Named after an island well-known for its partying, I was sceptical at first of my Seat Ibiza from Spain.
You know, the typical South African mindset; if it is not German- or Japanese made, it is not a car.
With this in mind, I went looking for a car with my fiancé. I thought since she knew nothing much about cars, it would be my decision to make with just a little convincing needed for her, of course.
Out of my hands
But when we got to the garage, she said "If you don't take that silver one, I'm not going car hunting with you any more."
The Seat Ibiza looks good from the outside. It's more like a mix of the VW Polo of years gone by with a little Alfa 147, a tailgate stolen from the Mazda3 and the front section from the Golf5 GTI with its honeycomb grille.
The interior is a little "plasticy", but a year down the line nothing has broken yet. Seats are comfortable, but legroom is bit limited. The radio and other controls are sort of directed towards the driver for easy access.
Decision made, I then I bought the 2.0 Ibiza Sport plus a service plan of 90 000 km for less than R155 000.
Power for less
I consider this a bargain. I get more power for less with 85 kW and torque of 170 Nm, and the car turns lots of heads.
It takes off in second gear from standstill to 70 km/h with no problems. And it goes on to a top speed of 194 km/h without complaints.
What I dislike about the car is that it looks as though they did not do a thorough job evaluating the surfaces we drive on in South Africa. It can be bit irritating driving it on a bumpy gravel road in the heart of rural Limpopo, with lots of squeaks and rattles creeping into the cabin.
But on a smooth surface, it is a marvel to drive. The suspension is hard and you get lots of feedback. It is very engaging to drive.
On a long trip spent playing around the speed limit of 120 km/h, the onboard computer will reflect consumption of about 6.9- to 7.5 l/100 km.
Driving my Seat is always an emotional experience, and with its big engine for less, I love it.