10 March 2014
The Ecomotive versions of the Ibiza add £600 to the price of the standard 1.4 turbodiesel models whether you choose the three- or five-door versions. A revised ECU electronic brain for the engine helps reduce emissions to 98g/km. Seat has an above average reputation for reliability, helped by much of its mechanical parts being sourced from the Volkswagen Group parts counter. This latest Ibiza is likely to prove even more tough and long-living, while the 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine is under no great stress powering a lightweight supermini.
The Ibiza Ecomotive uses the same 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine as other cars in Seat’s supermini range, but a few key tweaks turn this model into an economy and emissions champion. A revised ECU electronic brain for the engine helps reduce emissions to 98g/km for both the three- and five-door models to qualify for free road tax. There’s no price to pay for this added frugality and cleanliness as the Ecomotive models are, in fact, a touch quicker from 0-62mph than the standard 1.4 turbodiesel despite the Ecomotive’s gearbox using revised ratios to help reduce engine revs to improve economy. The three-door Ecomotive cover 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds and the five-door takes 12.9 seconds, both of which are 0.2 seconds quicker than the normal 1.4 turbodiesel, though neither is what you’d call zippy. On the move, the revised ratios are barely noticeable in the five-speed manual gearbox as the Ecomotive’s diesel engine, with 144lb ft of tug at 1800rpm, is happy to propel the Seat up hill, down dale and along the motorway with equal ease.
The Ibiza Ecomotive may come on fuel-saving low rolling resistance tyres, but it does nothing to undermine the fine comfort enjoyed by other Ibiza drivers. There’s not quite as much grip or bite in corners as a Ford Fiesta, but the Ibiza does a fine job of isolating its occupants from any jolts thrown up by the road and from noise generates by the car as it passes over the road surface. Wind noise is also well contained, though the diesel engine makes a fair old clatter at all revs. Helping to reduce wind roar are some aerodynamic changes over the standard Ibiza, such as a new front grille and discreet rear spoiler, which help the Ecomotive slip through the air more cleanly to help save fuel. A little more feel through the steering would be welcomed by keen drivers when progressing along twisty roads, but otherwise the Ibiza Ecomotive is simplicity itself to pilot through town and country, and it’s very easy to park despite the thick rear pillars and high rear window line.
Seat has an above average reputation for reliability, helped by much of its mechanical parts being sourced from the Volkswagen Group parts counter. This latest Ibiza is likely to prove even more tough and long-living, while the 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine is under no great stress powering a lightweight supermini. Seat does a good job of putting its cars together, too, though some of the interior plastics look and feel a little drab next to some rivals’. Still, they shouldn’t come apart at the seams.
The Ibiza’s score here reads like a report for a gifted but slightly lazy school pupil: good but could be better with just a little effort. Twin front and side airbags are included, with the side ’bags extending up to act as curtain airbags for the front seat passengers. Just a shame those in the rear are not as well protected. Anti-lock brakes are present, but ESP traction control is a £281 option where we’d rather see it as part of the standard kit list. However, there is a full five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP and the Ibiza Ecomotive is as well covered from thieves as every model in the range.
If you want the better looking Ibiza Ecomotive, the three-door is the one to go for. However, the three-door makes using the rear seats more of a palaver as access is not as good as in some three-door superminis. Also, headroom in the back of the three-door Ibiza is restricted due to the slope of the roof, and leg space is tight, though shoulder room is just about up to dealing with a pair of average-sized adults. The five-door Ibiza is by far the better bet for those who rank practicality high on their priority list. Wide opening rear doors let on to a rear cabin with much improved headroom over the three-door model’s and there’s greater headroom thanks to a higher roofline. Unsurprisingly, the five-door Ibiza has a larger boot than the three-door model, coming in at 292-litres to the three-door’s 284-litres. Fold the rear seats and the five-door offers 554-litres, with the three-door only fractionally behind on 544-litres.
The Ecomotive versions of the Ibiza add £600 to the price of the standard 1.4 turbodiesel models whether you choose the three- or five-door versions. In five-door form, the Ecomotive is 9.0mpg better than its standard sister model, while the three-door Sport Coupe Ecomotive manages an extra 10.6mpg combined economy compared to its sister model. That makes for impressive savings and the Ecomotives also reward with free road tax thanks to their sub-100g/km carbon dioxide emissions of 98g/km. Group 3 insurance will also be easy on the wallet, while service intervals at 10,000 miles and Seat’s affordable labour rates should make running an Ibiza Ecomotive a painless experience. The Ecomotive is covered by three-year, 60,000 mile warranty. Equipment is the same as for an entry-level S version of the standard Ibiza, so the car comes with CD stereo, air conditioning and electric front windows, while the optional satellite navigation uses Seat’s clever dash-mounted cradle for a TomTom unit.
Submitted: 05/10/2009 10:40:29
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