- Stylish aesthetics
- Generous equipment
- Fun to drive
- Back seats are a little cramped
- Feels a little dated now
- FR-spec suspension is too stiff
Stylish supermini is good value for money
The Seat Ibiza is the Spanish manufacturer’s best-selling car. First introduced in 1984, the Ibiza is now in its fourth generation. Since 1993, the Ibiza has been manufactured under the stewardship of Volkswagen, and based loosely on the best-selling Volkswagen Polo. The latest Ibiza shares the same underpinnings as the Polo, but features more striking aesthetics, and a different interior. The Ibiza is also one of the most practical cars in its class, and whilst it might feel a little dated compared to its more modern rivals, it still represents great value for money.
An update in 2015 introduced new engines into the range, as well as improved interior technology.
High quality, stylish cabin let down by limited space
The inside of the Seat Ibiza is one of stylish simplicity. It’s not the most contemporary design, but it matches Ibiza’s sporty aesthetics, and is well-built. There’s a reasonable amount of space, though not class-leading, whilst there’s plenty of kit, even on entry-level models.
Stepping into a Seat Ibiza is like stepping into any Seat. All Seat models follow a similar design pattern, so you know what you’re going to get. It’s a clean, logical design, with controls placed exactly where you’d want them to be. Build quality is also excellent, and everything feels like it’s built to last. The materials used throughout are of a good standard, with soft-touch materials featuring heavily, though there’s some cheaper, scratchier plastics if you look hard enough. It’s not quite as classy as a Polo, but it’s still pretty impressive.
When it comes to space, the Ibiza is a little bit disappointing. The rear seats offer decent legroom, though passengers over six foot may struggle for longer journeys. The Ibiza boasts a boot capacity of 292 litres though, which is bigger than what you’d find in a Ford Fiesta (276 litres), and the Volkswagen Polo (280 litres), but much smaller than the spacious Honda Jazz (354 litres). It’s also a good shape, which makes awkward shaped items easy to carry.
Equipment levels in the Ibiza are generous, no matter which trim you choose to go for. The SE trim offers the best value for money, as it includes air-con, electric windows, LED daytime running lights, and a touch-screen infotainment system, that controls the DAB radio and the Bluetooth connectivity. If you want sat-nav, you’ll have to upgrade to the Connect trim, which also adds Seat’s excellent Full Link connectivity package.
Overall, the Seat Ibiza boasts a practical, stylish cabin. It’s not the biggest in the class, nor does it have the quality of a Polo, but it’s built to last, and you’ll get plenty of kit for your money.
A good balance of fun and comfort
The Seat Ibiza is a car that looks like it should be fun to drive, and to some extent it is. It’s not as much of a hoot as the Ford Fiesta, but it’s still pretty rewarding. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, and body roll is kept under check. One area which isn’t so impressive is the Ibiza’s steering. It doesn’t offer a great deal of feedback, and it’s not as sharp as some rivals. It’s more fun than a lot of cars in this class, but it’s still not the ultimate drivers car.
Suspension and Chassis
Comfort levels in the Ibiza are likewise quite impressive. The chassis and suspension iron out all but the worst of rough surfaces and potholes, so the Ibiza will never feel uncomfortable, especially with the standard setup. Go for the FR suspension setup however, and things become a little bit on the bumpy side. It’s designed for performance, though it’s added handling ability doesn’t outweigh its poor ride refinement, so it might be one to avoid.
Gearbox options in the Ibiza come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual, which is sharp, and features a short throw. That makes it great for driving around town, though regular motorway drivers may wish that they had a sixth gear. There’s also a DSG automatic available as an optional extra, and it’s mightily impressive, especially for a supermini. If you’re prepared to make the leap to DSG, you won’t be disappointed.
A good range of efficient, economical engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Ibiza, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s good flexibility in most of the engines, though the entry-level 1.2 litre petrol lacks the guts to offer performance out of town.
If it’s power that you want from your Ibiza, the standout engine in the Ibiza range is the petrol-powered 1.4 litre EcoTSI 150 FR. This engine produces 150bhp, and boast a 0-62mph time of just 7.6 seconds. It’s not as quick as some of the hot-hatch offerings from other manufacturers, but it will be cheaper to run, and it still offers enough bit to put a smile on drivers faces.
Eco friendly buyers will be delighted with the range of engines offered in the Ibiza, especially with the diesel-powered 1.4 TDI Ecomotive, which produces just 88g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s amongst the lowest in the class, so not only will you get free road tax, you’ll also have the peace of mind that you’re helping to save the planet. This model is also the best option for penny pinchers, as it can achieve up to an immense 83.1mpg.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Seat Ibiza easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 82% in adult safety, 77% in child safety, and 59% in pedestrian safety, the Ibiza is one of the safest cars in its class, with a lot of rivals struggling even to achieve 5 stars. The Ibiza also comes with six airbags, electronic stability control, and an emergency braking system as standard, so small family buyers can feel assured that the Ibiza is going to keep them, and their family safe.
Great value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Seat Ibiza represents excellent value for money for buyers. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally speaking, CO2 levels are low throughout the range, and fuel efficiency figures compare well with rivals. The super-efficient Ecomotive diesel is the pick of the bunch for those who want to save serious money, whilst the DSG gearbox fitted to some models reduces fuel economy, and increases emissions.
Insurance costs in the Ibiza are also pretty reasonable. This again depends on which engine and trim you choose to go for, but you shouldn’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival. The cheapest Ibiza to insure in the range is the entry-level 1.2 S, which is way down in group 3, whilst the most expensive is the top of the range 1.4 EcoTSI (150) FR Technology, which is in group 24.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Seat Ibiza, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Seat Ibiza is one of the most stylish options in a crowded supermini market. The Ibiza is fun to drive, generously equipped, and features some impressive engines. It might not be as refined as it’s close sibling, the Volkswagen Polo, but it is cheaper to buy at purchase point. Add in the Ibiza’s impressive safety scores, and low running costs, and you’ve got an almost complete package.
Buying a used Seat Ibiza online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Seat Ibiza for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Ibiza. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Seat Ibiza online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Seat? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Seat Ibiza, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Ibiza, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Seat to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.