SEAT Ibiza ECOmotive review (2002-2008)
The ECOmotive is a taste of green cars to come from the Spanish firm.
Driving 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. Otherwise, the baby SEAT is starting to feel its age, lacking the composure or confidence of the newer Ibiza.
Marketplace The all-new five-door Ibiza is already on sale, and there is a stylish three-door just around the corner, too. But although the current version is on its last legs, it doesn’t mean SEAT has lagged behind in the green race. The ECOmotive variant is one of only two cars eligible for the Group A tax band – the other being VW’s Polo Bluemotion. Good news, then, that an ECOmotive version of the next model is also coming. This car uses a version of the familiar 1.4-litre three-cylinder TDI, with a revised ECU and diesel particulate filter, plus improved aerodynamics and longer gear ratios. Its chief rival is its sister car, the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion, while Skoda also sells the Fabia GreenLine.
Owning The Ibiza’s cabin is showing its age as much as the exterior. The low-rent interior has a dated feel, with shiny plastics and a cheap look in places. The supermini also feels a bit small nowadays, lacking the confident stance of its replacement. But while it is significantly cheaper than its sister car, the Polo Bluemotion, air con is fortunately standard, although the door mirrors remain manually operated. Needless to say, it is very economical, returning 52.1mpg during testing and officially averaging over 74mpg. It also produces just 99g/km of CO2.