Review

SEAT Ibiza hatchback

Price  £11,410 - £17,635

SEAT Ibiza hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Great value
  • Good looks
  • Excellent engines
Cons
  • Firm suspension
  • A bit cramped in the back
  • Skoda Fabia is cheaper

At a glance

The greenest
1.2 TDI CR 75PS Ecomotive S a/c 5dr £14,380
The cheapest
SC 1.2 12v 70PS S a/c 3dr £11,410
The fastest
1.4 TSI 140PS ACT FR 5dr £16,045
Top of the range
2.0 TDI CR 143PS FR 5dr £17,635

"Sporty, stylish and sensible, yet also practical and good value for money, the SEAT Ibiza is one of the best superminis on sale today."

The SEAT Ibiza shares many parts with the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia. Of the three, the Ibiza's is more likely to appeal to younger drivers, but it still shares the solid build quality of the VW and Skoda. Other rivals include the Peugeot 208, Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio, but the most competent competition comes in the form of the fun-to-drive Ford Fiesta.

Because SEAT is owned by the Volkswagen Group, the Ibiza is powered by VW's excellent range of small petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2-litre TFSI petrol is nippy, while the 1.4-litre TFSI delivers startling economy for a fast petrol engine. These are the engines we’d recommend, although smaller, non-turbocharged versions are also available.

If you’d prefer a diesel, the most efficient 1.2-litre TDI Ecomotive model can return more than 80mpg, while the 1.6-litre strikes a good balance between economy and performance. The former is actually not that bad, and feels quick enough to keep up with all but the speediest of city traffic. If your budget allows, this is the economical model of choice.

There's a huge choice of trims, ranging from the basic S A/C (with air-con as standard) through the mid-range SE, Toca and I-TECH models to the top-spec FR and sporty Cupra cars. Even the basic model is reasonably well equipped, but we’d go for the mid-spec Toca, which adds sat nav and a Bluetooth phone connection.

Buyers can also choose between three or five-door bodies, and there's an ST estate version, too – which we’ve reviewed separately.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best small car by watching our video below.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

The SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive diesel will return more than 80mpg and enjoys free road tax

Engines, drive & performance

3.9 / 5

The SEAT Ibiza slots in behind the brilliant Ford Fiesta as one of the most fun superminis to drive

Interior & comfort

2.9 / 5

A comfortable driving position and a high-quality dashboard can’t hide the fact that the SEAT Ibiza is a bit cramped

Practicality & boot space

2.6 / 5

Practicality isn’t the SEAT Ibiza’s forte, but there’s a decent sized boot and room for four at a push

Reliability & safety

3.4 / 5

The SEAT Ibiza was awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP, but owners aren’t a satisfied bunch

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3.0 / 5
"With 104bhp and 250Nm of torque on tap, the TDI CR certainly has more punch than the 79bhp Ecomotive model, but it still doesn’t feel particularly fast. While it's comfortable at town speeds and happy to cruise on the motorway, you’ll find yourself hanging onto the gears much longer than usual in order to make progress."
4.5 / 5
"SEAT has spiced up the Ibiza with a distinctive new model from July 2008 boasting a roomier, better quality interior and a simplified model range. It ranks among the best in class for interior space and practicality while those sharp lines in the styling also promise an engaging drive."
3.0 / 5
"Undoubtedly the Ibiza's most attractive feature is its pricing, but the quality of the ride and handling is impressive. It's also cheap to run, sturdy, safe and well equipped."

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What owners say

4.0949044585987
4.1 /5 based on 157 reviews
56%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
7 Oct 2014
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