Vellum Venom Vignette: Cadillac's SEAT In Ibiza
One interesting thing about living on-campus at CCS was the precious little available to purchase within walking distance. Such is the life of a car-less design student in Metro Detroit. That’s until a friend took me to a Meijer Hypermarket in the ‘burbs: a new world of “stuff” entered my cloistered world. Cheap but nice stuff, with an intrinsic value far higher than its retail price.
Which leads to our subject: a current-gen SEAT Ibiza (visiting from down Mexico way) I met on a business trip to Austin. Fear of getting shot by the owner in mind, I only made time to analyze this VAG derivative at the all-important A-pillar.
Yes, the Ibiza is a beautiful little car: logical enough lines with a genuine sheet of glass on the A-pillar to continue the greenhouse’s sleeker-than-my-size look without resorting to junky plastic filler panels.
And it’s cheap: base price (including current incentives) is £9995, just under 17 grand. The Mexican version starts at 201,900 pesos, a little over 15 grand.
(photo courtesy: http://www.jimfalk.com)
Contrast with the Cadillac XTS’ standard DLO FAIL at a juicy $44,600 asking price: the world at large gets “cheap but nice” stuff while we’re still cramming bean-counted, badge engineered platforms down our collective throats. Granted the badge engineering’s less obvious than the days of Robert Farago’s Deathwatch screeds, but the fail remains.
And when you can’t avoid it, distract everyone. To wit:
(Cadillac website screenshot)
It takes big, Cadillac-grade, money to make it right: so many of our mid-size, full-size and luxury sedans embrace DLO FAIL, lacking a platform with the requisite space between the front axle and the dashboard (dash-to-axle ratio) to actually look appealing. And instead of masking up the cheapness with pride (sheet of glass) we get that little black plastic triangle.
Because in no way is a Cadillac as good as a SEAT Ibiza.
To be fair, such fail is available in cheaper European cars. Plus we get the affordable [s]Focus[/s] Fiesta in its fail free glory…which isn’t the point.
The point: if the world makes many DLO FAIL free vehicles for under $20,000, there’s no excuse for expensive vehicles not to follow suit. Either with more glass (cheap) or a better dash-to-axle ratio (expensive). All of them, no matter the country of origin.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Amca on Oct 11, 2014
I'm a big fan of the XTS. Stuck with an ungainly FWD platform, they did something really kinda interesting with that snub nose and the long, elegant rear. Yeah, it's a compromised design. But it's still a good looking car, and far more interesting than pretty much anything out there.
Wodehouse on Dec 20, 2014
It may be a pretty, little, triangular piece of glass, but, it can't make up for the rest of the VW Group's genetic boring design ethic that's baked into the Ibiza...no matter the size and flash of its wheels. I find the XTS very attractive, especially its "non-me too" proportions. They give it great presence on the streets. While I don't actually love the black triangle, I don't understand why GM didn't shape the front door glass to match the new Impala with whom it shares a platform.
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