SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017) Review logo

SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017) Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2008
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Cost-effective hatch with flair

Best bits

  • Crisp styling still looks fresh
  • Economical engine range
  • Most models are well kitted out

Not so great

  • Wind noise can intrude at motorway speeds
  • Cabin looks plain next to some rivals
  • Rear seats are cramped

Read by

SEAT Ibiza Front Side View

Overall verdict

SEAT Ibiza Front Interior

On the inside

SEAT Ibiza Front View

Driving

SEAT Ibiza Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ibiza Logo

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"SEAT made a great job of the Ibiza launched in 2008 to push itself right into the heart of the small hatch eco-system. Using the Volkswagen Polo as a base was always going to be a brilliant place to start and SEAT built on this by divvying up the Ibiza into three distinct lines under the same umbrella."

SEAT Ibiza Front Side View

These three versions consisted of the SC coupe-like three-door hatch, a roomy ST estate and the five-door hatch. It’s the hatch that was the mainstay of the range to take on the might of the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.


While the Ibiza’s sales figures were not quite in the same league as these two giants of the small car market, it was the best-selling model in the SEAT range. It’s easy to see why when you consider you had the underpinnings of a Polo at a keener price. It’s much the same story with this Ibiza in the used market.


The Ibiza is also well equipped and has some of the lowest running costs in its sector, especially if you opt for the Ecomotive model that delivers 92g/km CO2 emissions and 80.7mpg combined economy. Even by today’s standards, this model makes for cost-effective ownership.


As well as its financial appeal, the Ibiza scores with its crisp styling that helps it stand out from the crowd in a busy car park. SEAT is also not shy when it comes to offering diversity in the trim line-up, though the five-door model foregoes the most rapid Cupra edition that took on the Fiesta ST, Renault Clio RS and Vauxhall Corsa VXR.


Inside, it’s a good place to spend any journey, though those travelling in the back may find space a little cramped. Even so, the SEAT Ibiza is a handsome and able hatch with a wide choice of engines, trims and well judged pricing that should see it on most buyers shortlists.


SEAT launched the revised Ibiza in mid-2012 and it's available with a new Portable Media System with a touchscreen display that includes a navigation system, on-board computer and Bluetooth. It is fully integrated with the Ibiza's electronics and is also removable for using on the move.


On top of all this, the SEAT Ibiza is also one of the better cars in its class to drive. From the start, it always felt a little more taut and lively that the Polo with which it shared so many of its raw components. The Spanish firm seemed to have the knack of making the Ibiza more fun to drive while also introducing better ride control to give it a small but significant comfort advantage over its German cousin.


This makes the 2008-2017 Ibiza a very sound choice now for anyone looking for a comfortable, affordable and good looking small hatchback.


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

Is the SEAT Ibiza right for you?

Whether you need a practical five-door hatch, compact estate or SC three-door with a bit of pizzazz, the SEAT Ibiza has it covered. For most needs, we’d stick with the five-door hatch unless you really must have the hot hatch Cupra model that only came as a three-door.


With the five-door, you get a distinctively styled small hatch with good equipment levels and safety all as standard. On top of that, the cabin offers good space in the front and class average accommodation in the rear, while the quality of materials is good, even if they don’t always look the most attractive.


As for the engines and gearboxes, all fulfil their briefs more than adequately. The 105PS 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine will be more than up to the job for most drivers. However, if you need to keep fuel bills to a minimum, there’s the 1.2-litre Ecomotive turbodiesel that can turn in an official economy of 80.7mpg and 92g/km carbon dioxide emissions to make it very cheap to own and run.


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

We’d stick to the five-door Ibiza for the best balance between looks, style and practicality. While the rear seats may not be the most generous out of all hatchback, at least getting in and out of the rear is easier than with the SC model.


For power, we’d recommend the 1.2-litre TSI turbo petrol with 105PS. It comes with plenty of fire in its belly from low down in the rev range for easy town driving yet it can also cruise all day on the motorway with good refinement. Should you need something that sips fuel, the Ecomotive version with 1.2-litre 75PS turbodiesel is the car for you thanks to its 80.7mpg average economy.


When it comes to trim level, there are several to choose from, but we’d go for the SE if you want comfort or the FR if you fancy something a little sportier in style and feel. There was also the Copa model introduced in early 2011 based on the SE trim that comes with added luxuries such as cruise control and electric windows all round that is worth seeking out.


What other cars are similar to the SEAT Ibiza?

The rivals to the SEAT Ibiza are like a tick list of the big hitters in the small hatch market. So, they are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, which the Ibiza shares a lot its base components with. All of these rivals are practical, able and offer a wide range of engines and trims.


You should also look to the Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia and Toyota Yaris as other contenders the Ibiza has to beat for your attention. On top of that, there’s also the Honda Jazz, Mazda 2 and, for those wanting a lot of style, the MINI.


Learn more

SEAT Ibiza Front Interior

On the inside

SEAT Ibiza Front View

Driving

SEAT Ibiza Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ibiza Logo

Prices, versions and specification

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