Bulletproof Volkwagen engines plus a few homebrewed stunners give owners a great choice of powerplants to choose from.
For those who enjoy fuel economy the 1.2 diesel cannot be beaten.
The ride and handling are exemplary, as should be expected from the PQ25 platform.
The latest facelifted models were penned by an ex-Lamborghini designer and look superb, especially the more aggressive sports orientated models like the Cupra.
Wind noise is a problem at speed.
The smaller power engines sound strained when asked to perform. The diesels also only seem to quieten down once a steady speed is reached.
The grey plastic gremlin that plagues the supermini class is definitely present in the lower trim models. It all feels far too utilitarian inside. Though the firm adjustable seats almost make you forget.
This Spanish supermini has been around since 1984 and Seat's partnership with Volkswagen has seen it come on leaps and bounds in recent years. The current incarnation is the fourth generation and was
first released in 2008. If there's one thing that marks it apart from the competition it's the presence of the ST estate model in addition to the usual 3 and 5 door styles. Some would argue an estate supermini is a contradiction in terms but options are always nice. Indeed Seat are really getting the most out of the Volkswagen Group's PQ25 platform.
Another area where Seat's partnership with Volkswagen pays off is the engine selection. The Ibiza largely features the same powerplants as the Polo range, which is good, because these 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 litre engines are naturally torquey and almost bulletproof in terms of reliability. In addition Seat also offer a 2.0 powerplant that gives great performance though with a shaky fuel consumption figure. The diesels of the range, range from the 1.2 to the 2.0 litre TDi. The 1.6 litre TDi is worthy of note,
supplying over 100 BHP whilst still retaining over 60 miles per gallon. If sporty performance is really your thing the 1.4 Cupra provides 148 BHP from an engine that is turbo supercharged.
The 2012 facelift of the Seat Ibiza range improved upon the already successful "arrow" design leading to quite a handsome car. The restyling of the face gives the new Ibiza a sleeker appearance than the pre-facelift models. Unlike some other ranges the Seat Ibiza has a trim level designation you can actually keep up with! E is the entry-level trim, then S, SE and Sport. The FR, Cupra and Bocanegra special edition are the flagship models. As one should expect from a Mediterranean car all trim levels except the E feature air con too.
The Ibiza is definitely in the top 5 superminis at the moment. Since this generation was released in 2008 there have been numerous awards including two presitigious Red Dot awards from the car designers at Nordrhein Westfalen Design Centre. The partnership with Volkswagen has been great for the Ibiza but often leads to the question, why not just get a Polo?