The Seat Ibiza is the Spanish firm's strongest-selling car – both overall and in the British market – and, as we're about to outline, this is with good reason.

Like many of its rivals, it comes in three body variants: a stylish, if traditionally shaped, five door, a more rakish three-door hatch (called the SportCoupé) and an estate that’s also a bit of a looker.

The engine line-up mirrors that of VW’s Polo, using the same engines to good effect: two versions of the three-cylinder 1.2, a 1.2 TSI, a cooking 1.4 and warm and warmer 1.4 TSIs for the FR and Cupra versions. The diesels are a 1.2 that’s pretty economical in standard form, and gets a green makeover for Ecomotive models. A 1.6-litre, 104bhp mid-range option was introduced recently to all three  Ibizas, and a 2.0 that the Polo doesn’t get for another warm, but more mpg-friendly, FR. 

There’s less engine choice in the estate – it doesn’t get anything remotely warm or hot, for obvious reasons.

E is the entry-level trim available only on the cut-price, low-powered 1.2, then there’s S (which includes air con), SE and Sport, plus FR and Cupra (and special edition Bocanegra) in that order of performance.

Top 5 Superminis

  • Ford Fiesta
    Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

    Ford Fiesta

    1
  • Mini Cooper
    Its various improvements make the new Mini more desirable and practical than ever before

    Mini Cooper

    2
  • The Mazda 2
    The Mazda 2 name dates back to 2002. This latest version showcases the firm's Skyactiv technology and 'Kodo' styling

    Mazda 2

    3
  • Volkswagen Polo
    The Polo is a polished, mature-feeling, spacious supermini

    Volkswagen Polo

    4
  • Renault Clio
    Distinctive styling details are taken from the showstopping Renault Dezir concept car

    Renault Clio

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Hyundai i20 Coupé
    First Drive
    12 February 2016
    The slick-looking three-door Hyundai i20 makes sense for those who want safe dynamics and cheap insurance, but otherwise there are alternatives that are much more fun to drive
  • Mercedes GLC 220 d
    First Drive
    11 February 2016
    We try Mercedes' entry-level 220 d GLC on UK roads. It's cheaper to buy than the 250 d, but is it the better-value choice?
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    Our continued thirst for anything and everything SUV prompts Hyundai to launch this new i20 Active. We drive it on UK roads
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    Fourth-generation Prius promises yet-better eco credentials and a new dose of driving appeal. We find out if it delivers
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    1.0-litre triple brings added appeal to i20, but it’s still an unremarkable drive