Seat Ibiza Ecomotive: Test Drive
13 June 2008
|Key rival:|| VW Polo Bluemotion|
Seat's Ibiza Ecomotive has become only the second mainstream model to scrape below the free road tax 100g/km mark.
It joins the VW Polo Bluemotion on 99g/km thanks to a series of changes including lengthened gear ratios, aerodynamic improvements, low-rolling resistance tyres and weight reduction brought about by removing the spare wheel and some sound deadening materials.
The tweaks knock 25g/km of CO2 off the standard car's 124g/km emissions figure, while fuel consumption goes from 61.4mpg to 74.3.
The figures are the good news. On the flipside is the fact that, from the driver's seat, the 1.4-litre diesel engine is potentially the noisiest on sale, caused by the removal of that sound deadening. It's very much the old-school diesel engine sound, which isn't pleasant (although it does fade at higher speed). Despite that, performance is fine for a supermini.
Other bad news is the fact that Ecomotive drivers will have to make do with the old but admittedly still pretty version of the Ibiza that's about to be replaced. An Ecomotive version of the new Ibiza won't follow on until next year, so fleets looking for the green option will have to make do for now.
It feels very basic inside, too, although aircon and electric windows are standard, even if items such as electric mirrors aren't.
Free road tax, a miserly 26.5 pence per mile and benefit-in-kind payments of £24 a month for 20% tax payers on the three-door driven here demonstrate that it's possible to mitigate the impact of green taxes. The car's basic and noisy, but the financial benefits mean there will be drivers keen to jump on board the eco bandwagon.