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SEAT Ibiza ST estate (2008-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

The SEAT Ibiza ST is fun to drive, with impressive steering and handling

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.8 out of 5

The Ibiza ST’s engine range doesn’t quite live up to the sporty promise made by its sleek exterior styling. You really have to look past the less powerful petrol and diesel engines if you don’t want the car to feel sluggish – particularly when it’s full of people and/or luggage.

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SEAT has a reputation for making cars that are pretty good fun to drive and the ST is surprisingly good for an estate in this respect, with decent handling and responsive steering. The dynamics do suffer slightly compared to the Ibiza hatchback due to the extra weight and there’s more body lean when cornering, too. That’s dealt with in FR models by standard sports suspension, but although it improves the car’s cornering, it also makes the ride noticeably firmer.

SEAT Ibiza ST diesel engines

The diesel engine performs best in 104bhp guise, accelerating the car from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and providing plenty of pulling power. The 13 seconds the less-powerful diesel engine takes to get the Ibiza ST to 62mph from a standstill, clearly shows the performance you sacrifice for that excellent economy and smaller outlay. Whichever specification you order the diesel engine in, be it 74,89 or 104bhp guise, you’ll get a refined and frugal engine that performs well - although you’ll pay a premium over the petrol for it.

Petrol engines

If you want a petrol-powered Ibiza ST, then we’d recommend the 1.0-litre EcoTSI. It offers the perfect blend of economy and performance, getting the car to 62mph in 10.4 seconds while returning 67.3mpg and also being exempt from road tax.

The most powerful Ibiza ST engine is the 148bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol. It can get the car from 0-62mph in just 7.6 seconds, so it’s the one to go for if you’re reluctantly trading-in your hot hatchback for a more practical family estate car.

SEAT has a reputation for making cars that are pretty good fun to drive and the ST is surprisingly good for an estate in this respect, with decent handling and responsive steering. The dynamics do suffer slightly compared to the Ibiza hatchback due to the extra weight and there’s more body lean when cornering, too. That’s dealt with in FR models by standard sports suspension, but although it improves the car’s cornering, it also makes the ride noticeably firmer.

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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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