From £9,940
A grown-up driving experience in a good-value, attractive package

Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza
The Seat Ibiza is the marque's biggest-selling model, and with good reason

The Seat Ibiza is good looking, well-priced and spacious supermini that doesn’t quite live up to Seat’s sporty image

What is it?

This is the three-door version of the new Seat Ibiza supermini, although the company prefers us to call it SportCoupe. The new Ibiza SportCoupe is a handsome design, much sportier-looking than its predecessor and in the mould of the shapely Vauxhall Corsa three-door.

The Luc Donckerwolke (ex-Skoda, Lamborghini) sheet metal is very well resolved with sharp creases on the flanks and gaping air vents in the nose making the Ibiza SportCoupe one of the best-looking superminis.

All the sheet metal aft of the B-pillar is new, including the roof and hatchback, whose rear screen is deepened to improve rearward visibility.

Inside is an attractive, quality fascia with a sporty twin-cowl instrument pack, supportive seats and a comfortable driving position. Rear headroom is a bit tight for six-footers, but otherwise room in the back is similar to the rest of the competition.

Underneath is strut/torsion beam suspension typical of the segment and electro-hydraulic steering.

At launch this autumn, the engines will be cooking petrols – a 102bhp 1.6, 83bhp 1.4 and 68bhp three-cylinder 1.2-litre unit. Diesels don’t arrive until early next year.

The real fire-crackers in the range — the 150bhp FR and 180bhp Cupra — both powered by VW Group’s turbo and super-charged TFSi 1.4, go on sale next February.

What’s it like?

The new Ibiza is the first model based on VW’s new PQ25 supermini platform and these new underpinnings give the Ibiza a grown-up and solid feel, something the old model didn’t possess.

The ride is compliant and quiet, even on the 17in wheels in the Sport specification, and there’s a good level of grip. The natural tendency of the chassis is understeer, although the line tightens gently when power is cut to the front wheels.

The steering is fluent and well weighted, which makes it a pleasant car to drive. Overall, the balance between ride and handling is nicely judged.

Just don’t be seduced by the SportCoupe name. The Ibiza isn’t an exciting car to drive, despite its looks and the image that the marketing men are trying to drum up.

The top spec 1.6-litre motor is a rorty engine, but it doesn’t have enough urge and in give-and-take driving the 1.4 is equally as quick and more cultured. Its 45mpg versus the 1.6’s 42.8mpg helps sway that decision. The three-pot 1.2 is surprisingly eager, too, and rated at a more frugal 47.9mpg.

Not surprisingly, Seat expects the 1.2 and 1.4 to continue to take the lion’s share of Ibiza sales.

Should I buy one?

The Ibiza SC deserves a spot on your buying short list. Its real strength is to offer a VW/Skoda-type grown-up driving experience wrapped-up in much sexier sheet metal.

Seat suggests that prices at launch will be about £300 lower than those of the equivalent five-door, which makes the sexier-looking SportCoupe look good value.

Seat is also promising a keen price/equipment balance to keep its heartland younger drivers on side. Insurance groups look like being pretty young-driver friendly, between three and five.

Join the debate

Comments
6

3 July 2008

How can it be a coupe? It has 3 seatbelts in the back and three doors, looks to have better visibibility than the five door too, even if it still has a useless front quarterlight.

Also you never mention the autobox in the text which is visible in the pictures.

3 July 2008

JR wrote: "The new Ibiza is the first model based on VW’s new PQ25 supermini platform."

Realy? Here is a quote from Skoda Fabia test, Autocar 17 April 2007:

"If anything, the second-generation Fabia is less radical that the first, the platform an updated version of the previous generation, with the same MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear axle, although this tweaked floorplan again previews that of the next Volkswagen Polo."

So which version is correct?

4 July 2008

I think this new Ibiza is a visually refreshing update from the current model, which since the mid 90's seems to have focussed on continued facelifts. On top of this the all new platform and the talk of using the new 7 speed DSG (in previous Autocars) make this a very interesting option. Just why do we have to wait 6 to 9 months for the new engine line up of the 1.4TFSI's and the punchy diesels?

20 August 2008

I like the looks of the new Ibiza, although a side elevation of it would have been a nice inclusion in the report!

Wasn't it designed by the Dutch guy who did the Reventon?

20 August 2008

Great looking outside, but the insides of the ones I've seen in Spain are a mess. I think somebody said we don't want another monochrome look, so they've seem to have added variously-textured materials for the sake of it. Shame really - ticked a lot of boxes for me.

28 July 2013

That is really awesome and i want one of these in my  style:)

There are several good features with ibiza seat. hmmm

I have planned that i wll go to ibiza holiday on this car:)

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