The SEAT Ibiza is certainly a head-turner, with its sleek dimensions and sporty style creating a truly eye-catching shape for pedestrians and other drivers. It's almost as dramatic as the front of the updated 2013 Ford Fiesta, and bags more exciting to look at than the bland Skoda Fabia. However, if you need even an ounce of practicality, you’ll need to look at the five-door or you’ll struggle to use the back seats for anything other than a place to throw your bag, just because its hard to get into. Even in the five door, boot space is highly restricted. For more space, we’d recommend getting a SEAT Ibiza ST estate, but these are quite rare – with only a handful actually available on the used car market.
The Ibiza comes in four main specifications – entry-level E, mid-range S and SE, and top-of-the-range FR. The base model and the S are somewhat lacking in standard equipment and accessories, however, so you might prefer to go for an SE model or above if you like your creature comforts. You do get to choose from a range of compact and economical engines that are available across the whole range, and have been tried and tested in the Volkswagen Polo – with which it shares many of its parts and mechanicals – so expect a high level of reliability, too.
The layout of the interior is also really appealing and very easy to live with on a daily basis, with a good, comfortable driving position. However, the stiff suspension set-up does reduce ride comfort quite a bit. For those with a true need for speed, the 178bhp SEAT Ibiza Cupra should offer more than enough performance, going from 0-62mph in less than seven seconds.