Excellent budget alternative to a Golf / A3
The car started leaking water in through the footwell, causing the screen to mist up. The fault was tracked down to the seal around the pollen filter not being refitted properly. Free to fix, but I did have to dry the car out with a fan heater.
Windscreen washer jet pipe blew off, meaning no front screen washers. Annoying, but simple to fix.
New windscreen required after a stone flew off the road and cracked the last one. A large company, which advertises on the TV, quoted over £300, but a local supplier did it for around £120. Shop around!
Intercooler has just blown at 118k, requiring a new part. To be expected at this age I guess. Again, SEAT quote over £300 just for the parts (goodness knows how much they would charge for labour!). A local parts supplier charged £180. Plus another £150 to fit.
I originally wanted a Golf, but this popped up at the right time, and was over £1000 cheaper for the equivalent spec.
The car has a large boot, and can normally seat 4 adults quite comfortably; although I am a very tall driver, and I doubt an adult could sit behind me for a long journey. The interior and spec is very similar to a Golf, and it has all the same toys, such as climate control, CD player, etc.
The performance from the 130 TDI engine is very impressive indeed, giving excellent mid-range punch combined with 42mpg overall average (town/motorway commute and driven quite hard).
If you are a boy-racer type, then these cars can be remapped to give 160bhp+ for a couple of hundred quid, although I doubt the clutch or brakes would last long! I think the performance is great as standard, so I decided not to bother.
Insurance is group 10, which is not bad for the performance.
The few faults I have had with the car are to be expected at this age and mileage I guess, and generally they have been cheap/simple to fix.
The only real downside I can find with the car is that the suspension is quite hard and crashy over the pot-holes. However, on a long motorway run it is very smooth.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th March, 2011