I HAVE not driven any new Seat car for a long while and therefore been unable to report back to you on my reaction to its latest models.
But I’m glad to say that situation has now changed. And having just spent this week with the new Seat Ibiza I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that this carmaker appears to be demonstrating a fine awareness of what buyers want from a car in 2014.Despite some carmakers’ present penchant for more flashy, colour co-ordinated cars — and Seat has certainly done flash in its time — the Ibiza I drove (the Ibiza I-TECH 1.2 TSI 105 PS 5-speed manual) was soberly but smartly turned out in a hue of blue that no true-blooded Conservative would dare to diss.
Though the interior of the car demonstrates a study in design in black plasticity nevertheless the car was surprisingly comfortable and durable on a long trip from Gloucestershire to the heart of London and back.
This kind of trip is the best test for a car, a longish motorway haul during rush hour traffic, so you have to be on your mettle in the throng of cars at close quarters. Then plenty of stop/start through that well-worn route of the A4 Talgarth Road into London. And parking was easily achieved, too, in the Ibiza which is a nice size vehicle for inner London as much as it is a plucky one for motorways.
The Ibiza of course has been around a long while: indeed, Seat is this year celebrating 30 years since its launch.