Living with a Seat Ibiza Cupra: Seventh Report
I'm getting closer to the point where I have to say goodbye to the Cupra. It's going to be a sad day indeed, which is why I'm taking every opportunity to get behind the wheel of this fantastic little car.
Recently, most of these jaunts have been up and down to airports, with the poor Cupra holed up in a long-stay car park for a period of days – and you know you like a car when you're worried about leaving it on its own for a while.
Other than that, the Cupra has been performing admirably on the odd commute, as well as the industry-standard test of the weekly shop. It covers all of the bases impressively, managing to be sporty when you want it, as well as practical whenever you need it to be.
A trip up to London lately saw the little hot hatch thrown into full M25 rush-hour traffic, with its light clutch proving to be a bit of a godsend. And when you're sitting in traffic the little touches inside the car become more apparent. The window switches, for instance, are solid in their action, while the white instrument binnacle is delightfully clear at night. Though the ride is firm, it isn't too harsh, meaning that the potholes that litter the motorway don't send too many jolts through the car and into the cabin.
The only drawback is the fuel consumption. Even on a longer run, you'll struggle to see 40mpg, with the high 30s a far more achievable figure. I still can't quite understand this, as though the 1.8-litre engine is large, the car itself is quite light. Add to that a gearbox whose sixth gear brings the revs down at under 2,000rpm when at motorway speed and you should have a car that is relatively good on fuel. The reality is quite different though, with the Cupra singing through a tank of fuel almost impressively quickly. It's a small annoyance, but one that comes into play on a daily basis.
However, for the most part the Cupra is pretty much all the car you could want. It's small, which makes it easy to park and place on the road, it has plenty of power to surprise even the most well-driven sports car driver and – in my eyes – it looks the part too, especially in the red colour that our test car is finished in. Even the seats are spot-on in their amount of support. It's a truly impressive little car, and one whose keys I'd gladly keep hold of for many months to come.
Model: Seat Ibiza Cupra
Engine: 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol
Max speed: 146mph
0-60mph: 6.7 seconds
MPG: 45.6mpg (combined)
Mileage this month: 540
Highlight of the month: Finding out that the Cupra delivers on a daily basis