SEAT Ibiza ST
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- Stylish looks
- Roomy interior
- Frugal engines
- Bigger rivals out there
- Rear headroom a bit tight
- Some slow engines
The Ibiza ST is a good looking estate that gets impressive reviews from the experts.There aren’t that many estate versions of superminis, so choosing the right one for you shouldn’t be too difficult. If you prioritise stylish looks and a nicer drive over all-out load carrying, then that makes the decision even easier – the car at the top of your list should be the SEAT Ibiza ST.
Though are some areas where the SEAT lags behind its rivals, but critics and generally very pleased with the Spanish sports tourer, with praise being given to the fun handling characteristics, good looks and value for money.
Space inside is generous – the extra 18cm over the Ibiza hatch liberates a useful 130 litres of boot space, and there’s enough room in the front for the driver and passenger. However, there were some complaints regarding the space in the back row, with limited head and leg room being the main issue. The cabin is built to usual Volkswagen Group standards, though some testers did reckon that the materials used were on the cheap side.
This was an area where the Ibiza ST appeared to excel in the class, especially with the larger wheels and slightly stiffer suspension in Sport trim. Many testers were pleased that the conversion to an estate car hadn’t dulled the Ibiza hatchback’s sporty handling. Some critics did say, though, that the softer suspension setup may be the better choice if you’re not too bothered with driving dynamics, as it offered better ride quality over the Sport setup. One critic commented on intruding wind noise at higher speeds.
There are six engines available for the Ibiza ST – three petrols and three diesels – with the smallest of each fuel type being available with an “Ecomotive” pack to improve efficiency and fuel economy.
Critics were impressed with the usable nature of the engines, though did have some grumbles with their unrefined nature at town speeds. Testers also reckoned that the larger engines, in particular the 1.6 TDI, were the more advisable choice, as they were more usable in day-to-day circumstances than the smaller power plants.
Value for money
The Ibiza ST is a very well-priced car, especially when you consider the amount of kit that comes as standard. Also, thanks to the efficient engines, running costs shouldn’t be too much of a problem either. However, rivals such as the Renault Clio Sport Tourer and the Skoda Fabia Estate do slightly undercut the Ibiza, with the Skoda offering a bigger boot despite being an almost identical car.
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The “Ecomotive” trim level is only available on the 1.2 TDI, and helps improve fuel economy and emission figures substantially – it's is road tax exempt and can achieve a claimed 80mpg! However, it is one of the more expensive engines in the range, and the normal diesels can achieve similar efficiency figures for a noticeably cheaper asking price.
Given that there are very few direct rivals at this price range, the Ibiza ST is a very capable and likeable car. Rivals from Renault and Skoda do offer slightly more boot space for less money, but that doesn’t automatically make this SEAT redundant. If you’re prepared to pay the premium, you’ll have a stylish and practical family car that’s fun to drive and cheap to run.
- Price range:
- £12,660 - £17,160
- 47 - 80
- Date released:
- Replacement due:
- Not for a couple of years
- Model history:
- in Jan 2012, SEAT announced a facelift for the entire Ibiza range. Full details: 2012 SEAT Ibiza Facelift - What's Different?
- Engine to go for:
- The 1.6 TDI is a great all-rounder
- Options to go for:
- The panoramic sunroof is good value
- Engine naming:
- TDI refers to diesel engines, TFSI to turbo-charged petrols
- 7.6 out of 10 from 13 reviews