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Seat Ibiza Test Drive Review

Date: 20 November 2015   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
Key rival: Skoda Fabia Estate
P11D: £14,620
On sale: September 2015

The current Ibiza may be seven, but Seat has left its sharp styling alone and focused on creating a plusher interior with this mid-life update.

The Ibiza also gains two frugal new motors - turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol units, with 95hp and 110hp. Other engines range from 75hp 1.0-litre to potent 150hp 1.4-litre petrols plus diesels with 75hp to 105hp. Efficiency has increased by up to 32% too.

Trim levels start with Spartan E specification, while all other versions include Bluetooth, a digital radio and aircon. SE adds alloy wheels and a five-inch touchscreen media system, while Vista includes cruise control and rear parking sensors.

Connect specification, meanwhile, gains a 6.5-inch media system with satnav that includes MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software to allow safe use of mobile phones. It also includes a Samsung Galaxy A3 mobile.

The fleet favourite is likely to be the 95hp 1.0-litre petrol. With claimed 68.9mpg economy and 94g emissions - in hatchback and estate form - these incur just 13% BIK. With a good spread of power in the estate we drove, the 1.0-litre is perfectly happy at motorway speeds, while offering a comfortable ride and slick gearchange.

Less impressive are the car's brakes and handling, with our test car's tyres offering limited grip around corners and when braking heavily.

Despite being of little concern to many users, the Ibiza appears to offer less safety net than newer rivals. Wind and road noise levels are also a little high.

Space for rear passengers - even in the estate - is a little tight. The estate's boot is around 50% larger than the five-door hatchback, however, although the Skoda Fabia Estate offers much more boot space. The dashboard, meanwhile, feels more upmarket than before, with plusher materials and a slick touchscreen media system.

Running costs are strong with the 1.0 EcoTSI 95 SE estate costing 35.9p per mile, compared with 34.7p for the five-door hatchback. The Fabia Estate, however, costs 35.3ppm, but BIK costs are slightly higher.
The Ibiza is striking and strong value, but feels a little long in the tooth, despite being updated.

Those after value and economy should be well served by the new 1.0 Eco TSI models, though users after maximum space will prefer the Skoda.

Seat Ibiza ST 1.0 EcoTSI 95 SE

Model price range £10,000-£18,570
Residual value 28.2%
Depreciation £10,495
Fuel £4268
Service, maintenance and repair £1427
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £908
Cost per mile 35.9p
Fuel consumption 68.9mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 94g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month £32/£63
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 430/1164 litres
Engine size/power 999cc/95hp


Rare compact estate offering is strong value but not as practical as Skoda Fabia Estate
  • Ibiza ST offers 50% extra boot space over hatchback for small additional outlay
  • Roadholding a little off the pace while Skoda Fabia Estate has a much larger boot