SEAT’s small saloon fits the bill
SMALLER saloons and estates are a rarity from the majority of car makers, but SEAT has had one for years.
The Cordoba might be a little dumpy in saloon form, but the estate is very good looking and also very practical.
In fact, the saloon has a huge boot and is reasonably spacious inside too, so it’s worth a look at the right price.
The Cordoba is based on the Ibiza hatch and is none the worse for that. Engines are therefore all from the VW stable – 1.4 and 1.6 petrols and 1.9 diesels in recent years, with chunky-changing five speed gearbox.
The petrols are OK, but the 90, 100 and 130bhp diesels are the pick of the range, with pace, economy and long lasting quality.
All have power steering and driver’s airbag or better, ride is good, and handling and roadholding are right up their with the VW Polo, which is based on the same shell.
Firm and well-shaped SEATs hold well in the corners, and are comfortable over a long journey. Driving position is good with plenty of SEAT adjustment, the clutch is light and all controls well to hand.
’99 cars now down to very reasonable money and saloons are cheaper than hatch or estate.
SEAT Cordoba TDI saloon
Price: £2,000 for a 90bhp ’99 T-reg S, £2,650 for an ’01 Y-reg, £5,000 for an ’03 03-reg 100bhp, or £6,900 for an ’04 54-reg SE 130bhp.
Mechanical: 90-130bhp, 1,870cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 112-128mph
0-62mph: 9.8-11 secs
Combined mpg: 54
Insurance group: 5-9
Marks out of 10: 8
Main rival: VW Polo