The Renault Clio 200 is the most engaging small hot hatch around, but its old-hat, naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine leaves it off the pace for economy. Sacrifice some of the Clio’s verve and, for around the same outlay on a one or two-year-old example, a Seat Ibiza Cupra offers an interesting and much more frugal alternative.
Official figures claim a combined 53.5mpg from the Cupra’s twin-charged 1.4, wheres the Clie returns 34.5mpg. Despite its smaller capacity, the Seat trails the Renault’s 198bhp by just 20bhp, and it produces over 15 per cent more torque, at 184lb ft. Other savings include roughly half-price road tax for the Cupra, at 130 GBP. A lower insurance grouping reflects its slightly less frantic character, too, although 0-60mph in 7.0sec and a top speed of 140mph are hardly pedestrian figures.
The cheapest Cupra we discovered was a red 2010 car with 17,000 miles under its belt, at 12,995 GBP from CMC Seat in Harlow (08433095408).
There are few enough around to produce some pricing oddities, though. Choosing the Bocanegra variant (adding the eponymous black grille, aluminium pedals and special seats and badging) adds 725 GBP to list price, but we found one of similar age and mileage to the car above at 12,500 GBP (call 08448567125)