Suited And Booted (Seat Cordoba 2003-2006)

ENGINES – Although a niche car, the Cordoba originally came with the choice of a small capacity petrol unit plus a diesel in two states of tune. The 1.4 petrol variant should suit most low mileage owners, while the 1.9 diesel alternatives will appeal to higher mileage users. The oil-burners aren’t particularly quiet but they are frugal.

EXTERIOR – Compact saloons have never been big sellers in the UK, but the Cordoba shares much with its Ibiza hatch cousin forward of the B-pillar. And, for good measure, the car’s boot bucks the usual trend by not looking like it’s been haphazardly stuck on as an afterthought.

INTERIOR – It’s familiar Seat territory inside the Cordoba, with lots of dark plastic and a generally solid feel to the cabin’s construction. The relatively dark ambience also does much to boost the car’s quality credentials, while there’s enough room in the back for children.

DRIVING – A firmly sprung car like its sporty Ibiza cousin, the Cordoba is an agile and willing car in the hands of an enthusiastic driver. It’s also a decent cruiser, with that attribute boosted by either of the diesel engine options.

OWNERSHIP – If you fancy something different in the compact sector the Cordoba is an interesting choice. The car’s good-size boot and high quality interior sets it apart from conventional hatchbacks, although it looses a few versatility points in the face of five-door hatches and their folding rear seats. Easy to drive and, in diesel guise, cheap to run, it’s probably best viewed as a leftfield choice.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Mainly an informed choice among buyers, you can expect many to have been well looked after and few to have travelled mega-miles. As such, overall condition should be good, but it’ll pay to examine both the car’s condition and the paperwork. Only you will know how much damage – kerbed wheels, parking dents – you will be happy with, but make sure the car’s condition is reflected in the asking price.

MODEL HISTORY

2003: Seat launches its compact saloon, the Cordoba. Engine choice runs to a 1.4 petrol and two 1.9 diesel units plus manual transmissions. Good level of standard kit including air-con and electric windows. The likes of alloy wheels, six-speed gearbox and trip computer available on high-spec models.

REASONS TO BUY – small size, diesel economy, good to drive, quality cabin

REASONS TO BEWARE – not a plentiful car, saloon shape can be off-putting for some, firm ride

PICK OF THE RANGE – Cordoba 1.9 TDI 100PS Reference

WHAT TO PAY

2004 04 2,210

2004 54 2,315

2005 05 2,405

2005 55 2,565

Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Latest Reviews

  • First Drive: Volvo V60 Polestar
    First Drive: Volvo V60 Polestar

    What’s new?This is the first official road-legal creation from the petrol-swilling motorsport gurus at Polestar, Volvo's multi-championship-winning racing partner since … More »First Drive: Volvo V60 Polestar

    First Drive: Volvo V60 Polestar

    What’s new?This is the first official road-legal creation from the petrol-swilling motorsport gurus at Polestar, Volvo's multi-championship-winning racing partner since the mid-90s. Volvo asked what they could do with a road car, so someone at Polestar hooked a gigantic turbocharger up to a six-cylinder engine and shouted: …

  • First Drive: Jeep Cherokee Limited
    First Drive: Jeep Cherokee Limited

    What’s new?As part of Jeep's new product offensive, this is the American firm's latest generation mid-size Cherokee model. Pitched below the premium Grand Cherokee and … More »First Drive: Jeep Cherokee Limited

    First Drive: Jeep Cherokee Limited

    What’s new?As part of Jeep's new product offensive, this is the American firm's latest generation mid-size Cherokee model. Pitched below the premium Grand Cherokee and a more rounded proposition than the iconic but extreme Wrangler, the Cherokee is expected to do battle with cars from the likes of Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, …