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SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive

A taste of eco cars to come from the Spanish firm

With an all-new Ibiza just round the corner, the outgoing model is on its last legs. But that doesn’t mean it’s lagged behind in the green race. SEAT’s new ECOmotive variant is one of only two cars eligible for the Group A tax band – the other being VW’s Polo Bluemotion. An ECOmotive version of the next Ibiza is also coming.

The current supermini uses the VW Group’s three-cylinder diesel engine, as seen in the Fabia GreenLine and Polo Bluemotion. Thanks to a revised ECU and diesel particulate filter, plus improved aerodynamics, it achieves impressive 99g/km emissions. Another benefit is claimed economy of 74.3mpg – identical to the Polo’s.

Unlike the VW, the SEAT has steel wheels with low-drag hubcaps rather than alloys. They do nothing to hide the car’s age, giving a low-rent look to match its dated cabin.

As with all Ibizas, the ECOmotive delivers a surprisingly sporty driving experience. Its powerplant is characterful, and in-gear pace is better than you might expect from a 79bhp unit.

But while the ultra-low-drag tyres are great for economy, they offer significantly less grip than conventional rubber in the wet. Steer the SEAT into a damp corner, and it’s easy to run out of traction at the front or rear.

In its favour, the £11,000 Ibiza is significantly cheaper than the Polo Bluemotion. The door mirrors are still manually operated, but air-con is standard and there’s even cruise control.

So while this Ibiza isn’t as good to own as the more practical, better-driving Skoda Fabia, it demonstrates we can expect plenty more from ECOmotive models in future – including an eco Leon this summer with 119g/km CO2 emissions.

Details

Price: £10,995
Model tested: Ibiza Ecomotive

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