In-depth reviews

SEAT Ibiza review

The SEAT Ibiza includes great on-board tech and sets a very high standard in the supermini class

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£16,260 to £22,300
  • Practical interior
  • Efficient engines
  • Strong on tech
  • Fiddly multi-function steering wheel
  • Could do with a little more power
  • Small mirrors

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.

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.

Looking for a SEAT Ibiza as your next car? Check out our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

More on Ibiza

New SEAT Ibiza 2021 review
SEAT Ibiza facelift - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
28 Sep 2021

New SEAT Ibiza 2021 review

The updated interior and tech revisions mean the popular SEAT Ibiza supermini is now better than ever
Best used small cars 2021
Best used small cars
Best cars & vans
18 Aug 2021

Best used small cars 2021

Our guide to the best used small cars for 2021, covering the top second hand city cars and superminis
New SEAT Ibiza 2021 facelift on sale from £16,945
SEAT Ibiza
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
15 Jul 2021

New SEAT Ibiza 2021 facelift on sale from £16,945

The updated SEAT Ibiza is available to order now, sporting a few styling tweaks and a completely redesigned cabin
Best small automatic cars 2021
Best small automatic cars 2021 - header
City cars
15 Jul 2021

Best small automatic cars 2021

You can't beat an auto if you want a relaxed drive. We've picked ten of the best affordable automatics on sale today...
Renault Clio vs Ford Fiesta vs SEAT Ibiza
Renault Clio vs Ford Fiesta vs SEAT Ibiza
Renault Clio
23 Nov 2019

Renault Clio vs Ford Fiesta vs SEAT Ibiza

Has the new Renault Clio got what it takes to beat the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza?
Nissan Micra N-Sport vs SEAT Ibiza FR Sport vs Suzuki Swift Sport
Nissan Micra N-Sport vs SEAT Ibiza FR Sport vs Suzuki Swift Sport - header
Nissan Micra
20 Apr 2019

Nissan Micra N-Sport vs SEAT Ibiza FR Sport vs Suzuki Swift Sport

The new Nissan Micra N-Sport aims to turn up the heat in the warm hatch market. We test it against rivals from SEAT and Suzuki
Volkswagen to recall 75,000 cars over “potentially lethal” seatbelt fault
Volkswagen
27 Nov 2018

Volkswagen to recall 75,000 cars over “potentially lethal” seatbelt fault

Volkswagen was criticised by consumer group Which? for failing to offer a permanent solution after first offering an “informal recall”
SEAT brings digital dials to its Arona and Ibiza lineups
SEAT Arona
31 Jul 2018

SEAT brings digital dials to its Arona and Ibiza lineups

The SEAT Arona is the first car in its class to feature a digital display, with the Ibiza supermini also getting the tech
MINI Cooper vs SEAT Ibiza
MINI Cooper vs SEAT Ibiza - header
MINI MINI
6 Jun 2018

MINI Cooper vs SEAT Ibiza

Revised MINI Cooper five-door meets the sporty SEAT Ibiza in a premium supermini showdown
Long-term test review: SEAT Ibiza
SEAT Ibiza long term test - second update front cornering
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
11 May 2018

Long-term test review: SEAT Ibiza

Final report: as we say goodbye to our SEAT Ibiza, we compare it with the class leading Ford Fiesta
SEAT Ibiza 1.6 diesel 2018 review
SEAT Ibiza - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
24 Apr 2018

SEAT Ibiza 1.6 diesel 2018 review

We drive the SEAT Ibiza with the brand's 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine to see if it can tempt buyers away from the petrol-powered models
Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta vs SEAT Ibiza
Volkswagen Polo
25 Feb 2018

Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta vs SEAT Ibiza

Can the new VW Polo take the supermini crown as it meets the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza?
New Cupra Ibiza likely to arrive in 2019
New Cupra Ibiza - front
SEAT Ibiza
22 Feb 2018

New Cupra Ibiza likely to arrive in 2019

Cupra Ibiza show car revealed at launch event, hinting at future hot production model to rival the Ford Fiesta ST
SEAT Ibiza FR 1.5 TSI Evo review
SEAT Ibiza FR 1.5 TSI Evo - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
23 Nov 2017

SEAT Ibiza FR 1.5 TSI Evo review

Warm hatchback arrives with powerful turbo engine, but is it fun enough to justify its price premium?
SEAT Ibiza ST (2010-2017) review
SEAT Ibiza ST front tracking
SEAT Ibiza ST
17 Nov 2017

SEAT Ibiza ST (2010-2017) review

SEAT’s stylish Ibiza ST looks smart, has a range of efficient engines and is a decent drive
SEAT Ibiza SE 1.0 petrol 2017 review
SEAT Ibiza 1.0 petrol - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
8 Aug 2017

SEAT Ibiza SE 1.0 petrol 2017 review

The entry level SEAT Ibiza comes with space, handling and style, but are running costs low enough?
New SEAT Ibiza 2017 review
New SEAT Ibiza - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
19 Jun 2017

New SEAT Ibiza 2017 review

We get behind the wheel of the sharp new SEAT Ibiza supermini on British roads
New 2017 SEAT Ibiza: prices, specs and official video
New SEAT Ibiza Geneva show - front
SEAT Ibiza
29 Mar 2017

New 2017 SEAT Ibiza: prices, specs and official video

Smart new SEAT Ibiza Mk5 supermini is based on the MQB platform and arrives is on sale now, with first deliveries in July
Long-term test review: SEAT Ibiza
SEAT Ibiza long-term - final report header
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
15 Sep 2016

Long-term test review: SEAT Ibiza

Final report: Is the supermini the perfect first car? We get a teenager's verdict as it leaves the fleet...
SEAT Ibiza review (2008-2017)
SEAT Ibiza 2015 facelift  - static
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
28 Jul 2016

SEAT Ibiza review (2008-2017)

Combining VW Polo mechanicals and stylish design with a Latin flavour, the SEAT Ibiza is both fun and practical
SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2016 review
SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2016 - front cornering 2
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
8 Jul 2016

SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2016 review

With new 189bhp turbo, can the latest SEAT Ibiza Cupra hot hatch take the fight to Ford Fiesta ST
SEAT Ibiza Cupra (2009-2017) review
SEAT Ibiza Cupra vs VW Polo GTI - Ibiza front tracking
SEAT Ibiza SC Cupra
27 May 2016

SEAT Ibiza Cupra (2009-2017) review

The SEAT Ibiza Cupra is one of the best hot hatch all-rounders on sale today
Used SEAT Ibiza review
SEAT Ibiza used - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback
26 Mar 2016

Used SEAT Ibiza review

A full used car buyer’s guide on the SEAT Ibiza covering the Ibiza Mk4 (2008-date)