Seat Ibiza Review

Excellent engine range; good handling; practical.

Cramped in the back; some models are little basic; it’s not the most fun to drive.

The Seat Ibiza will make a lot of friends. It has a fine selection of engines and you are bound to find one that suits you, with those who look for economy, or performance, or a mixture of both all catered for. The Seat Ibiza’s handling is good, but it lacks feel which makes it less engaging to drive than many of its rivals. Herein lies the Ibiza’s problem, it’s a very good car, but there are better out there. That said, the competitive price might just win you over.

Continue reading for the full Seat Ibiza review...

Seat Ibiza

The Seat Ibiza range ...

List Price£13,130 - £19,300
Acceleration (0-62mph)7.5 - 14.7 secs
Top Speed104 - 134 mph
Engine Power75 - 150 bhp
CO2 Emissions99 - 112 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)57.6 - 74.3 mpg

Performance

There are 4 petrol engines on offer with the Ibiza and all of them do the job they are made for, the middle of the range is where the value and performance combine the best. The 1.2 TSI and the 1.4 are both lovely engines to drive, providing enough pull and pace to keep most drivers happy. There is a basic 1.2 below this which is well engineered though its performance figures are unlikely to get you excited. Higher up the Ibiza performance ladder there is a 1.4 TSI which does 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds, which is quick by anyone’s standards. The Seat Ibiza’s diesel engines are going to tempt in those who do a lot of miles, the 1.2 Ecomotive in particular with its 80.7mpg is difficult to find fault with.

Handling

There really are few things to complain about with the Seat Ibiza’s handling. It’s longer, wider and lighter that its predecessor meaning it feels assured in almost all situations. Corners are dispatched with ease, with grip aplenty and almost no body roll - you’ll never feel insecure. The Seat Ibiza also has speed sensitive steering which lightens at low speed to make parking easier. It’s not all positives though, there is a lack of feel to the Seat Ibiza’s handling which makes it less fun to drive than some of its rivals.

Exterior

Seat has employed the former Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke to give their range a more stylish feel. The new Ibiza is his first attempt at achieving this, and in my opinion he’s done a pretty good job. The car has a more confident feel now; its more angular nose is complemented by the stylish new body shape which is emphasised by some well placed flowing lines.

Interior

If you are the driver of the Seat Ibiza you’re going to find the interior is designed for all of your needs, the dash layout is nice and clear, and the driving position is comfortable and easy to adjust. Those passengers who have to sit in the back are going to have a less pleasant experience though. The rear seats are lacking in head and leg room and getting into them can be a bit fiddly in the 3 door version. The Ibiza’s boot space is top notch though, 295 litres is a top of the class kind of score and will take most luggage with ease, the only down side is split folding seats are not standard across the range.

Equipment

Seat has frequently shuffled their trim ranges meaning older models bare little correlation with the current model. The selection offered on the Ibiza now starts with the S: remote central locking, electric front windows and a CD stereo and air conditioning are the stars of a slightly sparse trim. The SE gets you the split folding seats you would have hoped were standard across the range as well as alloy wheels, cruise control and rear electric windows. The Ecomotive range is tailored for good fuel efficiency and so a start/stop button and different gear ratios are the main differences here. The FR is the sporty version; larger alloys, cruise control and some leather trim give you the idea.

Safety

5 stars in its Euro NCAP crash test indicates that the Seat Ibiza shouldn’t let you down when it comes to safety. Twin front and side airbags are standard, and the lack of curtain airbags is negated by the innovative design of the side airbags. Isofix child seat mounts also come as standard as does ABS, but ESP does not which is a bit disappointing.

Buying & Owning

When thinking about the Seat Ibiza’s reliability it is always worth bearing in mind that in reality it is built by VW. This has a reassuring effect as should the Ibiza’s past reliability record which is very good. Economy is one of the Ibiza’s strong points with none of the engines even drifting towards the thirsty end of the spectrum and with the Ecomotive engine capable of 80.7mpg you should be able to afford your fuel bills. The Seat Ibiza is competitively priced and resale values are solid too.

Reviewed by Cars2Buy

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