£12,690 - £17,835 Price range
54 - 78 MPG
SEAT updated the Ibiza in late 2015 with an all-new interior made of better quality materials and with a new infotainment system that can display apps from Apple and Android smart phones. The interior is relatively roomy and comfortable.
The Ibiza is easy to drive with light steering, a sweet gearchange and an easy to use clutch. The steering and suspension were updated in 2015 to make it easier to place on the road and to improve the ride quality. It’s still not as fun on a twisty road as a Fiesta, but it feels as stable as a larger car. Motorway journeys are comfortable and there is little road noise.
There is a huge line up of engines to choose from that have proven themselves in other models in the SEAT range. In terms of petrol we’d recommend going for the newer 1.0-litre turbocharged TSI models that are cheap to tax and to run. The diesels start from a very economical 1.4-litre in the EcoMotive to a high tech 1.6-litre in the FR. Pick of the range is the 1.6-litre diesel that is reasonably fast and frugal or the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol that is the most modern engine in the line up.
The Ibiza is well equipped with electric front windows, Bluetooth connectivity and air-conditioning, but the Ford Fiesta undercuts it on price. Read on for more information on the SEAT Ibiza and to see if this is the new car for you.
If you haven’t decided yet, our Seat Ibiza colours guide showcases all the available paint-jobs while our SEAT Ibiza sizes and dimensions guide can help you find out if it’s large enough for your every need
Cheapest to buy: 1.0-litre S petrol
Cheapest to run: 1.4-litre EcoMotive diesel
Fastest model: 1.4-litre FR petrol
Most popular: 1.4-litre Toca petrol
The Ibiza’s dashboard was completely redesigned in 2015 and it now shares a lot of parts with other cars in the VW group and as a result the materials used are of good quality and can be found in some cheaper Audis. There is a lot of soft-to-the-touch plastic, but the layout still looks a little dreary unless you opt for one of the six available colour customisation packs which add colour trims (shown above).
The biggest change over the old model is the new touchscreen infotainment system that replaces a lot of the buttons on the centre console. It can also mirror an Android or Apple phone’s display and show important information like text messages, social media updates or even Google Maps.
SEAT Ibiza passenger space
The SEAT Ibiza is not the roomiest in its class – the Hyundai i20 has more space, but passengers will never feel cramped. There isn’t much difference in space between the three and five-door models except that the three-door has less rear legroom.
SEAT Ibiza boot space
The boot is reasonably big and offers 292 litres. That is 12 litres more than the one in the VW Polo. At maximum capacity with the rear seats down it can hold 847 litres. This is enough for most day-to-day tasks, but nothing special in the class. For comparison a Ford Fiesta can pack 290 litres and a Renault Clio – 300 litres.
Although it shares many parts with the VW Polo, the Ibiza is more engaging to drive. It isn’t on the same level as the Ford Fiesta in terms of fun, but updated steering and suspension in late 2015 mean it now rides much better and is very settled on the motorway – it feels like a bigger car. There is very little wind noise or tyre roar too, so it makes light work of motorway drives.
Around town, the new electric power steering makes turning the wheel featherlight and parking manoeuvres are effortless. The drawback of the light steering is loss of feedback, so you have less confidence in quick corners. The lower-spec models also have very thin steering wheels – if you prefer a chunkier wheel then you’d be best off with one of the higher-spec FR models.
The good news is that with the addition of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder VW Group engine, the Ibiza is now as modern in terms of engine technology as the rivals and the old 1.4-litre non-turbocharged units are gone. Bad news is that the FR model loses the 140hp 2.0-litre diesel and it’s replaced by a slower 105hp 1.6-litre one.
SEAT Ibiza petrol engines
There are four petrol engines available for the Ibiza in varying power levels. The entry-level engine is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol with 74hp that will manage the 0-62mph dash in a sedate 14.3 seconds. We’ve tested it and it provides decent acceleration if you’re in the right gear and are happy to let the engine rev – but doing so will result in far lower fuel economy than the claimed 54.3mpg. It coped well with hills on our test route, but if you’re regularly going to carry a few passengers or lots of luggage then we’d recommend you pick one of the turbocharged engines, which require fewer gear changes to get decent acceleration.
Speaking of which, the rest of the Ibiza’s petrol engine range is turbocharged. There’s a turbocharged version of the 1.0-litre engine, with 94hp or 109hp. The 109hp version is the only petrol version of the Ibiza to come with a DSG automatic gearbox, and you can’t have it with a manual gearbox. The 95hp version is noticeably more powerful than the non-turbocharged 74hp version, and would be our pick for day-to-day driving, thanks to impressive fuel economy of 68.9mpg. CO2 emissions of 94g/km mean it’s the only petrol version of the Ibiza that’s free to tax.
There’s also a four-cylinder 1.2-litre 109hp petrol engine that’ll dash the Ibiza from 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds while returning 54.3mpg, and a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol that has 148hp. Apart from the Ibiza Cupra, it’s the most powerful engine you can get in the small SEAT, and it’ll dash to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and return 58.9mpg.
SEAT Ibiza diesel engines
The 74hp 1.4-litre diesel equipped with fuel-saving Ecomotive technology is the cheapest to run returning 83.1mpg combined and emitting just 88g/km of CO2, making it free to tax – unless you pick the S trim with air conditioning. The 89hp and 104hp diesels return a respectable 74.3mpg. The 89hp version is available with a DSG automatic gearbox and emits 99g/km of CO2, so it’s also free to tax.
The Ibiza received the full five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP and is equipped with a range of stability and traction safety programs. There are head and thorax airbags for the driver and front passenger and two ISOFIX mounting points at the rear seats. Tire pressure monitoring and hill hold assist are also standard across the range.
The Ibiza doesn’t have the state-of-the-art automatic braking system found in other VW Group cars, but has enough electronic assists to help the driver in any situation.
SEAT has always made good value-for-money cars and the new Ibiza is no different – it is competitively priced and well-equipped.
The base model comes with air-conditioning, electric front windows and a six speaker stereo. Higher trim levels have an advanced infotainment system, alloy wheels and headlights with LED.
SEAT Ibiza FR
The FR model gets active cylinder technology that alternates between two and four cylinders to achieve 60.1mpg. The FR Black edition has a digital radio, satellite navigation and Alcantara leather upholstery.
The SEAT Ibiza is a good value-for-money supermini that has all of the engineering of its German rivals, but with great looks that set it apart from the competition. It now has a thoroughly modern range of engines that make it an enjoyable car to drive on country roads or motorways.
It’s also a comfortable companion for longer journeys and has a decent sized boot. It’s arguably the most stylish small car on sale, it has cutting-edge Smartphone integration and won’t break the bank either.