Seat Ibiza Cupra11 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Ibiza with a hint of 'get-up-and-go'


    One of the most surprising groups in the automotive world is VW. For a start, it has now overtaken Toyota as the world’s largest car manufacturer but it also has a huge array of marques under its umbrella. Obviously, there’s the straightforward Volkswagen, but there’s also upmarket Audi, the more basic Skoda and the exotic Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti as well as one of the leaders in trucks, Scania.

    They’ve also got strong links with Porsche but the one that’s often forgotten about is sporty Spanish Seat, which is surprising because some of their cars are really quite special with the power to inject a touch of excitement at the push of the throttle. The Ibiza Cupra is just that. On the face of it, a straightforward saloon but with a poised stance which says it is just ready to get up and go. And that’s exactly what it does as part of a trio of top-of-the-range Ibizas which help make the model the best-selling Seat in the world. The latest model is the third generation to carry the Ibiza badge. 

    It brings fun back into driving and at a reasonable cost

    On the road

    This car is really surprising, not least because the amazing power and performance comes from a small 1.4TSI engine. It delivers a mighty 180 PS, the first time a VW Group engine has produced this output, and coupled with a seven-speed DSG gearbox with shift paddles on the steering wheel, it feels fabulous. Spawned from Seat’s successes in the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car circuit, the secret is in turbocharging and supercharging which squeezes the utmost out of what is a very modest power plant. On the road this manifests itself in a sparkling drive which brings fun back into driving and at a reasonable cost.  

    Comfort & Safety

    For a car with such a sporting heritage, it has what can only be described as firm suspension, which is reassuring on the bends but can be a touch harsh on the spine when the surface is less than perfect. The brakes have been uprated accordingly to match the increased power and of course it comes with all the standard safety features plus loads of other goodies which add to the quality of life within the cockpit. The seats are nicely formed and look brilliant, upholstered in a special fabric to create a look which harks back to the race cars of the Seventies. And they don’t just look good – they work well to hold you in place as you enjoy each and every bend.  

    Should I buy one?

    Absolutely – for affordable fun with great return for your money.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £16,545
    Engine / Power: 1390cc / 180PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 7.2secs / Max 140mph
    How big/heavy?: H1420mm W1690mm L4061mm / 1172kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 44.1mpg / CO2 148g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 14E / Band F, £125
    Alternatives: Vauxhall Corsa VXR; Renaultsport Clio 200; Peugeot 207GTi, Alfa Romeo MiTo

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