Seat breathes new spirit into the Ibiza Cupra

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Seat’s cars have always been known for their good value, but sometimes we forget just how appealing this can sometimes be. The new Ibiza Cupra provides a worthy reminder.

For just £18,825 you get a 177bhp 3-door hatchback with seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmission, capable of reaching a top speed of 142 mph, accelerating from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and delivering an average fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg.

Although smaller and less glamorous than hot-hatch royalty such as Volkswagen’s Golf GTI, it still offers the same 0-62mph performance, 7mph lower top speed, 9 mpg better fuel economy and costs nearly £7,000 less to buy. Nobody is likely to consider both when looking for their next car, but it just goes to show that Seat are offering GTI-like performance for considerably less money.

The comparison could equally apply to Volkswagen’s Polo GTI, which uses the same 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine but costs £505 more than Seat’s Ibiza Cupra.

Due to arrive in the UK from January 2013, the Ibiza Cupra features a lowered ride-height compared to the standard car and an optional AP Performance braking system. Seat’s XDS electronic differential lock reduces understeer and improves handling through fast corners, while an ESP electronic stability system incorporating hill start is part of the standard safety package.

17-inch wheels, exclusive to the Cupra model, are fitted as standard together with bi-xenon lights, LED daytime running lights, high-gloss black exterior mirrors, and a matte black rear diffuser with trapezoidal exhaust outlet.