What is it?
The entry-level Seat Ibiza, which gets the VW Group’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine in 69bhp tune. Our test car came in basic ‘S’ trim, which comes equipped with auxiliary input and steering column-mounted audio controls.
What’s it like?
Multi-talented, and a very endearing car to spend time in. We know from its other applications that the 1.2 can be noisy if you really thrash it, but as ever it spins with enough energy to make speed a secondary element to the sheer fun of keeping the little 12-valve unit on the boil.
The tiny engine can struggle on motorways, but it delivers performance willingly and it’s an endearing in-town companion.
As with the other 5dr Ibizas, the 1.2 S rides well over all but the worst surfaces that the UK can throw at it, which together with the low down fizz of the engine and slick gearchange makes the 1.2 an excellent around-town car.
Despite low levels of equipment, and a lack of standard aircon, the cabin of the student-spec ‘S’ still exudes the sense of big-car quality that is such a selling-point for the Ibiza.
Should you buy one?
If you don’t venture out of town too often, the base Ibiza shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s a certain charm to a car that combines modern styling and safety with the sort of unpretentious nature that is becoming increasingly rare among 21st century superminis.
The Ibiza isn’t the cheapest option among the plethora of competent cars in this part of the market, and it’s not the best in class, but it is certainly one of the more sensible and enjoyable options.