£12,240 - £17,385 Price range
54 - 72 MPG
The SEAT Ibiza SC is the slightly less spacious but more stylish three-door version of the Ibiza hatchback. It’s praised for its modern engines and an infotainment system that’s packed with connectivity features. Its closest rivals are the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia – with which it shares many parts – and the class heavyweight, the Ford Fiesta.
The Ibiza is the best to drive out of its VW and Skoda sister cars, but can’t hold a candle to the more engaging Fiesta. Apart from that it’s stable and confident in corners and – thanks to a 2015 facelift – has a comfortable ride. It suits motorway journeys well thanks to little outside noise in the cabin.
The 2015 update also added an all-new interior with improved material quality and the latest in infotainment technology providing smartphone screen mirroring and the ability to read text messages out loud. Apart from that, the Ibiza SC remains one of the less spacious superminis in class.
There are plenty of engine options to choose from, but generally the 1.0-litre TSI petrol or the 1.6-litre diesel are recommended by experts. They liked the petrol for it’s lively and zippy performance and the diesel for its blend of pulling power and low fuel consumption.
All Ibiza SC models come well equipped from the factory with electric front windows and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Head over to our SEAT Ibiza SC deals pages and you can save £2,470 on average.
Check out our handy SEAT Ibiza SC colours guide to see what colours are available.
Cheapest to buy: 1.0-litre S A/C petrol
Cheapest to run: 1.4-litre SE diesel
Fastest model: 1.4-litre FR petrol
Most popular: 1.0-litre SE petrol
As with the normal car, the Ibiza SC’s cabin is built to a good standard, and the dashboard is styled to resemble the striking exterior. Critics have described the driving position as excellent, and it’s very easy to get comfortable.
The 2015 facelift brought improved connectivity for the touchscreen infotainment system and now it supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto android Mirrorlink, which lets you mirror your smartphone’s display and show social media updates on the car’s screen.
SEAT Ibiza SC passenger space
One main criticism of the regular Ibiza is that passenger space is a little cramped, particularly in the back. The slightly claustrophobic feeling brought on by that sloping roofline and small rear legroom is only amplified in the SC: the lack of rear doors makes getting in and out quite a faff.
SEAT Ibiza SC boot space and storage
The boot is a little smaller than the five-door Ibiza’s, but at 284 litres, the eight-litre deficit will be hardly noticeable. This figure is competitive when compared to both the Ford Fiesta (276 litres) and the Volkswagen Polo (280 litres). Storage space isn’t quite as impressive, however. The door bins and glovebox are fairly small, so it isn’t the best car for loading up with water bottles.
It may be billed by its makers as a ‘Sports Coupe’, but the Ibiza SC isn’t exactly the most engaging car of its type – the Ford Fiesta is still the king when it comes to handling and dynamics. That said, the SEAT drives nicely enough thanks to steering and suspension updates in the 2015 facelift. The ride is reasonably compliant on all but the stiffer FR models, which are harsh without adding any extra fun. Refinement is also above average, with well-suppressed road and wind noise at speeds.
The steering feels lighter than in the pre-facelift car, so parking manoeuvres are easier, but the drawback is loss of steering feedback, which makes you less confident in fast corners.
There’s a good range of engines on offer, ranging from 1.0-litre petrols to 1.6-litre turbo diesels. They all have the latest in engine technology and the 1.4-litre even has cylinder-on-demand technology, which lets the engine run on half its cylinders when on partial load.
Seat Ibiza SC diesel engines
For most people it’s the diesels that’ll make the most sense. The Ecomotive 1.4-litre engine offers similar performance to the 1.0-litre turbo petrol, yet returns impressive fuel economy of 83mpg and thanks to CO2 emissions of under 99g/km – it’s free to tax. The rest of the diesel range is strong, too – even the most potent FR model with 105hp can return 74.3mpg while the 89hp version is the only engine choice that is equipped with a DSG automatic gearbox, and it’s also free to tax.
SEAT Ibiza SC petrol engines
The petrol engines are also impressively frugal, and most offer a suitably peachy and zingy nature to complement the Ibiza’s sporty styling. Critics loved the new 1.0-litre engine, but generally prefer it in 109hp or 94hp turbocharged guise rather than the basic 74hp version which is the cheapest to buy. The 74hp 1.0-litre non-turbo is the only petrol engine to qualify for free road tax, though.
The petrol engine range continues with a 1.2-litre 109hp engine that returns 54.3mpg and a 1.4-litre turbo that develops 148hp. It’s the most powerful engine apart from the Cupra with a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds and a fuel economy of 58.9mpg. However, if they’re not quite powerful enough for you, there’s always the ballistic Cupra model. Equipped with a 196hp, 1.8-litre turbocharged unit, it’s capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds.
Only one critic has reviewed the 1.2 petrol version of the Ibiza SC, and the tester appears to be quite impressed with it. Praise was given to its looks, excellent fuel economy and surprising poke from such a small engine.
Though noticeably smaller than the 1.6 unit it replaces, the new 1.2 turbocharged engine is better in almost every area. The new engine is cheaper to run than the discontinued 1.6, yet has just as much power and, because there’s more torque than before, is statistically the faster car. It’s also a relatively affordable car.
