SEAT Ibiza ST: Second report

Supermini estate has the pace to get us to the church on time – and the style to grace any wedding car park

  • I’ve really enjoyed the chance to try the Ibiza ST on more flowing tarmac recently. In the working week, I spend most of my time in stop-start city traffic, so the spate of weddings I’ve attended has given me the perfect excuse to venture further afield. Its firm suspension makes more sense on twisty and undulating B-roads – I really love driving it.
  • Our car’s metallic grey paint looks great from a distance, but I’ve noticed a couple of problems. When the car arrived, there was a mark in the paintwork on the boot, which has now developed into a small area that needs attention. Bird lime on the roof has proven difficult to budge, too. Despite my best efforts, it’s left a stain.
Love is in the air, and I’m beginning think our long-term SEAT is to blame! Since the Ibiza ST arrived in May, I’ve received no fewer than four wedding invitations – and with the added task of finding a location for my own nuptials next spring, the supermini estate has been busy visiting churches and wedding venues across the country!
Not that I’m complaining. I always enjoy the opportunity to put on my glad rags, and the Ibiza ST also scrubs up pretty well. It looks the part with its metallic finish and smart alloys, although we’ve noticed a few problems with the paintwork.
All this running around has also allowed us to give the SEAT a proper taste of the open road, as it spends most weeks confined to the city. The ST has proven an able companion on its numerous cross-country trips, and its excellent 1.2-litre turbo engine provides effortless motorway cruising.
Along country lanes, the car lives up to its sporty looks with a swift turn of speed. This comes in really handy when you’re running late for a wedding ceremony, and encounter a frustratingly slow-moving tractor.
I never really get to enjoy the ST’s handling on my daily commute through central London, so I’m pleased to report that the car follows the lead of its brilliant engine when let off the leash in the countryside. It’s a pleasure to drive on twisty B-roads, although our example’s low-profile tyres mean the ride is a bit on the firm side.
My numerous out-of-town jaunts have seen a improvement in our fuel returns. The overall average has risen to 34.1mpg from the 31.2mpg posted in our first long-term report.
That’s still short of the 38.2mpg achieved by our new long-term VW Polo, which shares the same engine. But this is because my nine-mile daily grind into the office is so heavily congested; although our Ibiza Ecomotive is fitted with stop-start, these gridlocked journeys are still getting through more fuel. As 
I have two more long trips for weddings planned, I hope to see a further improvement in time for my next report.
So far, I’ve few complaints about the supermini. The front seats are comfortable and roomy, and the massive boot has easily swallowed our luggage, suit carriers and presents. But with my niece’s big day approaching fast (it’s next month), the Ibiza faces its biggest challenge yet.
Fitting a family of five, plus all our finery, in the compact estate for a long drive up the M1 is sure to cause a few complaints from the back seats. Still, I doubt even that will bring the little SEAT’s honeymoon period in the Tennant household to an end.

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