From £9,940
Base Ibiza one of the best models in the range

Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza

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

10 November 2008

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.

Join the debate


10 November 2008

Less is clearly more.



It's all about the twisties........

10 November 2008

For me, the small petrol engined versions are not the pick of the range so much as the complete opposite. You even admit yourselves that it's out of its depth on motorways. Even so-called superminis are so heavy these days that 69 bhp is nowhere near enough.

10 November 2008

Good for you Vicky,

I like this approach, if the engineering is sound and the spec sensible then the basic car ought to be good to live with and drive. Too often road tests are of top spec cars which cost more than the basic version of the next class up. Some dealers similarly have or used to have show rooms which suggested they were only interested in top spec cars. I once went to look at a Merc A class and the only one there was a 2 door priced at £27,000 or something ridiculous. There have been really awful base cars with sound proofing taken out and safety equipment missing etc - I think some US hire fleets have them, but Seat seem to have the right approach. That said I suppose you have to pay a lot more for stability control?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out