Some of SEAT's increasingly popular E Ecomotive models are coming to the rescue of beleaguered London motorists who are hit by not only an unwelcome VAT rise on fuel, but also an extra £2 on the Congestion Charge.
The Spanish brand's sophisticated SEAT Ibiza E Ecomotive and SEAT Leon E Ecomotive models all boast official CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km, meaning that not only do they offer stunning real-world fuel economy but also, under new rules effective, they are exempt from the charge levied on drivers entering the capital's centre.
The daily Congestion Charge today rises from £8 to £10 but among the exemptions is the Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD), which allows a 100% reduction for new cars that emit 100 g/km or less of CO2 and that meet the stringent Euro 5 standard for air quality. Of SEAT's growing E Ecomotive line-up, the most popular - the SEAT Ibiza and SEAT Leon - meet both these criteria.
Owners of these cars will need to register their vehicle with Transport for London and pay a nominal £10 fee per year, but other than that they can venture into the city centre knowing that not only are they escaping the charge, but that their tailpipe emissions are among the lowest of any car on the road.
The SEAT Ibiza E Ecomotive is the greenest of the green in SEAT's range, with a CO2 rating of just 92 g/km. Its eye-catching combined fuel economy of 80.7 mpg, meanwhile, means that even with diesel set to rise to around £1.32 per litre at the pumps - an eye-watering £5.99 a gallon in 'old money' - a range of almost 800 miles will still cost only around £60. This impressive display of parsimony applies to the SEAT Ibiza E Ecomotive, whether it's the slick SC (three-door), practical 5dr or roomy new ST (estate) model.
Considering it is a family-sized car, the SEAT Leon E Ecomotive's 99 g/km CO2 emissions are particularly impressive - as is its 74.3 mpg frugality. The SEAT Ibiza and SEAT Leon models achieve their impressive efficiency through careful optimisation of the latest technology, including common-rail TDI diesel engines (1.2 for the SEAT Ibiza, 1.6 for the SEAT Leon), Stop/Start system, gearshift indicator and Brake Energy Recovery technology. Furthermore, the SEAT Leon is equipped with low friction tyres and enhanced aerodynamics to reach its sub-100 g/km figure.
Aside from the low running cost and Congestion Charge exemption, these frugal E Ecomotive models also help keep a lid on spiralling running costs by qualifying for a -0 Road Fund Licence each year, further underlining their low-cost motoring credentials.
Director of SEAT UK Peter Wyhinny said of the revised Congestion Charge rules: "Obviously we're very pleased that the Mayor of London has modified the Congestion Charge exemption to become a technology-neutral,CO2-based system.
"With a total of four models from the Ibiza and Leon ranges now able to enter the Congestion Zone for just £10 a year the cost of owning one of these SEATs in London is now even lower. And the fact that they are reducing the burden on both the planet and their owner's wallet in a stylish, dynamically-focused package is very much the icing on the cake!"
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