Reliable, well spec'ed and great boot space at the expense of rear passengers. Great VFM car
When I bought the car the rear windscreen washer pump was dumping fluid into the near side rear wheel arch. I got this fixed by the selling garage, I hear it's a common fault caused by a pipe join being forced apart if the water in it freezes. This caused a second problem, the failure of the boot light, which was down to wire corrosion from the screen wash water. An auto electrician re-crimped and fixed this for me for about £25.
I have had a front wheel bearing changed at about 60,000 miles, and again around 1000 miles later (faulty part, not from a Seat garage) under a part warranty.
Rubber gaiters for the door light switches are prone to falling off easily, and the car was missing switches when I got it. I have replaced them, at modest cost from Seat, but they are easily caught by luggage/passengers and can get pulled off.
Clutch pedal has been a bit 'notchy' and sticky since purchase, but has produced no serious ill effects yet. Sometimes required me to hook my foot behind the pedal and pull it towards me a bit to get it all the way out.
The car is in effect a VW Polo estate with some re-styling done to it. I find it to be quick and responsive compared to my old 1.4 Clio, with the turbo making a noticeable difference - turbo lag can be detected but isn't significant enough to be frustrating.
The driving position is quite nice, although I have set up my steering column so that a lot of dash indicators are obscured - more lumbar support would be good too. The car is well specified, coming with Air Conditioning and electric windows, along with two front airbags, alarm and foglights.
The huge bonus of this car is the available bootspace - with seats folded down I have been able to get quite a bit of work equipment in there when I've needed to. Although I've not used them yet, the roof bars are also bound to become a useful extra at some point in the future. The engine is powerful for the car's size and is not too large for parking. Fuel economy is excellent, I estimate around 50-55 MPG.
One of the downsides of having this brilliant bootspace is that the rear seats are very cramped. I often drive hockey players around to games and they don't like sitting behind my normal driving position (6' tall) because its so cramped for legroom in the back. I do end up taking the goalie kit usually though!
Dash/trim is reasonable, the seats aren't bad and there are a fair few cubby holes for me to store all my junk in. Smokers may be annoyed at the lack of an ashtray, but for me it's a bonus storage area. The glove box is a bit weird, being under the steering column and quite small, but functional. Rear passenger lighting is neglected a bit also. My primary irritation is the lack of cupholders, unless I have a passenger to do the job for me. This car is not great for learners or those inexperienced in car size judgment, as the rear window is small and visibility a bit poor.
Seat have been quite good at getting me parts for the bits I've broken or when I've done oil changes myself and the prices haven't been too extortionate. I have avoided their prices for servicing however and will go to a private garage or do oil change type jobs myself.
For anyone on a budget and involved in something that involves hauling around moderate amounts of gear and/or passengers, this car is very much worth a look. I got it at a low price (£1800) for a good mileage of 58,800 and it has been reliable since - larger second hand estate will cost a lot more than this.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th April, 2008