01 May 2012 Last Updated: 30 October 2013

Full SEAT Ibiza Hatchback (08 on) Model Review

by Parkers

  • Tax-friendly 1.2 engine is slow, but efficient
  • Claimed economy is 80mpg, we achieved 50mpg
  • 92g/km of CO2 could mean a monthly tax bill of £31
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback (08 on) 1.2 TDI CR Ecomotive SE (2012) 5d - Road Test
Low tax bills are the holy grail for company car drivers, so the SEAT Ibiza SE 1.2 TDI Ecomotive is onto a winner in the fleet arena. It promises a blend of low-CO2 motoring and imperious fuel economy all wrapped up in a stylish package that won’t break the bank.

Low tax bills are the holy grail for company car drivers, so the SEAT Ibiza SE 1.2 TDI Ecomotive is onto a winner in the fleet arena. It promises a blend of low-CO2 motoring and imperious fuel economy all wrapped up in a stylish package that won’t break the bank.

To get carbon dioxide emissions down to a manageable level for the lowest-possible running costs, SEAT has chosen to fit a little 1.2-litre diesel engine to the Ibiza.

It means performance isn’t this car’s forte – it ambles to 62mph in 13.9 seconds and will hit a top speed of 107mph. On the road it does feel fairly slow, but will hit motorway speeds easily given the right gear selection. You find yourself having to work the five-speed gearbox fairly hard to eke enough performance from the engine to make brisk progress, but for cruising along gently the Ibiza does an admirable job.

It feels sure-footed through corners and the body doesn’t wallow around too much, it rides very nicely and thanks to comfortable seats it’s a place you wouldn’t mind spending a few hours a day in.

While not setting the world alight with stunning performance, the Ecomotive is capable of some very impressive fuel economy statistics. SEAT claims a combined average fuel economy figure of a barely believable 80.7mpg. On our test drive we saw closer to 50mpg during real-world driving, but suspect far better is possible if you really slow down and treat the throttle with the utmost respect.

You’ll have to drive at a snail’s pace to get anywhere near 80mpg, though. If you do, expect a range of almost 800 miles from the 45-litre fuel tank. On our test the computer readout registered an average of 50mpg which should deliver a 500-mile range.

Inside, the car, the SEAT impresses with its stylish dash and modern-feeling plastics. The sat-nav deserves special mention – it’s a system that can be removed from the dash so it can be used on foot or taken indoors to set up for complex journeys. Although a fairly cheap car, the Ibiza doesn’t feel like a cut-price option.

The Ecomotive version of the Ibiza emits just 92g/km of carbon dioxide, which slots it nicely into the 13% Benefit-in-Kind bracket for 2012/13 and it will remain so for 2013/14 too, rising 1% in the year after that. For this tax year - with P11d value of £14,365 – that means this car will cost you just £31 per month on the 20% pay scale and £62 per month on the 40% pay scale.

Our car, however, had a few optional extras fitted which bump up the monthly costs a touch. It had a space-saving spare wheel (£95), climate control (£310), rear electric windows (£155), the ‘Technology Pack’ (including cruise control, light-sensing headlights, rain-sensing wipers, an automatic-dimming rear-view mirror and electric folding wing mirrors for an extra £550), Bluetooth handsfree with aux-in connection and USB (£410), a centre rear headrest (£50), a height-adjustable driver’s seat (£70), tinted windows (£155) and navigation pre-installation for the sat-nav (£40).

That little lot bumps the P11d value up by £1,835, which works out at £35 per month on the 20% pay scale, and twice that for those paying company car tax at 40%.

To read the full SEAT Ibiza review click here.

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Ford Fiesta
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Mazda2
Based on the Fiesta, the ‘2 is a bit of a left-field option but it's nice to drive and can return impressive statistics when you start crunching the numbers too.

Peugeot 208
The latest small hatchback from Peugeot is a cheeky little number promising much from its range of smooth diesel engines.