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SEAT Reviews

SEAT was formed in 1919 as a subsidiary of Fiat, with its cars known as Fiat-Hispania. It became SEAT – Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo – in 1950 when the Spanish state took over. Fiat stayed very  involved though, to the degree where most SEATs were simply Spanish-built copies of Fiat models such as the 600, 850, 1400 and Panda (which was known as the Marbella in export markets), although there were one or two unique SEATs.

Fiat’s involvement came to an end in 1981, leaving Volkswagen to take control in 1986. Since then, SEAT has built its own individually styled models, albeit using Volkswagen floorpans and engines, with its Ibiza the best-selling car in its range.

Good: Spain's very own people's car
Bad: It might be easier finding a Fiat original
Good: Light steering, excellent visibility, nippy in town
Bad: Utterly pointless in a range that included the 127
Good: Looks good, goes reasonably well in 1438cc form, and makes for an interesting alternative to Fiat's Coupe range back then
Bad: Almost unknown outside of Spain
Good: Smart-looking hatchback penned by Ital Design and engineered by Porsche
Bad: Flattered to deceive
Good: Simple, basic, and cheap to run, rather like a small donkey
Bad: A little charmless, especially compared with the Panda that it was based upon, rust and neglect
Good: Inexpensive to buy and run. Good level of kit and decent ride. Easy to get in and out of.
Bad: Not as sharp a drive as a Ford Ka. Fared badly in 2005 JD Power Satisfaction Survey. Clutch cables can give trouble.
Good: Comfortable, well-built and good-looking family saloon. Sportier than an Octavia and better to drive than a Golf IV.
Bad: Narrow opening for the boot. Some engine problems.
Good: Decent road manners and a huge boot. Well equipped for the money. TDI 90 is the smartest buy.
Bad: Awkward looks. Huge hatchback robs it of some rigidity.