Does anyone take any notice of manufacturer’s tag lines? Is a Peugeot really ‘the drive of your life’ alternatively, are Honda's truly powered by dreams? Of course, it’s up to the individual and this particular individual wholeheartedly agrees with SEAT’s ‘auto emocion’.
This is especially the case when it comes to the company’s hatchbacks, a recent example of which, is the Ibiza FR. It doesn’t have quite the same amount of ‘street racer’ as the Cupra version but for anyone who still enjoys driving or who wants to be reminded of how they once enjoyed it, the FR is well placed for the job.
The new Ibiza was introduced earlier this year. Hopefully, it will build on the reputation of it’s predecessors that were awarded the title of ‘Best Supermini of the Year’ by What Car? from 2003 to 2005. In 2003 the Ibiza also won the magazine’s ‘Car of the Year’ award.
The Ibiza is available in both 3 and 5-door versions - the latter adds £600 to the cost of the former with prices starting from £8,145 for the 5-door Reference with a 1.2-litre petrol engine. The test car was a 3-dr FR with the 1.8 20V T petrol engine, with a price tag of £11,975, which is reasonable and (as far as I can tell) only one of two supermini's offering 1.8 engines for the money. The other is the Vauxhall Corsa.
Installed in the FR, the 1.8 turbo-charged unit produces 150PS at 5,800rpm and 220Nm of torque is available between 1,950- and 4,500rpm. This seems more like diesel territory than petrol and, I have to say that, on occasions, it sounds like a diesel too. However, that is easily ignored, when the drive is so engaging and the faint turbo-whine is delightful.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our SEAT archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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