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In-depth reviews

SEAT Ibiza ST estate (2008-2016)

"The SEAT Ibiza ST is a supermini-based estate car, which offers heaps of practicality with affordable running costs"

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Robustly built and well equipped
  • Easy to access interior
  • Stylish looks

Cons

  • Smallish boot
  • Pricier than rivals
  • Firm ride on Sport model

The SEAT Ibiza ST is a small estate car based on the Ibiza supermini, which offers lots of space with low running costs. Now discontinued, the Ibiza ST was a direct rival to the Skoda Fabia Estate, with which it shares much of its technology, along with the cheaper, yet larger Dacia Logan MCV.

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With a sense of Spanish flair, the Ibiza ST was the most stylish car in its class, but paid a price for its looks, costing more and losing out on some luggage space as a result of its sleeker design.

The Ibiza ST was available in four trim levels, called S A/C, SE, Connect and FR, with the sporty FR trim also coming with optional SEAT Colour Packs. If you like individuality, the latter version is for you, adding splashes of colour to the door mirrors, wheels, seats and even trim around the air vents and handbrake.

Standard equipment was reasonable, with alloy wheels, DAB radio and Bluetooth all fitted as standard, while SE models got a handy five-inch touchscreen (with sat-nav a £340 option) and LED daytime running lights. The Connect trim even came with free Samsung smartphone to make the most of its connectivity.

Our choice would be an SE or Connect version, which provided a good blend of value and features. If you want – or need – to drive an automatic, it’s worth noting you’ll be limited to finding a 1.4-litre diesel in FR trim.

Engines ranged from a 1.0-litre petrol, which is best avoided in lethargic 74bhp guise, but better when badged EcoTSI with 94bhp. The latter had enough power and is road-tax-exempt thanks to its low emissions. A 1.4-litre TDI diesel was also available, with 74, 89 or 104bhp. It’s the best choice for long-distance or high-mileage drivers, especially in the top power output – although oddly this was limited to the FR trim.

The Ibiza ST didn’t appear in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but the SEAT brand came a middling 18th out of 32 manufacturers, ahead of Volkswagen in 24th place, but lagging behind Skoda in third. The SEAT Ibiza hatchback received a reassuring five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP, although it’s worth noting the procedure has been made more difficult since the Ibiza was tested in 2011.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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