So did I find any major flaws after six months in the Ibiza? Frankly, after searching with increasing ferocity, the Ibiza’s list of failings remains stubbornly short and trivial. The biggest is probably that, dueto the car’s stylised bodywork and sculpted wing mirrors, rear visibility isn’t the best. The issue is exacerbated by the strange omission on our upmarket FR-trim model of rear parking sensors (a £220 option) or a reversing camera (part of the £425 Vision Plus Pack). Sure, it’s easily solved by ticking an option box (and shelling out a little more cash) but it seems odd not to include a reversing aid in the first place.
What else? Well, the sharply styled bodywork meant dirt collected on small areas of the car after long motorway journeys on murky days. The boot occasionally didn’t shut properly when I closed it (although that could be because I wasn’t giving it enough force). And the passenger door handle was a little sticky, on occasion. And... well, that’s about it. Hardly an incriminating list, is it?
The supermini class is ultra- competitive, and both the Fiesta and Polo can put forward compelling cases. The margins between them are small indeed. But, to me, the Ibiza’s all-round excellence makes it a truly strong contender – yet it retains a distinct, fun character (something our testers struggled to find in the Polo during its recent road test).
So, yes, I reckon the Ibiza fully merits its crown as the best supermini on sale right now. But then you already knew that, because I already told you. See, I’ve found another flaw of the Ibiza: it’s just too darn all- round good to make for an exciting conclusion to a long-term report...
STRONG ENGINE: Quiet, frugal and never lacking for power: this three-pot is everything you need for a car of this size.
SHARP STYLING: Yes, you can spot the VW Group supermini heritage but the Ibiza’s sculpted bodywork helps it stand out.
BEATS SOUND SYSTEM: Younger members of our team raved about the audio quality of the Beats stereo (a £365 option).
NO REVERSING CAMERA: It has a lovely infotainment screen, which highlights the oddity of not fitting a rear camera as standard.
LOW-SPEED VIBRATIONS: The engine is a little clunky at low speeds, although it makes up for that in all other aspects.
Forget your Cupra-badged performance rockets: for me, the Seat brand is defined by peppy, fun, small hatches such as our Ibiza FR. As James attests, its charm lies in its broad- batted accessibility, but no aspect of the Ibiza feels like a compromise. That’s VW Group polish for you.
￼￼￼￼Final report mileage: 6780
Life with a Seat Ibiza: Month 4
Our upgraded speaker system – 28th February 2018
Our Ibiza has the upgraded Beats Audio system – a £365 option – which comprises a 300W amplifier, six speakers and a ‘high-end’ subwoofer in the boot.
Beats, founded by rapper Dr Dre and owned by Apple, has a huge market share in high-end headphones, and if they’re anything like as clear-cut as the Ibiza’s sound, it’s clear why.