Seat Ibiza Ecomotive

To Madrid and back on one tank of fuel

Seat Ibiza as a hire car – cheap car rental in Lisbon Airport

The Spanish produced Seat Ibiza is a popular car for hire in Lisbon Airport.

Since 1986, the Volkswagen family has been the parent company of Seat from Spain. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the Spanish build-quality was quite often – well, Spanish. The new Seat cars are much better. Especially the Seat Ibiza performs well as a cheap hire car.

Most Seat Ibiza cars for rent in Lisbon Airport are well equipped and benefit from being somewhat cheaper to purchase than the equivalent VW Polo rentals; hence a large number of rent-a-car companies are choosing the Seat when it comes to cheap hire cars.

In reality the new Seat Ibiza is a Volkswagen Polo with another name.

The Ibiza as of model year 2009 shares its platform with the latterly introduced new VW Polo (also from 2009) and the Audi A1 (as from 2010). The PQ25 platform of the totally revamped Seat Ibiza has turned the Spanish supermini into a much better hire car than the previous model. It is also referred to as the Seat Ibiza Mk4 or the 6J model Ibiza.

The advanced technical base makes the Seat Ibiza a light and strong car for its size, the length of which is in fact on par with the VW Golf Mk3 from the 1990′s.

Almost all car models grow slightly in size over the years, but the new Seat Ibiza seems to have grown into a full class and a half above its original size.

Cheap hire car in Lisbon

The Seat Ibiza may be a cheap hire car, but it comes with a lot of standard ‘goodies’ in the form of multiple airbags, electric windows, air conditioning and quite a large luggage compartment for this class of supermini hire car.

Produced in Spain at the Martorell factory, the latest edition of the Seat Ibiza introduced in 2008 (model year 2009) is a well-designed ‘arrow-style’ hatchback with room for up to 5 people and their holiday luggage.

The Ibiza easily carries parents with 3 children in comfort. Over shorter distances 5 grown-ups can find the Seat Ibiza a bit cramped; in particular at the rear seat, but the amount of space is still acceptable.

If a group of 5 adults of a certain size want to hire a car in Lisbon for going longer distances, it may be advisable to choose a slightly bigger car.

The old 2002-2009 Seat Ibiza hire car drawbacks

Up until the introduction of the new model, the pre-2009 model Seat Ibiza’s were reliable rental vehicles, but some tended to show wear and tear quicker when in a tough rental car environment.

The diesel engines were always strong and economic VW items with good torque, and this made the diesel Ibiza hire cars quite popular.

With interior items and fittings, the quality of the Ibiza seemed, however, at times to fail. Also the electrics were sometimes not up to the usual high VW standard.

With the new model this has changed. The technical quality and feeling of the cabin is pretty much as good in a Seat Ibiza as when driving any other Volkswagen hire car in the same class.

Lots of space in the Seat Ibiza hire car

The Seat Ibiza 5 door hatchback hire car will take an impressive total of 292 liters of luggage in the boot.

It is quite difficult to break into too; a clear advantage when renting a vehicle. In 2009, the new Seat Ibiza won the supermini class in the British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards (BIVSA) by Thatcham.

From a passenger point of view, the Seat Ibiza is one of the most spacious superminis around.

The new ‘green’ Seat Ibiza popular in Portugal

Because of the nature of Portuguese taxation of passenger cars, quite a number of the Seat Ibiza cars for hire in Lisbon are the ‘Ecomotive’ versions equipped with the latest and most modern small common rail diesel engines.

Most Seat Ibiza diesel cars for hire are equipped with either the 1.4 TDi diesel unit, which is quite frugal and have a co2 outlet of only 99 g/km, or the new 3 cylinder 1,2 litre diesel engine introduced in summer 2011, which is even more economic and betters the 1.4 engine with co2 at 82 g/km.

To Madrid and back on one tank of fuel

The fuel efficient Seat Ibiza ‘Ecomotive’ versions take the frugality of a decent size hire car to new levels.

The Ibiza 1.2 TDi Ecomotive with its low emissions and improved fuel economy makes the car purchase tax cheaper for the rental companies, hence they are popular.

Gears in these ‘Ecomotive’ vehicles are notably ‘longer’ meaning more miles per gallon, and the front grilles has been closed for aerodynamic reasons. In addition to this, most of the ‘Ecomotive’ cars run on large 175/70 R14 low resistance tires and the full size spare wheel has been exchanged with a puncture repair kit.

If renting one of these extremely economic vehicles, you will potentially be able to cover distances well over 600 miles on one tank of fuel; naturally, depending on your driving style, how much you load your hire car in Lisbon and which terrain the journey goes through.

In fact, if your Seat Ibiza Lisbon hire car comes with the brand new 1.2 TDi 75 bhp Ecomotive engine, you may be able to stretch your 45 tank of fuel in your super economical hire car to some 800 miles; the equivalent of the distance from Lisbon, Portugal all the way to Madrid, Spain – and back.

Seat Ibiza hire car – model year 2008-

Rental car class/hire car type: Super-mini, Economy ECMR, ECMD

Fuel economy average:

  • Seat Ibiza 1.2 5-door hatchback 60 bhp (petrol): 52.3 mpg / 18.5 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.2 5-door hatchback 69 bhp (petrol): 50.9-52.3 mpg / 18-18.5 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.4 5-door hatchback 86 bhp (petrol): 47.7 mpg / 16.9 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.2 TDi 5-door hatchback 75 bhp (diesel): 74.3 mpg / 26.3 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.2 TDi Ecomotive 5-door hatchback 75 bhp (diesel): 83.0 mpg / 29.4 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.4 TDi 5-door hatchback 80 bhp (diesel): 67.9 mpg / 24 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.4 TDi Ecomotive 5-door hatchback 80 bhp (diesel): 76.5 mpg / 27 km/l
  • Seat Ibiza 1.6 TDi 5-door hatchback 90 bhp (diesel): 67.3 mpg / 23.8 km/l
  • Fuel capacity: 45 litres (diesel 45 litres)
  • Euro NCAP safety ratings: 5 stars (adults), 4 (children), 3 (pedestrians)
  • Luggage capacity when using all seats (with rear seats folded): 250 (554) litres

Please note that it is not possible to choose any particular engine version and/or make or model within the rental car class. Hiring a car in the supermini class in Lisbon Airport will often result in a Seat Ibiza.

It is still possible to come across a few of the old model Seat Ibiza (2002-2008) when renting a car in Portugal. The previous Ibiza was a very popular hire car in Lisbon being bought by a number of hire car operators until year 2007. In 2011, most pre-2008 model year Seat Ibiza’s in Portuguese rental fleets, however, have been exchanged with newer models.

Related article: The new Ford Focus as a rental car

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