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Seat Ibiza ST: Test Drive Review

Date: 07 December 2010   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Category: Supermini
P11D price: £14,375
Key rival: Peugeot 207 SW

Seat's new Ibiza ST estate joins a select group of supermini wagons that includes Skoda's Fabia estate, Renault's Clio Sport Tourer, Peugeot's 207 SW and the Mini Clubman.

Seat projects a modest 15% business sales element for the estate, with one in five Ibizas overall being STs. However, the brand hopes an extra 18cm behind the rear wheels over the standard car, greater loading capacity than the larger Leon, and competitive running costs shared with the hatchback counterpart will appeal to reps carting merchandise or equipment around. The back seats do not adjust fore and aft, though, and there is a restrictive six-inch ridge between the loading bay and the folded backrests. Legroom is restricted compared with the Leon, too.

The cabin is bright and well put together, with ergonomically effective controls and instruments. However, extensive anodised aluminium-effect trim results in the side-vent surrounds reflecting on to the door mirrors in sunlight, while the instrument binnacle dome does the same on the windscreen.

The fleet-slanted 1.6-litre, 110hp diesel variant in SE trim was relatively raucous when pressed but settled down to a tranquil 2500rpm at the motorway limit. Door-to-door it registered just over 50mpg on the computer across the 300-mile mainly motorway run.

Without the firmer Sport trim suspension settings, the ST's ride quality was more pliant than some more performance-biased Seat chassis, while French rivals could benefit from the feedback and accuracy of the ST's electro-hydraulic steering.

KwikCarcost predicts a slightly disappointing 28.7% RV after three years/60,000 miles, but the sub-110g/km CO2 helps bring the cost per mile in line with rivals.

The ST will have niche appeal in fleet, but it is an attractive Spanish alternative to French-led competition.

Seat Ibiza ST 1.6TDi SE
P11D price£14,375
Model price range£12,070-£14,730
Fuel consumption65.7mpg
CO2 (tax)112g/km (13%)
Service intervals12 months/10,000miles
Boot space430/1,164 litres
Engine size/power1,598cc/105hp
Top speed/0-62mph117mph/10.9secs
On saleNow