, a super-mini.
The Seat Ibiza ST SE Copa is the latest addition to the Ibiza family, with ST being Seat ‘speak’ for “Sports Tourer” or estate car to me and you. It’s not however what you might expect an estate car would look like and in all honesty, to us, it simply looked like a stretched version of the normal 5dr hatchback.
As with many manufacturers that offer 3dr, 5dr and estate versions of the same vehicle, it tends to be the sportier 3dr version that looks better and that’s no difference here and we indeed felt the ST version of the Ibiza lacked the charm of the much prettier 3dr hatch. Perhaps however we are wrong, as Seat’s latest Ibiza was actually shaped by Luc Donckerwolke who used to design Lamborghinis (which is also owned by the VW Group).
Design aside, it’s all about practicality and if its space you need, I guess the Ibiza is the best of both worlds as the ‘front bit’ looks like the 3dr and the back bit it going to let you pack more stuff in, offering an additional 138 litres of boot space and to be fair, amongst its peers in similar ‘estate type’ versions, the Ibiza is as attractive as most and possibly more so than many.
Green motoring has become quite the thing with Seat and our car was fitted with the 75ps 1.2 TDi CR Ecomotive engine which chucks out a miserly 92g/km CO2 and gets you free road fund tax. Of course, as with everything, there is a price to pay though and that’s a 0-60mph time of 13.9 seconds which isn’t fast by any means, although if you were on an autobahn, the little Seat could run to 107mph.
Things brighten up however when you look at the potential fuel consumption figures of 67.3 urban, a massive 91.1mpg extra urban and a combined average of 80.7mpg and come on guys, by anyone’s standards, that’s pretty impressive and it would have been almost unbelievable just a few years ago to think that a 5dr estate car (or any car for that matter) could deliver fuel consumption that’s knocking on the door of 100mpg, amazing!
Specification wise, Seat have upgraded every ‘Copa’ version of the Ibiza, which can include up to £875 of extra specification in the price for absolutely no extra charge. Our little Copa ST SE is the third grade up the price range and whilst the lead-in ‘E’ has the basics such as electric front windows, and an MP3 compatible CD player, the slightly better ‘S’ grade gives you split rear seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, alloy wheels and a few other nice bits, whilst the SE adds electric folding door mirrors, dark tinted rear windows, leather steering wheel and gear knob, rain sensing wipers and auto headlights and the air-conditioning is replaced by climate control, which al in all, isn’t a bad specification.
The Ibiza range has 31 different variants and starts at £9,925 for the 1.2 60ps Ibiza SC 3dr, whilst the 5dr versions start at £11,425, raising up to £17,720 for the FR diesel. Ibiza ST versions begin at £14,050 and our ST SE Copa 1.2 TDI CR Ecomotive was priced at £15,440 which whilst it isn’t cheap, it does seem you get a reasonable bang for your buck. However when you compare the Seat with the most popular car in its class which is the Ford Fiesta and you choose the highly specified Titanium with the 1.4 Tdci diesel engine, you get over a couple of hundred pounds change back as the Fiesta comes in cheaper at £15,230.
We thought the fit and finish of our test car was good, although in common with many cars today, we felt there was quite a lot of hard plastic trim around and whilst that’s probably hard wearing and practical, but we did think it cheapened the cars interior a touch. Our car had sports seats which were really comfortable and the higher sides kept you in place. We thought the driving position was excellent, and that was simply because there was stacks of adjustment on both the seat and the steering wheel and just like Goldilocks and the porridge you’re certain to find a seating position that’s just right for you.
This car is billed as an ST or station wagon and whilst it’s got a touch extra space at the back and more indeed than most of its rivals, we found putting the rear seats down to be somewhat of a chore. The process involves the rear seat cushions being flipped forward and they are on kind of flimsy wobbly steel rods. Flipping the cushions makes way for the backrests to fold down behind them, however that’s only going to happen if the Ibiza’s front seats are slid quite a long way forwards and the downside of that is if you are a tall driver, you could find yourself running out of room to drive comfortably. There is however a hidden rear shelf that’s pretty useful although disappointingly, the Ibiza does not offer you a level continuous load area as there is a step down to the boot floor.
So what’s the Seat like on the road? Well as you might expect, the first impression is that everything is tight and feels well put together and the Ibiza feels like a safe car and even on tight country roads it handles well and grips into the corners without too much body roll despite being softer than some of the earlier Seats that were trying to push the ‘sporting range’ image.
Its not probably fair to head to head this Seat with everything else that’s in the same market, however it cant be ignored that there is plenty of choice ranging from Citroen’ C3, Honda Jazz, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris, Vauxhall Corsa, Nissan Micra, Kia Rio and Peugeots 207, not to mention the Seat’s siblings, the Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo. New comers such as Nissans hugely popular Juke are of course the latest range of Mini’s are also going to make the Seat salesman work even harder for his money.
We like VW product and that goes for the rest of its family which includes Skoda and Audi and whilst Seat are made in Spain, that they have clearly benefitted from being part of the VW group as every Seat we have tested has been made using good quality materials and well put together. Despite that, we haven’t found that the “never go wrong” myth has been anything like the truth and we have spent big bucks in the past keeping the family of cars on the road. Even now, we have a 3 year old Golf with less than 40,000 miles on the clock that needs a new turbo and that’s the best part of £1500 and follows hot on the heals of a 3 year old 55,000 mile Audi A3, which also has eaten its turbo.
In conclusion, the Seat Ibiza is a good little car, its stylish, hugely frugal and does a mind blowing amount to the gallon and to be fair, is pretty practical and of course it is and its been brought up well by its Germanic parents, but for me, there is that little something missing, perhaps it just it lacks some pizzazz and when you consider that Seat was talked of as being the VW group’s equivalent of Alfa Romeo, frankly, it isn’t as its just too close to being a VW and whilst that isn’t a bad thing, if Seat is to become a major player in its own right, its either got to be much cheaper or different and it isn’t particularly either.
For a quotation on the Seat Ibiza ST or any other Seat, please contact us.