SEAT Ibiza (2002 – 2009) Review

SEAT Ibiza (2002 – 2009) At A Glance


+More interesting looking than a Polo. 1.8 petrol turbo FR good fun.

-Same faults as Polo.

On average it achieves 94% of the official MPG figure

I really thought I was going to love this car. After all, I'd been very fond of the old Ibiza, especially in TDI 110 and 1.8T Cupra incarnations. I'd rated the new Polo on which the new Ibiza is based as a joyful little car and good fun to drive. So I had high expectations that the SEAT Centro Stile in Sitges would have come up with something really special.

SEAT Ibiza 2002 Road Test



Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a SEAT Ibiza (2002 – 2009)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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Real MPG average for a SEAT Ibiza (2002 – 2009)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

25–75 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

My car won't start and when it does, I lose power steering. What's the issue?
"I have a 2010 SEAT Ibiza. Occasionally it won’t start, so I have to jump-start it. Also, if I slam the bonnet down and the car is off, it will not start either. Today, I jumped it and it started but the power steering light came on. The steering was heavy so I turned it off and on again. It was fine but then the horn would beep randomly when driving! If you have any idea what could be wrong that would be great."
It sounds like the battery either needs reconditioning or replacing. You can do this with the battery attached to the car using a trickle charger such as the CTEK MXS 5.0. Cold/winter starting requires about 70-85% of the battery's power to start the engine - if you're only driving short distances then the system won't be able to put enough charge back into the battery to keep it topped up. Would also check the battery terminal connections are tight as it sounds like they might be coming loose.
Answered by Keith Moody
My car keeps overheating - what's the problem?
"Recently, I had the water pump changed in my 2005 SEAT Ibiza. It was always at 90 on my temp gauge, but since the pump change it keeps overheating. It's not the coolant as I've topped it up and there are no leaks. Also my heaters are not blowing hot, is this an air lock problem or thermostat problem?"
Well firstly eliminate the air lock by removing the filler cap from the expansion tank and run the engine (also squeeze the coolant hoses making sure of any moving parts). If you have any air in the system, it should show as bubbles in the expansion tank. If your engine is overheating (going into the red) within the first 15 mins of the engine running then I would suspect the thermostat. The other thing to check would be the heater control valve, in relation to the overheating and also the lack of heat in the car.
Answered by Alan Ross
Which hatchback should I buy?
"I have a fair budget for a used car, preferably a petrol hot hatch with reasonable MPG consumption and also suitable for everyday car use. I am thinking of something up to a 2.0-litre engine. I am looking currently at the SEAT Ibiza III FR, SEAT Leon Cupra, SEAT Ibiza VI FR, SEAT Leon, Audi S3, Audi A3, Audi quattro, Volkswagen Golf V GTI, and Volkswagen Polo V. Can you please advice me what is the best choice and also what are the most common issues with the above cars."
The current Ibiza Cupra 1.8 TSI or Polo GTI 1.8 TSI are good, but a Ford Fiesta ST goes and handles better. Avoid Audi A1, Ibiza and Polo with the 1.4 Twincharger engine and DSG transmission. Current A3 with EA888 engine okay; previous one had trouble with timing chain, piston rings and coking up of inlet valves. The current SEAT Leon FR 1.8 TSI with independent rear suspension is okay. I'd avoid the previous generation of hot Leon because they are ugly. Avoid Golf V and VI because they are the most troublesome cars recorded. Polo and Ibiza 1.2 with timing chains can have timing chain trouble. Check them all out at
Answered by Honest John
What power steering fluid should I use in my SEAT Ibiza 1.9 TDI?
"My 2006 SEAT Ibiza 1.9 TDI has a steering fluid leak somewhere. I read it´s important to use the right type of fluid, but can´t find the type in the manual. Also do you know if using a ´stop leak´product works too? "
Don't even dream of adding a stop leak product to the PAS fluid. The leak may merely be a pipe union, so check them first. Here's the correct fluid:
Answered by Honest John
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