SEAT Ibiza review
The SEAT Ibiza includes great on-board tech and sets a very high standard in the supermini class
The Ibiza has a grown-up feel very much like the bigger award-winning Leon. It’s supremely quiet, even with 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines under the bonnet, while it's comfy and good to drive. There’s good space inside for passengers and luggage, while quality is impressive on the whole.
A facelift in 2021 addressed some of the previous complaints of scratchy interior plastics and cheap-feeling cabin materials which, along with a raft of new on-board tech, helps keep the Ibiza competitive. Crucially, prices are virtually unchanged from the previous model range, too.
About the SEAT Ibiza
It used to follow in the shadow of rivals, but the latest SEAT Ibiza is easily one of the best superminis for sale in the UK today. It was the first small car launched by the VW Group to use the company's MQB platform, and as a result benefits from a raft of cutting-edge tech that you would normally find on larger cars.
As with past models, the Ibiza is a sporty choice in the supermini class, even if you don't choose the racy FR or FR Sport models. The handling is sharp, but not at the expense of comfort, while increased dimensions help the Ibiza to be one of the most spacious cars in the class, too. SEAT introduced a refreshed model range in late 2021, which included minor styling tweaks, but a much improved interior with new on-board tech and smarter cabin trim.
The Ibiza battles with the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio for the honour of being the most entertaining supermini for sale, while cars such as the Mazda 2 and Peugeot 208 play the sporty card. Elsewhere, the VW Polo and Citroen C3 are quality alternatives, and the Skoda Fabia, Vauxhall Corsa and Honda Jazz all offer great ability, along with the reliable Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris.
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All SEAT Ibizas are five-door hatchbacks, with prices starting from around £16,500. With SE being the entry point to the range, there is no basic model in the line-up. All cars get alloy wheels, a touchscreen DAB radio with smartphone connectivity, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, metallic paint and a suite of modern safety kit as standard.
SE Technology adds a bigger touchscreen with sat-nav, 16-inch alloy wheels and ambient interior lighting, while FR adds sportier trim, 17-inch wheels and a drive mode selector. Again you can upgrade FR to FR Sport, which adds 18-inch wheels, suede-effect upholstery and a digital dashboard.
At the top of the range, the Xcellence features LED headlights, plenty of chrome accents and rear parking sensors, while the top-spec Xcellence Lux adds adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors and a rear view camera.
At the moment there’s no rapid Cupra Ibiza hot hatchback, and while a punchy 1.5 TSI turbo petrol engine was offered at launch, the current engine range now just comprises 1.0 MPI and TSI petrols. The 79bhp 1.0 MPI is offered in SE, SE Tech, FR and FR Sport cars, but is a bit slow, so we'd recommend going for the 1.0 TSI instead. It comes in 94bhp and 108bhp power outputs, but neither is any worse economically than the 1.0 MPI.
All cars are front-wheel-drive, with the 1.0 MPI and lower-powered 1.0 TSI coming with a five-speed manual gearbox. The more powerful TSI has a six-speed box, and it can also be had with the slick-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe SEAT Ibiza includes great on-board tech and sets a very high standard in the supermini class
- 2Engines, performance and driveWith punchy three-cylinder TSI engines and a sweet, balanced chassis, the SEAT Ibiza offers plenty of character
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe SEAT Ibiza 1.0-litre models promise good fuel economy and reasonable CO2 emissions
- 4Interior, design and technologySharp exterior lines carry over to the spacious interior, while the SEAT Ibiza features new on-board tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe SEAT Ibiza supermini boasts great space for both passengers and their luggage
- 6Reliability and SafetyBuyers will feel reassured by the excellent standard safety kit, while the SEAT Ibiza should prove to be reliable