We drive the Seat Ibiza Ecomotive
On sale March
Price from (est) £11,000
You'll like: High mpg & low CO2; tax breaks; fine ride
You won't: Rickety engine; dull interior; price premium
According to Seat, only around 3% of green car buyers do so because their main aim is to 'do their bit' for the environment. Fiscal matters are far more important, and the new Ibiza Ecomotive comes up trumps with a claimed average of 76mpg and a tax-busting CO2 output of just 98g/km.
The latest Ibiza, launched earlier this year, is the first car in the VW Group to use an all-new supermini platform. Sure enough, all models ride nicely with a comfortable, big car feel.
There's little road noise and a decent amount of space inside, too, whether you go for the somewhat frumpy five-door or the slightly sexier three-door Sport Coupé.
The inside is a little on the dull side, but smart enough. It's just a shame that some of the plastics around the dashboard and on the doors feel cheap. Seat compensates with decent value, though.
The Ibiza's Achilles' heel so far has been its engines – sadly they're far from all-new, the Spanish arm of the VW empire is yet to benefit from the latest (and hugely impressive) petrol and diesel engines.
That's the case with the new Ibiza Ecomotive – new, apart from the engine. It's the same grumbly, three-cylinder diesel from the old Ibiza Ecomotive that, around town, makes you feel a little like Farmer Giles going to market.
It's not a bad performer, though: with all the weight-saving and aerodynamic tweaks the Ecomotive gets, it's faster than the standard 1.4-litre diesel models.
There's no gear shift indicator to improve your eco driving, though. When pressed on the matter, one Seat executive rolled her eyes skywards and blamed it on the old engine. Enough said.
Get out of town and on to the motorway, though, and what's under the bonnet is less of a concern – the car's quiet, refined and responsive.
Value for money
As with most 'green specials' you pay a premium to save money on fuel and tax. We'd always recommend you get your calculator out to make sure you'll drive enough miles to make the investment pay. Unless you're buying it because you just want to be green, of course.
A good, green new car, let down by an old engine.
Engine size 1.4 TDi
Price from £11,000 (est)
Top speed 110mph
CO2 g/km/tax 98/18%
Insurance group TBA
Not the mega-discounts you'll get on rivals, but still the best part of a £1000
Or try a
Ford Fiesta Econetic
Mini One D