What is it?
We’ve already driven the Ibiza ST, but our previous experience of Seat’s extended supermini was in Spain and with a 104bhp 1.2 TSI petrol engine.
Here, we sample the equally powerful 1.6 TDI, and on British roads.
See the first drive pics of the Seat Ibiza ST 1.6 TDI Sport
What’s it like?
The tidy-looking Ibiza hatch carries the estate car transformation well. It grows in overall length by just 18cm, while the all-important boot capacity figures – 430 litres expanding to 1164 – are on a par with those of its rivals. A 60/40 rear seat split means it’s a flexible load space.
The ST drives pleasantly, with enough driver engagement to keep things interesting. It steers particularly well, and on the whole the firm ride is smooth and relaxed, although we experienced a lot of cabin noise on rougher motorway surfaces.
The interior is plain but well finished in nicely contoured, if hard, plastics. In the rear, legroom is limited but there’s ample headroom.
Don’t expect too much in the way of excitement, though. The 1.6 TDI isn’t the most rewarding. It’s brisk enough and frugal enough, and well suited to long hauls, but it can feel unrefined around town. It’s also quite noisy at tickover. However, as a functional means of powering a load-carrying estate, it works well.Should I buy one?
In concept and execution, the ST delivers. It is appealing, practical and competitively priced next to its Renault Clio ST and Skoda Fabia estate rivals.
The decision to buy a supermini wagon is more likely to be made with the head than the heart and, on this evidence, the Ibiza ST is an eminently sensible choice.
But if you want more of a buzz to your lengthened Ibiza, consider the 1.2 TSI.
Seat Ibiza ST 1.6 TDI Sport
Price: £14,730; Top speed: 117mph; 0-62mph: 10.9sec; Economy: 65.7mpg (combined); CO2: 109g/km; Kerb weight: 1225kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1598cc, turbodiesel; Power: 104bhp at 4400rpm; Torque: 184lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual
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