SEAT Ibiza (2017) Review

Looking for a SEAT Ibiza (2017 on)?
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SEAT Ibiza (2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
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 petrol engines.

+Excellent 1.0 and 1.5 petrol engines, calm and comfortable ride quality, has one of the largest boots in its class.

-Not as sharp to drive as its rivals, standard kit is a little thin, disappointing air con and heating system.

New prices start from £17,440, brokers can source from £11,261
Insurance Groups are between 11–17
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

While SEAT might be perceived as the sportier outpost of the Volkswagen Group empire, the fourth generation Ibiza launched in 2017 took a deliberate step towards comfort rather than chasing the dynamism of the Ford Fiesta. It’s a move that has worked in the Ibiza’s favour to make it feel more rounded and grown-up, with comfort that’s among the best in class. That’s backed up by plenty of space for passengers and luggage, so the Ibiza can easily function as a family’s only car. There are not many superminis that can make that claim.

Looking for a SEAT Ibiza (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

The fourth-generation SEAT Ibiza launched in 2017 represents an important step forward for the Spanish company in its pursuit of the Ford Fiesta.

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.

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. G

iven the demands of most supermini 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.

Ask Honest John

What's the best used car for £10,000?
"I’m looking for a used car with low mileage for my son’s partner. It needs to be reliable, reasonably stylish and preferably one owner. Any thoughts? Thank you."
A Ford Fiesta's a pretty safe used car choice. It's stylish, reliable and there are plenty about so you can be picky about condition. Also consider a SEAT Ibiza or Volkswagen Polo.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What small, petrol cars have a big boot?
"I currently have a Mazda 3, which my son will be taking over. I need to replace this with a much smaller car (in length) due to parking space restrictions at home. I'm thinking of a 5-door MINI, but I need a large boot. My other son plays cricket and has a large cricket bag. Do you have any recommendations for a small, manual, petrol or hybrid car? I'm looking for no more than five years old and would ideally like to pay around £10,000 or less. Thank you."
A SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI would be a good car for your needs. It has one of the largest boots in its class and measures roughly four metres in length. A budget of £10,000 should get you a 2018 model: We ran one for six months and were very impressed with its comfort and fuel economy:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a fun to drive, economical, small car for £10k?
"I've had a SEAT Leon for the last four years: zero road tax and 60+ to the gallon but the visibility is dreadful and I cannot get out of the car without getting my legs/trousers dirty or wet because of the sill. Can you suggest a smaller, but still economical, car that is fun to drive. I'm looking to spend £10k for a used car."
I'd look for a Suzuki Swift. It's good fun, cheap to run and excellent value for money with high-spec 2018 models available for your budget. Alternatively, a SEAT Ibiza might be a good option - you'll just about get the latest model for £10,000. Also look at the Ford Fiesta - again, the latest model (introduced in 2017) is dropping below £10,000.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Why is it so expensive to update an in-built navigation system?
"Why are cars with sat nav sought after? My 18-month-old SEAT Ibiza's map needs an update. The dealer told me they don't do it. He said people go online to try but it costs £139 and some people "brick" their system. This is scandalous. I know you have agreed with this in the past but how do we force a change? "
I think the future is looking bleak for in-built navigation. Phones do a better job of it and can connect seamlessly via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Your dealer should be able to update your system for a fee - trying shopping around, it does vary between dealers.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a SEAT Ibiza (2017) cost?

Buy new from £11,261 (list price from £16,445)