Its 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines were also found in the Volkswagen Polo and Ibiza, as was the 1.9 TDI.
Though based on the Polo and Ibiza, its extended rear overhang meant its length was close to a Golf but still smaller than the Jetta.
It was considerably cheaper than saloon versions of small family cars like the Ford Escort, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 306 and Renault Mégane and its boot was about the size, though it failed to match the interior space due to its shorter wheelbase.
SEAT homologated a World Rally Car version of the Córdoba 16v for competition in the FIA World Rally Championship and other international rallies. 1994 World Drivers' Champion Didier Auriol, of France, and Toni Gardemeister and Harri Rovanpera, both of Finland, were among those to pilot the factory cars. Debuting at the 1998 Rally Finland with Rovanpera, and with podiums achieved at the 1999 Rally New Zealand (Gardemeister), the 1999 Rally of Great Britain (Rovanpera) as well as the 2000 Safari Rally (Auriol), the works programme concluded at the end of the 2000 season.