Take it or leave it: second-hand picks for March 25 Car News

Looking for a subtle hot hatch? Advance the Seat Ibiza Cupra, the sportiest version of Seat’s supermini, produced from 2009 to 2017. We chose the top-of-the-range Bocanegra model, which had been on sale for only three years and limited to 1000 per year worldwide .

Have you ever seen one in the wild? Otherwise, we would not be surprised. There are just 373 on UK roads, according to government figures, and the numbers are falling every year.

Seat Ibiza Bocanegra, £6999

The Bocanegra was an upgraded version of the Ibiza Cupra which, for a £700 premium over the standard car, featured a bespoke design inspired by the 1970s Seat 1200 Sport.

The front was covered in black (“bocanegra” means “black mouth” in Spanish) and the fog lamps were integrated into the bumper. It had a more muscular and aggressive look, which certainly helped it stand out from its more established rivals like the Renault Clio RS and Volkswagen Polo GTI. It also gained bigger wheel arches, a taller spoiler and tinted rear wheels, while ‘Bocanegra’ badging replaced ‘Ibiza’ on the rear.

It was even more recognizable inside, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum-covered pedals, red stitching for the sports seats, and gloss black trim throughout.

As on the normal Ibiza Cupra, the standard kit included cruise control, air conditioning, hill start assist and tire pressure monitoring.

Under the hood was a 178bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, delivering a 0-60mph time of 7.2 seconds.

While the lack of a manual option in a hot hatch will put some people off, the Ibiza Cupra has made up for it in other areas, thanks to considerable improvements to the city car’s driving dynamics.

Our road testers at the time said the spicy Spaniard had “high levels of grip, well-judged damping and good body control.” Minimal body roll and direct steering meant you could really push through the corners, while the XDS electronic limited-slip differential kept things interesting on the exit.

We found a 2009 Bocanegra advertised for £6999 – a reasonable price, we reckon, given its rarity. It also has a full service history, while its bodywork and interior appear to be in near perfect condition, having only driven 59,000 miles.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-25 06:01:23

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