1987 Seat Marbella GL 0.9 petrol from Netherlands


The most joyful and practical cheap car I can imagine


Nothing serious, the fuel gauge failed at 118000km, but started to function again at 124000km.

Driver's door requires some force to close properly and the lock of the tailgate malfunctioned due to excess dirt (after proper cleaning it works fine).

General Comments:

The car is very pleasant to drive, provided the weather is good and you don't run at above 100km/h. On wet roads you can hear the water thrown from the tires splashing onto the bodywork and you can really feel the wind throwing the car around.

Very economical, average of 5,5 liters/100km, however at 135km/h this increases to 8l/100km.

Very tiny tires (135/70/13), should be replaced with something wider otherwise cornering is an adventure.

Actually you can get some decent performance from the 39 horsepower, but you should keep it above 3500rpm and press hard.

You can fit in almost anything if you remove the rear bench, however that's a risky business since there are no power brakes and a loaded car just CAN'T stop.

The only expenses so far were oil change at 120000km and 2 new tires (135/70's are practically for free).

I have been told that 1100cc, 55 horsepower injection engine from Fiat Panda 4x4 can be mounted as well as bigger engines from Fiat Uno, I am not sure if the car can withstand it?.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th June, 2001

13th Feb 2004, 16:09

I totally agree with all of the comments made. I have recently bought a third hand Seat Marbella and it is the best £225 I have ever spent. It is the funniest car that I have driven. On the straight it does 85mph which the fastest I have ever heard of one going. Quite interesting to drive in the snow!

12th Jan 2008, 02:37

I also agree with reviews that are written here. I just would like to say something new and it's about space in drivers seat. As I am tall around 6 and 4 I had to move front seat from its rails back for a beat (it's well fixed, no fear of moving) so I can seat properly. Bit of improvisation makes it more amusing :)

Cheers to all Marbella fans!

1988 Seat Marbella 0.9 from UK and Ireland


A low tech, low performance bucket of laughs

General Comments:

This car is about as basic as they come, but has been just about the most fun I've had since purchasing my first car 25 years ago.

It's extremely economical and cheap to run and has not cost me a penny in unexpected repairs, only costs have been for the usual wear and tear service items.

It's also very versatile, the front seats slide out and the back seat (well hammock really) can be unclipped and removed. I was able to load a full bathroom suite into it with the rear seat and the front passenger seat removed and was still able to close the tailgate.

Luxurious it's not, not even really comfortable and there's little instrumentation, but although I'm not using it at the moment (and haven't for a few months now) I just can't bring myself to sell it. I reckon it's more rust resistant than the Fiat Panda it's based on and must be one of the simplest cars to repair.

I was told by a main dealer that 100,000 miles is no problem at all for these cars as long as oil changes have been carried out regularly, and the 5 speed larger engined (well by about 100cc) would be a little more versatile on the road.

If you're not into image and you get the offer of one of these on the cheap, then buy it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2001

19th Apr 2001, 09:50

I had a SEAT Marbella as my first car as it was group 1 insurance. It was a great little car (I had very little street cred at college though!) and very fun to drive. I even took it across Europe with a friend, although it does prove quite unstable on wide motor-ways due to cross winds and it's lack of weight. Since then I have owned an Ibiza and now the Toledo V5. SEAT make some great value cars that are well worth considering.