1988 Seat Marbella 0.9 from UK and Ireland
A low tech, low performance bucket of laughs
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
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.