Overall, the Ibiza SC is a good all-round car. It’s by no means the fastest or peppiest in the range, but it’s affordable to buy and run, and is a genuinely cracking unit. As it is with the rest of the Ibiza range, it’s a very likeable ‘best of both worlds’ engine.
The 1.4 petrol powered Ibiza SC gets some fairly decent reviews, but it doesn’t appear to be the pick of the range. Quite a few were satisfied with the 1.4’s efficiency and the sharp styling, but there were some complaints regarding a lack of refinement, a fidgety ride and a lack of power.
With only 85bhp on tap, the Ibiza SC isn’t exactly a quick car, and has to be worked fairly hard to reach higher speeds. Some also thought that the engine was a bit on the noisy side, whereas others weren’t too pleased with the stiff ride on the ‘Sport’ models. However, it is fairly good fun in the corners, and many were impressed with the claimed fuel economy of 47 mpg.
The Ibiza SC is a good car overall, yet it’s quite difficult to recommend it with this engine – for a car that is billed as ‘sporty’, it just isn’t fast enough. Though it is fairly cheap to buy and run, we reckon that there are more suitable engines on offer in the Ibiza range, especially if you want something with a fair bit of poke.
Diesels aren’t usually associated with power and speed, but the oil burning Ibiza FR appears to be a fairly good performance car. The critics quite liked the brisk pace and the punch across the rev range, and many were impressed by the claimed economy figures. However, some felt that the pricing was a bit of an issue.
With 150bhp, it’s not the hottest of hatches on the market. However, the 2.0 unit has more than enough torque across the rev range to make a Spanish supermini feel quite quick. However, the pace doesn’t mean that it’s expensive to run – the insurance and tax is quite low, and Seat claims up to 61 mpg is possible, which is hugely impressive. Also, unlike its petrol counterparts, it comes with a manual gearbox, so keen drivers will be happy there.
However, they won’t quite be satisfied with the rest of the car. The ride is on the firm side, though not unbearably so, and quite a few thought that the steering was too vague. Also, the flagship petrol powered Cupral is only a few hundred quid more expensive than the FR diesel model.
That being said, the diesel powered Ibiza does offer an enticing compromise of performance and fuel economy – it’s as fast as the equivalent petrol, yet is noticeably cheaper to run. However, it’s quite expensive for a supermini, and we’d recommend having a look at its rivals, as some offer similar specs for similar amounts of money.
espite being a cheaper and less hardcore version of the Cupra, the Ibiza FR gets mixed reviews. Quite a few like its ample performance and relatively cheap running costs, but there were a few complaints regarding a not so satisfactory driving experience and a slight lack of overall power.
With the VW Group’s renowned 1.4 ‘twincharged’ engine under the bonnet, performance is quite decent enough, and there’s ample power and torque across rev range, though one critic did reckon that it wasn’t as fast as the figures suggest. However, the alleged trade-off in performance helps with fuel economy, with claims of up to 47 mpg being possible,
The Ibiza’s downsides are that it’s not the sharpest warm hatch on the market, and quite a few weren’t that pleased with the fact it comes only with an automatic DSG gearbox.
That being said, the Ibiza FR is a relatively inexpensive car to run and insure, and is priced appropriately alongside its rivals. It’s not the finest car in its class, but it’s still worth having a look at.
The Seat Ibiza was tested by Euro NCAP back in 2011, and was awarded the maximum five-star rating. As you’d expect, there are plenty of airbags to keep you and your fellow occupants secure, and a range of safety features are included to reduce the chances of a collision happening in the first place.
The stability control system is able to brake individual wheels during sudden manoeuvres which might otherwise result in loss of control, and a hill hold system stops the car from rolling backwards during a hill start. Every model is fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system to ensure all four tyres are correctly (and therefore safely) inflated, as are Isofix brackets for securely fixing child seats in the back. Top-spec models feature the option of bi-xenon headlights which ‘look’ around corners by following the direction of the steering.
You won’t feel too short-changed if you opt for an Ibiza SC, because its competitively priced and comes with a decent amount of equipment as standard. Basic models like the E and S A/C get essential equipment such as air-conditioning, DAB detail radio and electric front windows. Moving up in the range SE adds a five-inch colour touchscreen, front fog lights and LED daytime running ones. The Vista and Connect trims are more about technology and come with cruise control, hill hold control, 16-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, rear parking sensors and in the case of the Connect – the latest Full Link infotainment system with a complimentary Samsung Galaxy A3 smartphone.
Seat Ibiza SC FR
If the Cupra is the hot hatch this is the warm version – it gets most of the aggressive styling of the Ibiza Cupra, but without the increased running costs of its 1.8-litre engine. You also get front sports seats, automatic headlights, sports suspension and for the FR Red Edition – 17-inch alloys with red accents, rear tinted windows and more red bits in the exterior.
Much like the Ibiza hatch, the SC is a very good all-round car that has plenty to brag about. It’s great to look at, drives fairly well, has a decent range of engines and is very good value for money. However, it’s not as practical as some of its rivals, and the impressive Ibiza SC is still a short way off from being one of the class leaders.
That being said, it’s still a very capable car, and one that’s certainly worth having a look at, especially if you want something that’s distinctive yet affordable.