SEAT Ibiza (2008 - 2017)

5
reviewed by Anonymous on 13 September 2021
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 15 May 2021
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 3 November 2020
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 3 November 2020
4
reviewed by Greyseat on 19 September 2019
5
reviewed by Peter Van Eker on 10 November 2017
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 31 October 2015
5

Sport 1.6 TDI CR 5dr Hatchback

reviewed by Kieran1602 on 4 August 2014
5
Overall rating
5
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
4
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
3
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
Experience at the dealership
4
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Fun and trusty friend

To give a little bit of context, I have been driving for around about a year. In that time I have driven an inordinate number of cars as I bought my first car on a whim. The following car was to be the right car for me. I owned a 2010 Vauxhall Astra 1.4, I've driven the new Swift, the New Fiesta, the New Vauxhall Adam, Citroen C4, DS3/4 and a Toyota Auris. And this was my first choice.

THE GOOD

The Seat Ibiza is something that's a little bit different to the every day Fiesta or Corsa. It has all the hall marks of VAG durability and reliability but with a little bit of flair Volkswagen and Skoda do not seem able to match. The 105bhp diesel engine that's been in every VAG car of similar size for many a year is truly one of the best engines of all time. It has all the power and delivery of the PSA equivalent but a much more stalwart reliability record. The only irritation is that it is a little clattery on idle and when you're sitting at a set of lights. I think that's a trade off worth paying.

It's also quite an enormously large engine for what is essentially a small car. Combine that with the sports set up and you have a cost effective barrel of fun. Perhaps the TSI engines would better suit the more active motorist the engine does have a definite turbo-lag spot below 1600rpm but when it kicks in there is more than enough poke for some quite proactive driving. The 5 speed manual ratios are very well judged, allowing the car to effectively drive with two distinct personalities. Change nice and early and the car will sustain itself with next to no RPM on the clocks burning an infinitesimally small amount of fuel. Chop it down a cog and you get some quite raucous acceleration.

Even better is the handling. I've yet to find the car unable to cope with any manoeuvre I've pulled. Throwing it at a corner at frankly ludicrous speed barely even causes a tyre squeal. The sport set up does have its downsides but get the car on a country road and it's a lot of fun.

And as a consequence of it being a diesel engine, go for a nice long trip on the motorway and you've got a pretty decent long distance cruiser. A larger car with a bigger wheelbase will always be more refined but this car is one of the few small cars that could credibly and reasonably be used for long journeys.

THE NIGGLING

Perhaps because this is a Seat rather than a Volkswagen there are some little niggles with the car which are all almost entirely about interior layout. All of the controls are reasonably well laid out and have a satisfyingly solid feel. The heating controls are dead simple, the indicator stalks are on dampened springs so they have a reassuringly chunky action. The displays are reasonably clear but there are some drawbacks.

First off, the Average mile per gallon display, unlike any car I have ever been, resets every time you enter the car. Most cars average calculators I have ever used collate information over a range of trips but this is not the case of the average calculator. I don't really trust computer based systems an awful lot but it's helpful to have a general idea where things are going.

Second, as you can see from my image my car is a pre facelift version of the MK IV Ibiza. Meaning all of the displays inside the car are red tinted. This is one of my greatest irritations with many manufacturers now (HYundai with their blue displays being one of the most guilty) in that for someone who is colour blind, reading at a glance is virtually impossible especially when tired. Plain white displays, such as those you get in the facelifted versions, are much much better and easier to see.

Third, the placement of certain controls seems utterly illogical. For example, the rear window heater and the hazard switch are placed on the transmission tunnel in front of the Gear lever. Having to reach an inordinately long way to reach either control, and try to negotiate the gear lever itself, seems like poor placement to me. The central locking controls are also based here which again seems like a slightly poor decision.

Finally the original standard stereo (without the USB or blue tooth gubbins) is one of the most featureless systems I've ever used. The ability to fiddle with all of your controls is entirely absent, especially compared to other cars I have used. Plus the CD player seems to struggle to read files on the disc. You end up waiting around 10-30 seconds between songs while the player does its own things. Grand scheme of things it isnt that major, and the radio is basically a double din unit and so can be replaced fairly easily (and you can get moulds on the internet to fit the dashboard) it just seems rather old fashioned.

THE BAD

My only criticism is about tyres. Because of the unusual size of alloys, and the unusual wheel sizes etc you have little option but to buy branded performance tyres for the car. The cheapest you can get are in the region of £120 per tyre which is ludicrously expensive compared to most cars of this size and type. The proof is in the pudding in that sporty tyres do promote fantastic dynamic ability but there is a cost involved as I found out fairly soon after ownership (off tracking causing a tyre to be rendered illegal).

These tyres are low profile tyres which has an inevitable effect on ride comfort. Having never driven the standard versions I cannot comment on their quietness or comfort levels, but the ride is a little compromised in the sport versions. Grip is excellent and wet performance is flawless but you do crash over bumps and imperfections in the road. As a 19 year old it doesn't bother me an awful lot but my parents always comment. Road noise is also relatively present on the motorway, though I'd say my father's 63 plate Leon is little better.


OTHER COMMENTS

Being a VAG car it's also rather good in a crash. I made the unfortunate mistake of rear ending an 05 Fiesta mainly due to being a little bit reckless with the throttle. That fiesta was fitted with a tow bar which I thought would spell doom. Tthe fiesta crumpled and the tow bar even snapped clean off; there is little more than a dented crack in my bumper. It's a solid car to crash in.

SUMMARY

I'd absolutely recommend the Ibiza to anyone. I'd suggest trying the excellent, smooth TSI engines as they are probably better suited to every day motorists but the diesel is not a bad choice at all. The newe versions have better infotainment and arguably better looks so I'd suggest a facelifted version. But any Ibiza is a good prospect.

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3
reviewed by Anonymous on 23 January 2014
4
reviewed by Rich320d on 7 June 2012
5
reviewed by nickt979 on 14 May 2012

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About this car

Price£11,395–£18,255
Road TaxA–F
MPG44.8–80.7 mpg
Real MPG82.0%

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