Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The interior of the standard Ibiza SC has a good quality feel and the Cupra and Bocanegra models build on this with some distinctive features. It's not overtly sporty like a Vauxhall Corsa VXR, but the unique dials, chunky steering wheel and sports seats with their unusual stitching help set it apart from lesser Ibiza models. The driving position is spot on with plenty of adjustment in both the seat and steering column, while the steering-wheel mounted gearshift paddles are easy to use.

The overall finish is impressive, although there are some rather hard plastics on show, especially noticeable on the dash top and doors.

The TSI engine and twin exhausts have been tuned to deliver a raspy note low down, but the engine often has to be worked hard and spends a lot of time at high revs (not helped by the fact the DSG system has seven gears) as a result. Here it can sound coarse rather than sporty. But on the plus side, there's little wind noise, even at higher speeds, making the Cupra surprisingly good on motorways.

That's further helped by the excellent ride quality. Despite having stiffer suspension than the standard Ibiza, it's still very forgiving and rides exceptionally well over rough roads in a manner few other small hot hatches can match. Both front passengers get plenty of space and the sports seats offer good support, however the rear space is quite cramped with limited legroom, while the sloping roof means headroom is tight for taller passengers.