SEAT Ibiza Review logo

SEAT Ibiza Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Comfort wins over driving fun”

Best bits

  • Limber suspension gives smooth comfort
  • Refined at all speeds
  • Lots of space to spread out in cabin

Not so great

  • SEAT could provide more standard kit
  • Some will miss crisp handling of previous Ibizas
  • Slow reactions of ventilation system

Read by

SEAT Ibiza Left Side View

Overall verdict

SEAT Ibiza Driver's Seat

On the inside

SEAT Ibiza Rear View

Driving

SEAT Ibiza Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ibiza Car Functions

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Smart, stylish and backed by a range of fine petrol engines, the Ibiza feels more grown up and better rounded than ever before, while its huge boot and refined ride provide comfort and space that are in short supply with many of its rivals."

SEAT Ibiza Left Side View

Mechanically speaking, the SEAT Ibiza is almost identical to the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia. However, this Ibiza is a smidgen shorter than the model it replaces but, and narrow garage owners please note, it is 87mm wider and has a slightly longer wheelbase. This means benefits for ride comfort and interior space.


The Ibiza isn't a compelling car to drive, but if you prioritise refinement and practicality over out and out cornering dynamics then this will very much be the small car for you. Given the demands of most small hatch buyers, SEAT has made the right call on this, too. The ride quality is first rate and the soft suspension irons out the roughest of roads with ease. Even potholes are dealt with a satisfying, suppressed thump.


The cabin is large enough to fit four adults and the seats provide excellent levels of back and upper leg support. Storage is also plentiful, with deep door bins and a useful scattering of cup holders. The 355-litre boot is huge for a car of this size and far superior to anything you'll find in either the Fiesta or even Focus hatch. The only area of slight annoyance is the ventilation. Air con is standard but the system is cumbersome and slow to react, which means you'll be waiting a good 10 minutes for warm air on a chilly morning.


There’s no three-door SC version of the Ibiza with this generation, which is no great loss as most buyers opted for the five-door hatch anyway. It also means you get the practicality of the five-door regardless of which trim you choose.


The engine range encompasses three- and four-cylinder petrols, with the sweet spot being the 1.0 TSI. The turbocharged three-cylinder petrol is one of the very best and can be specified with 95PS or 115PS, and both will return around 50mpg. A 150PS 1.5 TSI and a 1.6 TDI with 80PS or 95PS is also offered.


As an overall package, the Ibiza is a very good small car. It's supremely comfortable and practical, while few of its rivals can match its outstanding petrol engines. 


The only area that lets the side down is the spec. Indeed, standard equipment levels are meagre, which means you’ll have to pay extra to get essentials like DAB audio, touchscreen navigation and cruise control. Like-for-like, the Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift represent better value for equipment, though the SEAT does balance this with low running costs.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017) review.


 Is the SEAT Ibiza right for you?

While there’s much talk about how well many small hatches handle corners, the truth is most of us want a comfortable car and the SEAT Ibiza delivers here. Its supple suspension copes very well with the punches thrown at it by most road surfaces, leaving its occupants unruffled and ready for the day ahead when they reach their destination.


This refined nature is further helped in the Ibiza by engines that are hushed and perform well, while the cabin itself serves up more space than you’ll find in almost any other small hatch bar the Kia Rio. It means the SEAT works as the only car for families thanks to plenty of room in the back seats and the boot.


What you will need to consider with the SEAT is how much you are prepared to spend on additional equipment. The standard specification of most models means you need to tick at least a couple of options to bring the Ibiza up to the same level as its direct competitors, which increases the price you pay.


What’s the best SEAT Ibiza model/engine to choose?

Without hesitation, we’d head straight for the 1.0 TSI turbo petrol engine as the pick of the motors. It comes in 95- and 115PS power outputs and we’d point you towards the more powerful version as it gives the same fuel economy as the less potent one but has more oomph for motorway driving.


On faster roads, this engine is smooth, quiet and has sufficient power in reserve to make light work of steeper hills or carrying a full load of people and luggage. You can also pick between the easy-shifting six-speed manual gearbox or slick seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Our only reservation with the DSG is its higher carbon dioxide emissions will bump up the amount you pay in road tax.


This engine is only offered in the higher trim levels, not the SE or SE Technology, which is fine by us as it means you get a more generous spread of standard equipment. 


What other cars are similar to the SEAT Ibiza?

You cannot discuss rivals to the SEAT Ibiza without mentioning the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa or Volkswagen Polo. The Ibiza shares much of its base with the Polo but has more affordable prices, while the Fiesta is sharper to drive and the Corsa very much on a par with the SEAT for comfort.


Others to think about in this class are the Skoda Fabia and Kia Rio if you want similar space and comfort to the Ibiza. Or the Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2 and Honda Jazz deliver on quality. We’d also consider the French contingent in the forms of the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio.


Learn more

SEAT Ibiza Driver's Seat

On the inside

SEAT Ibiza Rear View

Driving

SEAT Ibiza Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ibiza Car Functions

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the SEAT Ibiza a good car?

As an overall package, the Ibiza is a very good small car. It's supremely comfortable and practical, while few of its rivals can match its outstanding petrol engines.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What is the difference between SEAT Ibiza and Leon?

Size. The SEAT Leon is the next size up.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Does the SEAT Ibiza have parking sensors?

Parking sensors and a rear-facing parking camera are on offer depending on the spec you choose.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross