Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

SEAT Ibiza review - a stylish and spacious supermini

“Stylish and practical, the SEAT Ibiza is also good to drive, making it a top supermini choice”

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.7 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Price
£19,695 - £25,440

Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Handsome looks
  • Infotainment

Cons

  • Steering lacks feel
  • Slow entry-level engine
  • Firm ride of FR trim

Verdict - is the SEAT Ibiza a good car?

While it may not be as much of a household name as some of its rival small cars and superminis, including the closely related Volkswagen Polo or the Renault Clio, the SEAT Ibiza should be worthy of your consideration thanks to its unique looks, spacious interior and familiar, easy-to-use infotainment system. Keep an eye out and attractive deals often pop up on the SEAT Ibiza, too, making it an even more appealing choice.

SEAT Ibiza models, specs and alternatives

Superminis have been a popular choice among British buyers for a long time, although the segment is now shrinking with many opting for small SUVs based on similar underpinnings instead. The SEAT Ibiza has long lived in the shadow of rival superminis such as the now-discontinued Ford Fiesta, the Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo, the last of which it shares many of its components with. Other rivals include the value-focused Skoda Fabia (which is also a close relative) and Dacia Sandero, the Peugeot 208, and Hyundai i20.

Advertisement - Article continues below

We think the SEAT Ibiza deserves a little more recognition, though – it arguably offers more style and flair than the Polo, and as it’s a less common sight on UK roads, it tends to stand out a little more. A refresh in 2021 brought a subtle exterior makeover, and the interior got a substantial overhaul, too, bringing a much slicker infotainment setup. 

The best small cars and superminis 2023Top 10 best small cars and superminis 2024

Whereas the old SEAT Ibiza was offered in an ST estate body style, the current model comes solely as a five-door hatchback, but it’s slightly larger than the old car, making it more practical all-round. It offers a fairly sizeable boot for a supermini, plus generous interior space, so it covers most of the most important bases for buyers.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Delve into the driving experience and you may wonder if you need a bigger car. Even the small-sounding 1.0-litre petrol is more than willing when a turbocharger is fitted in the TSI versions, although you may want the 108bhp version if you often drive with the car fully loaded. The suspension is supple enough to deal with poor road surfaces but firm enough to keep the Ibiza level through corners. The steering is a little lacking in feedback but the Ibiza feels so secure and refined on the move, that it’s very easy to forget you’re driving a supermini at all.

The story is similar inside, where there’s an appreciable air of maturity. It’s far from revolutionary but the arrival of SEAT’s Digital Cockpit instrument panel adds to the Ibiza’s contemporary feel – it's available in FR Sport and Xcellence Lux trims. Material quality and ergonomics have been improved for the facelifted Ibiza, thanks to more soft-touch materials and an infotainment screen that's now raised from the dashboard, making it easier to see and use.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The SEAT Ibiza comes with a choice of engines, though this has been heavily slimmed down since launch. The entry-level 1.0-litre MPI engine has been discontinued, but it was somewhat sluggish to drive anyway, and the 1.5-litre 148bhp petrol engine was only offered for a brief period of time. The remaining options are a turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI engine with 94bhp or 108bhp, either of which should be peppy enough for most supermini drivers. Back when the latest Ibiza was launched it was even offered with a 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine which was better suited to drivers covering lots of motorway miles, but was discontinued in 2020.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

With either version of the 1.0-litre TSI petrol, you’ll get mpg figures in the early 50s, regardless of power output, though specifying the 108bhp unit with an automatic gearbox does reduce this by about 4mpg.

Entry-level SE trim includes Bluetooth, DAB radio, air-conditioning and front electric windows, along with LED running lights, alloy wheels and an 8.25-inch colour infotainment screen that's a big upgrade from the 6.5-inch screen in the pre-facelift version of the car. This even gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unlike rivals, you can also choose a metallic paint colour for no extra cost, so the Ibiza feels quite well-equipped. For just £1,000 more SE Technology adds a larger touchscreen with sat nav, air conditioning and larger alloy wheels, which we think is the best choice for most buyers, though you’re definitely catered for by the higher trims should you want to add more niceties.

An Anniversary Edition to celebrate the Ibiza’s 40th birthday gets a Graphene Grey paint finish and figure-hugging sports seats, adding desirability but not changing up the recipe too drastically.

Overall, the latest SEAT Ibiza is a well-rounded package that sits near the top of its class. In our favourite SE Technology trim with a 1.0-litre TSI 94bhp petrol engine, it's a well-equipped, thrifty and fun-to-drive supermini, and one that's definitely worthy of consideration.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 MPI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,000

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 95 SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,450

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 115 FR 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,245

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

SEAT Leon review – a good-to-drive family hatchback
SEAT Leon e-Hybrid hatchback front 3/4 tracking
In-depth reviews
17 May 2024

SEAT Leon review – a good-to-drive family hatchback

Fiat 500 review - a fun and affordable EV city car
Fiat 500 electric
In-depth reviews
16 May 2024

Fiat 500 review - a fun and affordable EV city car

Skoda Octavia review – the most practical family hatchback
Skoda Octavia 2024
In-depth reviews
15 May 2024

Skoda Octavia review – the most practical family hatchback

Peugeot 508 hatchback review – a sleek, efficient compact executive car
Peugeot 508 2024 front quarter
In-depth reviews
13 May 2024

Peugeot 508 hatchback review – a sleek, efficient compact executive car

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
17 May 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Cat S and Cat N cars explained: guide to buying an insurance write-off
Cat S and Cat N car
Tips and advice
15 May 2024

Cat S and Cat N cars explained: guide to buying an insurance write-off

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs 2024
Best hybrid SUVs
Best cars
10 May 2024

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs 2024

SEAT Ibiza FR Edition unveiled
News
8 Apr 2014

SEAT Ibiza FR Edition unveiled

The new SEAT Ibiza FR Edition gets more economical engines and added kit
SEAT Ibiza deals: Car deal of the week
News
20 Sep 2013

SEAT Ibiza deals: Car deal of the week

The three-door SEAT Ibiza SC is now available from £9,995

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024