SEAT Ibiza hatchback

£11,410 - £17,635

The SEAT Ibiza shares many parts with the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia. Of the three, the Ibiza 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 fuel 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 trim levels, 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 Ibiza ST estate version, too.

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