Our Cars: SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI SE

29 September 2017: Good things come in small packages with the Ibiza

The Details

Current mileage 1158
Claimed economy 60.1mpg
Actual economy 52.6mpg

Typical small car has grown significantly in recent years. The MINI hatch, for example, now stands at two metres wide and four metres long, which contradicts its compact connotations. The reason for the bulging body panels is mostly down to buyer demands for more interior space and improved safety. But sadly, parking spaces haven’t kept up with the average size of cars. Especially in my hometown of Cambridge. 

Thankfully, the SEAT Ibiza goes against the grain of ever-growing cars, because it's actually 6mm shorter than the car it replaces. Now, before anyone emails to complain, I accept this isn't a huge difference in size, but every little helps. Especially when it comes to parking and squeezing through small gaps in traffic. 

As well as being a shave smaller than the old car, the Ibiza also has a longer wheelbase and this probably explains why the ride quality is so much better. Indeed, the suspension doesn't pitch or crash down heavily when confronted with pot holes and it also takes speed bumps in its stride. 

The latest Ibiza also has a lot more interior space than previously, with the rear seats being large enough to carry two adults in comfort. There is an additional seat and headrest in the middle, but things turn into a bit of a squeeze when you try and fit three people in the back. 

SEAT Ibiza _ 038

The Ibiza has enough room in the back for two adults to fit.

As you can gather, I'm quite impressed with the Ibiza, but it does have a black mark on its glowing report card in relation to the air con system. A few weeks ago it had to return to SEAT HQ for air con repairs. The system started playing up in the warm weather and - according to SEAT, a loose wire was the culprit.

However, since returning the car from the workshop, the air con still feels below par. In warm weather, for example, the cabin takes ages to cool down. I've also noticed that the windscreen mists up in wet weather, unless you have the blowers directed at the screen permanently and have the fan on a high setting. 

Fuel economy is improving though, with the car now averaging at 52.6mpg over the 1158 miles that I've covered so far. With the engine stilling running-in, I'm optimistic that this figure will climb as the weeks and months tick by. It remains to be seen if the Ibiza will match the beat the three-cylinder petrol engine in the Baleno though. 

With a busy few weeks coming up, I'll be clocking up quite a few miles in the SEAT and it will be interesting to see how it fares in terms of economy and refinement. What's more, with winter on the way, I'm curious how the heating system will cope with cold. 

« Earlier: Air con cracks up in the heat     Later: The space race in the Ibiza »

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Lightweight and front-wheel drive: the Ibiza is the perfect cold weather companion.
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With the weather taking a turn for the worst, the Ibiza's heating system is giving Dan a lukewarm reception.
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29 September 2017: Good things come in small packages with the Ibiza
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After just two weeks, the Ibiza is on its way back to SEAT HQ due to an air con fault.
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