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Our Cars: SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI SE

19 January 2018: One step to well-being – why the Ibiza helps you de-stress after a long day at work

The Details

Current mileage 5781
Claimed economy 60.1mpg
Actual economy 54.3mpg

I have to admit that I get a sense of being short-changed each time I climb into the Ibiza. The minimalist interior, while neat, does have a feeling of sparseness that you don't get in Fiesta. The 50 shades of grey interior colour pallet does little to help matters either. And on a wet January afternoon, it’s difficult to know where the sky ends and dashboard begins.

Yet, for what it lacks in visual plushness, the Ibiza makes up for in comfort. In fact, it's a great car for winding down after a long day in the office, with its comfy seats and quiet engine providing a welcome break from the bustle of the outside world.

The seats are one area where the Ibiza shines, with the wide base and generous padding providing excellent back support. I've already taken the Ibiza from Cambridge to the Lake District and last week I had to venture 200 miles to the West County, yet I arrived feeling fresh thanks to the Ibiza's excellent all-round refinement. 

With winter biting hard, the roads are suffering badly with ruts and potholes, but the Ibiza’s supple suspension and 15-inch wheels with 185/65 R15 tyres seem to take it all in their stride. Indeed, the ride quality is excellent. And even the deepest of potholes will leave little more than a suppressed thump in the ride.  

SEAT Ibiza _ 006 (1)

   The Ibiza's large interior make it surprisingly practical and comfortable for long trips

The huge boot and five-door body style also give the Ibiza valuable Brownie points when it comes to everyday usability. The extra set of doors, for example, prevent passengers from leaving muddy footprints on the back of the seats, while the fold flat rear bench makes it easy to carry bulky items. In fact, as a small car package, I'd go as far to say that the Ibiza is one of the most-practical I've ever had. 

A lot of the Ibiza's feel-good factor comes from its honest fuel economy. Over the past five months the 1.0 TSI engine has averaged in the mid-50s and this means it's a cheap car to use on my 62 mile daily commute, with the journey costing just £6.33 - based on 121.9p-per-litre of petrol. 

The optional touchscreen navigation system has also saved my bacon on the daily commute, with live traffic updates providing useful reroutes to avoid delays and jams. On the downside, a twisty B road will highlight the Ibiza's shortcomings in the handling department. And while the drive is safe and predictable, the overpowered steering does feel like it's constantly fed through cotton wool.  

The steering does come into its own in town. In fact, in my home town of Cambridge, the Ibiza is a sinch to swing into a space or hop across a busy junction. What's more, because the engine is quiet and cabin well made, you don't get much in the way of exterior noise in the cabin. Which again makes the Ibiza a great car for winding down in. 

« Earlier: SEAT Ibiza vs Ford Fiesta - which is better?     Later: SEAT Ibiza end of term report »

Updates
After six months and 6000+ miles, the time has come for Dan to say goodbye to his SEAT Ibiza, but will he be sorry to see it go?
19 January 2018: One step to well-being – why the Ibiza helps you de-stress after a long day at work
The cabin might look a little bare, but the Ibiza is one of the most-comfortable small cars you can buy.
SEAT Ibiza meets its key rival during a recent road test, but which compact hatchback is best?
Two cars almost become one when Dan compares the SEAT Ibiza with the Volkswagen Polo.
Thinking of buying a diesel Ibiza? Don't. The 1.0 TSI is more than up to the task.
Lightweight and front-wheel drive: the Ibiza is the perfect cold weather companion.
With a number of long distance drives under its belt, the Ibiza is proving to be a refined motorway machine
With the weather taking a turn for the worst, the Ibiza's heating system is giving Dan a lukewarm reception.
When it comes to boot space, the SEAT Ibiza has the competition beaten with its gargantuan luggage capacity.
It might be smaller than its predecessor, but the Ibiza delivers big on refinement and space.
After just two weeks, the Ibiza is on its way back to SEAT HQ due to an air con fault.
Dan prepares for six months of holiday jokes and puns, with the delivery of the new SEAT Ibiza.
 

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