1989 Seat Ibiza Special 903cc from UK and Ireland
A nice cheap little runaround
Required replacement engine
Required replacement rear leaf spring
Condensation inside headlamps
Fault with driver's door latch and interior handle
Driver's door window mechanism fell apart
Rust in front inner wing.
I've done all the work to this car myself. The previous owner was going to scrap it due to a blown engine, but I persuaded them to give it to me, because I wanted a project car. It makes an ideal project due to its very simple construction and low-tech design.
Many of the problems with the car were caused by neglect as opposed too bad design. Once I did the major work such as replacing the engine, the car has been very good.
It's extremely economical due to the 903cc engine, the insurance and maintenance costs are also very low.
The interior is very basic, but not particularly uncomfortable. I once drove it 500 miles in one day, and had no complaints at the end.
It's also fairly quick for a sub-1 litre car, and handles fairly well too. The only thing spoiling the drive is the gear change. The travel on the lever is too long, and the change a bit crunchy, but this may be due to wear and tear on the gearbox.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th January, 2005
2nd Jul 2016, 16:41
The 903cc engine used here is a derivation of a FIAT designed unit that itself was a development of the 850cc which in turn was a development of the old FIAT 600cc motor which dates back to the mid-fifties!!
It was a pearler though and despite a habit of developing an incontinent head gasket, it saw service in loads of SEAT, FIAT, Yugo and other makers' derivatives of FIAT cars. The number produced must indicate that something was right about this motor.
I had a few cars running it over the years and always got torque and zest beyond expectation from such a diminutive unit and no issues about economy - always great.
The issues with your Ibiza were - whilst annoying - kind of par for the course for an 80s supermini. Things were built to that sort of standard then. The thing about those cars was at least most stuff you could mend at home, not like today...