SEAT Ibiza III (2002–2009)

Model History

May 2002

The most interesting looking car on VWG's Fabia/Polo/Ibiza OA4 platform. Launched with the most powerful diesel in the line-up: the 1.9 PD 130bhp, combined with the same six-speed gearbox as the Golf. Performance is 0 – 60mph in about 9 seconds, 130mph top speed and 56mpg economy which is likely to be a realistic figure because this engine gives its best on-road performance between 2,000 and 3,000rpm. 6th gear gives 37.5 mph per 1,000 rpm. Price: £13,495.

Other engine options include 64bhp 1.2 litre 3 cylinder chain-cam lightweight, from £7,995; a pair of 1.4 16 valvers with 75 or 100bhp, and a PD 100bhp TDI. 1.8 turbo version followed in 2004.

Though it shares traditional, high-waisted chunky looks with previous Ibiza, the new car is 77mm longer, 58mm wider and 19mm taller with 56mm extra rear legroom and a 267 litre boot. Prices from £7,995 for the 1.2 (£8,495 with a/c) to £13,495 for the TDI 130 six speed.

February 2003

150bhp Cupra R diesel and 180bhp 20VT Cupra R with 17" wheels launched at Geneva Motor Show, early 2003. Both seem to have Brembo front calipers.

July 2003

75bhp 1.4 TDI diesels available in UK from July 2003. 150PS Ibiza FR from April 2004, does 135mph, 0-60 in 8.1 seconds, list price £13,515. 180bhp Cupra listed at £15,500 shown at Birmingham motor show. Also 160bhp 1.9 Cupra TDI 6-speed at £16,000. More at

July 2004

Range and price changes from July 2004: 2004 range starts with Ibiza Reference priced at £8,000. Has electric front windows, radio CD, rev counter, digital clock, twin front airbags with passenger airbag deactivation, ABS with EBA, remote central locking and immobiliser. £8,000 price allows choice of 1.2-litre 64PS or 1.4-litre 75PS petrol engine, or, for £1,200 more, same Reference spec with 1.4-litre 75PS TDi. The same 1.2 and 1.4 petrol engines available in the Ibiza S which also comes with air conditioning. 1.4 litre version is auto only.

2004 prices were £8,300 for the 1.2 (just £300 more than the same car without a/c) and £9,500 for the 1.4 Auto. Ibiza SX spec replaces the previous SE model. Has climate control, front fog lights and 15” alloy wheels and is priced at £8,800 for the 1.2 and 1.4, £10,000 for the 1.4 TDi and £10,900 for the more powerful 1.9 TDi 100PS.

Prices of Ibiza FR models were also cut and petrol and diesel match each other. Both the 1.8 20V T 150PS and 1.9 TDi 130PS versions cost £12,950 on the road. Similar story with the top of the range SEAT Sport-built Ibiza Cupra. 1.9 TDi 160PS, available July, costs £15,500, a reduction of £500, and matches the price of the 1.8 20V T 180PS version, available from late 2004. EU4 1.4 TDI with 80PS from November 2005. 0-60 in 12.6, top speed 109mph, 61.4mpg combines and 124g/km CO2.

April 2006

2006 range on sale. 150PS FR petrol model reduced £1,045 to £11,950. New front design, bigger wheels, more dramatic rear look. Good value, great handler and enormous fun to drive. Rest of range prices stay same, starting at £7,550 for 64PS 1.2 Reference 3-dr.

October 2007

Ibiza Ecomotive launched

99g/km (VED free) 1.4 TDI Ecomotive launched at Frankfurt Motor Show. Remarkable 74.3mpg combined. On sale UK 24-12-2007 from £10,995, delivery from April 2008. 99 g/km – even with standard-fit air conditioning (which 99g/km Polo BlueMotion does not have). Joint-lowest CO2 emitting new car on sale in the UK. 0-60mph in 12.5 seconds.

Also fresh for 2008, is the high value 1.4-litre 100 PS Sport featuring 100 PS 16-valve petrol engine with five-speed manual gearbox. 0-60 10.9 seconds, top speed 118 mph. Has stiffened and lowered sports suspension. 16-inch alloys with 205/45 rubber, body-coloured rear spoiler, grippy sports seats, leather-clad three-spoke steering wheel and gearknob, and great-sounding MP3-compatible CD/radio with AUX-in connection. Fair price of £9,395 RRP.

Continuing unchanged is the 1.9 TDI Sport – featuring a punchy yet economical 100 PS turbodiesel engine – with an equally untouched price tag of £10,995 RRP. The revised Ibiza model line-up for 2008 begins with high spec Reference Sport – available with either a characterful 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol or frugal 1.4-litre TDI three-cylinder turbodiesel and priced from only £8,695 RRP.

At the other end of the scale, the range is now topped off by the energetic FR with a 130 PS 1.9-litre TDI engine offering a distinctly hot sub-ten second 0-62 mph time, 129 mph top speed (where permissible), a silky six-speed manual gearbox and top-notch levels of equipment – and all for an eye-catching £13,350 RRP.

January 2018

Haynes manual for SEAT Ibiza Mk III 2002-2008 announced:

Covers Petrol 1.2 litre (1198 cc), 1.4 litre (1390 cc) and 1.6 litre (1590cc) SOHC and DOHC. Turbo-Diesel: 1.4 litre (1422 cc) and 1.9 litre (1896 cc). Does NOT cover Cupra models, or new model range introduced May 2008. Does NOT cover models with 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 litre petrol engines or 1.9 litre non-turbo diesel engine.