SEAT Ibiza SC (2008 – 2017) Review

SEAT Ibiza SC (2008 – 2017) At A Glance


+Nicely styled coupe-like three-door hatch. Efficient range of petrol and diesel engines. Good levels of standard equipment.

-Not as practical as its rivals. Starting to feel dated inside. Have been reported problems with the 1.4 TSI engine and DSG gearbox.

Insurance Groups are between 3–29
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The SEAT Ibiza SC is a stylish and cheaper alternative to the likes of the popular Ford Fiesta. List prices are low if you're buying new and  it's a cheap car to run too thanks to economical engines. While the little Ibiza may be getting on a bit, it's still easy on the eye, while its nimble handling and comfortable cabin make it a pleasant small hatch.

Low-cost motoring is key to the Ibiza's appeal. The range starts from under £10,000 new and almost all of the petrol engines are good for economy. The excellent 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol is the highlight of the range, with punchy performance and claimed economy of more than 65mpg.

There are also some good diesels. Early versions of the Ibiza were offered with the 1.6 and 1.2 TDI, with the latter returning more than 80mpg - according to the official figures at least. The range was updated in in 2015, with much better 1.4 TDI engine replacing both.

Visually, the Ibiza hasn't changed a great deal since it was launched in 2008. The bumpers, grille and headlights have been tweaked, but the design inside and out remains fairly close to the original. This means the interior is now pretty dated, with lots of dull grey plastics and some cheap-looking switchgear. There isn't a lot of space for those in the back either, with the arched roof and narrow footwells making it an uncomfortable fit for tall adults.

The three-door Ibiza SC shares its base with the Volkswagen Polo, which means it is refined for long distance motorway runs. The responsive steering and light weight mean it's engaging to drive on twisty roads. Admittedly, the ride is on the firm side of comfortable, but the 2015 mid-life update fixed this with much improved suspension.

Good to drive and attractively styled, the SEAT Ibiza has plenty to offer buyers who want something different to the Fiesta, Mazda 2 or Polo. What's more, with prices starting at under £10,000, the Ibiza is good value. SEAT dealers also have a reputation for being flexible when it comes to deals, which means canny buyers should be able to get a new, mid-spec Ibiza for considerably less than advertised.

SEAT Ibiza Cupra 1.8 TSI 2016 Road Test

Real MPG average for a SEAT Ibiza SC (2008 – 2017)


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

26–82 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.

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Ask Honest John

I've just passed my test - should I trade in my car for something older but faster?

"I passed my test about three months ago and currently drive a 2010 SEAT Ibiza. I want to buy some aesthetical upgrades for it such as respraying the wheels and such, however I have found a 2005 SEAT Ibiza Cupra 1.8 turbo for £2000. My current Ibiza is newer and has more features and higher quality however it annoys me that it struggles getting up to speed on slight gradients. Should I sell my current car and buy the Cupra or upgrade my current car?"
This is going to sound like a real 'dad' answer, but I'd save your cash. Cosmetic upgrades to your current Ibiza will do little to improve it and could make your insurance more expensive (you MUST tell your insurance company). It might even devalue your car as second hand buyers rarely appreciate such modifications. A 2005 Ibiza will be less reliable and require more maintenance and will probably cost more to insure. Save your money, get a few years' driving experience and then look at buying something genuinely sporty, if that's what you want.
Answered by Andrew Brady

SEAT Ibiza starting problem

"I own a 2008 SEAT Ibiza. A few weeks ago the car refused to start with a flat battery. The problem has become more and more frequent. Any idea what the fault could be? "
Might be the interior light dimmer switch. Switch it off altogether. Then take the car for a run of at least 30 miles or have the battery re-charged.
Answered by Honest John

SEAT Ibiza DSG problems

"I bought my SEAT ibiza in 2010. The mechatronic is defective and needs replacement. The problem is it will cost me around 2500$ at the dealer and I can't find it used. My question is does the mechatronic do this, meaning stop working with no previous signs? And where do you think I can get a cheaper mechatronic from Europe. I live in Lebanon."
This is a worldwide (but frequently denied) problem with the VWG dry-clutch 7-speed DSG/ S tronic transmission. In an effort to make them maintenance-free they were filled with synthetic fluid on the production line. The problem is that over time and especially in a hot climate, this fluid becomes conductive and fuses the Mechatronics leaving the car with no means of changing gear and thereby no drive. If the car has been fully maintained by a SEAT dealer you may have the basis for a claim against the dealer or against SEAT. There is little point in opening the box and trying to replace the Mechatronics alone. Better a replacement transmission, already filled with mineral rather than synthetic fluid.
Answered by Honest John

Is the Volkswagen 1.4 TSI a problem engine?

"I own a 2009 SEAT Ibiza 1.4 TSI with a DSG gearbox. I am thinking of getting rid of it due to the numerous engine and DSG problems I have read about and its dated Volkswagen Polo rear suspension. I am thinking of replacing it with a Volkswagen or Audi, but do they have the same engine gearbox and suspension? Would I possibly have the same 1.4 TSI and DSG gearbox problems?"
The latest generation MQB based A3, Golf, Leon, Octavia and even Fabia have new belt cam 1.2 and 1.4TSI engines, an apparently improved seven-speed dry clutch DSG and, in the case of the A3 and higher spec GT + Golfs or FR Leons, new independent rear suspension that gives excellent ride quality.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a SEAT Ibiza SC (2008 – 2017) cost?