SEAT Ibiza hatchback

Price  £10,000 - £17,335

SEAT Ibiza hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

The greenest
5dr S A/C 1.4 TDI Ecomotive 75PS 5dr £14,760
The cheapest
SC E 1.0 12V 75PS 3dr £9,995
The fastest
5dr FR 1.4 EcoTSI 150PS 5dr £16,695
Top of the range
5dr FR 1.4 TDI 105PS 5dr £17,335

"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 has been around a little while now, and it was treated to a refresh in 2015 with a new range of engines from the latest VW Polo and Skoda Fabia. You’d be hard-pushed to tell the difference on the outside that it's been updated, but the interior has received a more comprehensive facelift, as well as under the bonnet. 

The Ibiza is billed as the more fun and youthful alternative to VW and Skoda, and it's priced between the two. It comes in a choice of five-door, three-door SC and and ST estate models, which we’ve reviewed separately. There's also a three-door Ibiza Cupra hot hatch that rivals the Ford Fiesta ST. 

Not only does the Ibiza face stiff competition from its VW Group stablemates, but also the likes of the equally stylish Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, the sensible and good-value Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio, and also perennial best-sellers – the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta

There's a wide range of engine choices if you’re already sold on the Ibiza's looks, but it's quite a confusing line-up. Things kick off with a 1.0-litre unit shared with the smaller SEAT Mii city car, while there's also a turbocharged 1.0-litre EcoTSI available with two power outputs of 93bhp and 108bhp. There's a 1.2-litre TSI engine with 89bhp or 108bhp, plus a 1.4-litre EcoTSI with an impressive 148bhp and is pretty quick but economical, too. 

There's only one diesel engine available in the Ibiza and that's the 1.4-litre TDI, but it comes with three different power outputs. The most economical of these is the Ecomotive, which returns an impressive claimed 83.1mpg and costs nothing to tax.

The SEAT Ibiza lives up to its billing as a fun car, as it's good to drive when you’re on the move. It has direct, well weighted steering and a slightly stiffer suspension set-up than the VW Polo. It's never uncomfortable, though. There's also a decent amount of room in the front, while space in the back can’t quite match that of its roomiest rivals, plus it can be tricky to get in and out of the back of the three-door SC. 

Choosing the right model can be confusing, as there's such a wide range of engines available in different trims. Not all engines are available in all trims, either, so we’d suggest opting for the mid-spec SE. Air-con, DAB digital radio, alloy wheels and a colour touchscreen are all standard, but if you want something that looks a bit sportier, has a more extensive list of equipment and the choice of more powerful engines, we’d suggest moving up to FR spec.

All Ibizas come with airbags, electronic stability control and emergency braking assistance, while FR models come with automatic city braking, so you should be well protected. 

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 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

3.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
3 / 5
"The facelifted SEAT Ibiza is attractive to look at and good to drive. It also shares its mechanicals with the excellent VW Polo."
4.5 / 5
"Offered in three and five-door styles, the hatch is a well made supermini with good interior space and a decent drive."
3 / 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."
6 / 10
"The Seat Ibiza is a stylish choice, particularly in three-door form, plus it's well priced and cheap to run."
What owners say 
4.1 /5 based on 162 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
25 Nov 2015
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