Niall Conneely and his SEAT Ibiza
Niall Conneely and his SEAT Ibiza

We recently spoke to Niall Conneely about his SEAT Ibiza. Niall is a driving instructor and his Ibiza is also used by his driving school, TNC School of Motoring.

1.Tell us about your car.

I have the SEAT Ibiza SE with the 1.6 TDI engine making a surprisingly adequate 80 bhp. It’s a nice shade of grey and is specced quite well. The tech in this car is very impressive with economy aids, collision sensors, Bluetooth connectivity and a little nagging symbol that tells me if I stray too close to the car in front on the motorway.

2. Why did you choose this car?

I think Volkswagen Group make some great cars and I specifically wanted their 1.6 TDI as it is well proven as a good little powerplant. I needed my new car to be well built, comfortable, economical, easy on the eye and easy to see out of. I considered the Volkswagen Polo and the Skoda Fabia as well, but for me the Ibiza outshines both. It helps that it is awfully pretty. It’s as if someone on the design team had a heap of ideas for angles and nice creases and stylish lines and rather than choose one, instead threw the whole lot at it. It works though, particularly the rear three quarters. To my eye at least, it is aesthetically pleasing.

3. What do you like about this car?

It’s a good all-rounder. Spacious but not too big. Enough power to make progress while also being light on fuel. The ride comfort is impressive for a supermini. The infotainment system is pretty good. I’m a relatively recent convert to Spotify so the wireless connectivity is a nice boost. The ergonomics are spot on, the controls are exactly where you’d expect them to be and everything falls to hand easily.

I’m super fussy about having high quality items. For me things like a good leather belt or a decent wristwatch are important. I prefer to get one quality product that will last for a long time rather than something cheaper that I’ll have to replace multiple times, and I have to say cabin materials in the Ibiza feel like they are built to last.

4. Is there anything you would change about this car?

I’m very much up for a greener future and saving the polar bears but sometimes I’d like to have stop/start as a setting to be sought out, rather than foisted upon you every time you start the car. And I know I’ve been singing the praises of the Ibiza’s styling but it is an ordeal to clean it. I tackled it with the bucket and sponge last week and to be honest you would need 4 hours and a variety of brushes and utensils to really clean those alloys.

Niall uses the Ibiza in his driving school
Niall uses the Ibiza in his driving school, TNC School of Motoring

5. What is in the glovebox?

Well between the glovebox and my box of useful stuff in the boot I am equipped for a zombie apocalypse. Pens, chewing gum, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, socket set, a Mars Bar, receipts, a rather fetching high vis vest and enough spare bulbs to light up the Three Arena.

6. Favourite memory of the car?

I have had it for just over 4 weeks so we’re still in the honeymoon phase, but now that the Ibiza has had dual controls and the driving school graphics fitted, it is in for some hard work. I reckon the memorable moments are yet to come for this car. I have no doubt it will perform brilliantly.

7. Three words to describe your car.

Ready for road.

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