2002 Seat Ibiza TDi 130 Sport 1.9 Pumpe Dusse from UK and Ireland
Cheap to run pocket rocket
The airbag light is permanently on; it will be fixed with a new seatbelt pre-tensioner, but the part has taken 2 months to arrive.
Squeaky driver's seat back.
Driver's headrest falls to lowest position after adjustment.
The standard car is quite quick and the 6-speed gearbox keeps things on the boil nicely. There is loads of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.
At idle the engine is quite rattly, but it soon smooths out as the revs pick up.
Handling seems quite good; very sure-footed, but somehow it feels high so I am discouraged from exploring the limits. There is little body roll, so perhaps the problem is lack of support from the 'sport' seats. Ride is quite hard, but I like that.
The seats are very uncomfortable over long distances; no lumbar support and insufficient under-thigh. they also lack bolstering despite being described as sport seats, and have no upper body location at all.
I have had the car chipped by APR (now Revotechnic) who claim 180bhp and 300lb/ft. It is now very quick; a true hot-hatch that regularly surprises drivers of 'performance' machinery. It will still return 50mpg on a motorway run and I have yet to see a tank show less than 40mpg on the (pessimistic) trip computer.
I have also changed the wheels as I thought the originals looked awful, and I have had the door handles and mirror backs painted as the car looked like a base model when they were black.
The standard stereo sounds OK, but I replaced the head unit and found a vast improvement. The speakers are actually not too bad for standard fit.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 26th December, 2002
I bought one of these in March. See the 'duffers' section of Top Gears website for the list of faults. I agree with the review. Loads of torque, reasonably good handling, but absolutely dire build quility. It's been screwed together like a Seat from 10 years ago. i. e BADLY. Seat UK are replacing mine and my new one turns up in September. I hope it's MUCH better put together.
I'm now itching for more power from it so will be looking at 'chipping' the new one. I had a 'tussle' with a Golf TDi 130 and was only a gnats chuff quicker.