SEAT Ibiza 5 Door Hatch Review
The SEAT Ibiza is available in a number of variants, namely their SC (3 Door Sports Hatch/Coupe), sporty Cupra and the most popular variant their 5 Door Hatch.
Sharing the same platform as the VW Polo and Skoda Fabia, the Ibiza is a large small car, providing substantially more internal space than one would think. Its sharp angular lines give it a visual edge over the likes of the Fabia making it a more attractive proposition visually.
Inside the Ibiza is clearly well built with good attention to detail. The shared switchgear with its cousins is not a bad thing at all as it
all feels solid and operation is positive. The upholstery appears hard wearing and the seats are definitely on the firm side but still pretty comfortable. A 3 hour drive did not leave me refreshed and I was glad to be able to stretch my legs, but far more expensive cars have left me feeling worse. Seating for 4 adults in comfort is entirely possible for all but the longest journeys and tallest passengers. Whilst there is a 5th centre seatbelt, 5 adults across the back would most likely result in a fight for shoulder space, but for 3 children it would be fine.
Specification wise, the Ibiza comes in several trim levels starting with the aptly names SOL which comes with Bluetooth Hands Free, DAB Radio/CD, Cruise Control, AirCon, and Alloy Wheels. Certainly enough for most junior sales execs needing a company car. The SE Technology (on Test) essentially adds Satellite Navigation to the mix but strangely drops cruise control. The FR Technology builds on both the SOL and SE Tech (you get your Cruise Control back), and adds sportier styling, larger alloy wheels snd sportier suspension, Auto Lights & Wipers, and sports seats. For those wanting even more, the FR Red Edition adds larger
wheels again, tinted rear windows, and red trims inside and out giving it an even sportier look. The Cupra model again downgrades you removing the Sat Nav but gives you even sportier styling over the FR and adds climate control. The range topping Cupra Black Editon re-instates the Sat Nav and gives you black wheels.
The entry level SOL will tick most peoples boxes who would most likely just purchase an aftermarket SatNav instead of up/down grading to the SE Tech. SEATs strange upgrade/downgrade trim level progression does seem to coach the buyer for a yet higher spec to get what they would have had on a lower trim level, if they want better styling.
Engine wise, the Ibiza comes with 1.0l 3 Cylinder producing a rather lacklustre 75hp and the 1.2TSi 90hp or 110hp (which we have also tested) petrol engine is a significant improvement over this whilst still giving good economy. The 1.0l EcoTSi wrings further power from the little 3 cylinder unit with the addition of a small turbo charger. Their most powerful 1.4 EcoTSi produces a rather healthy 150hp to satisfy those wanting to get from 0-62 as quickly as possible. The supremely economical 1.4TDi, on test, will most likely be the fleet car of choice. Producing only 75hp it certainly wont win any drag races, and struggled a little at motorway speeds, especially up hill, but delivering an impressive 74mpg combined
whilst producing only 100g/km in CO2 it is certainly an attractive proposition even if it does take you 13s to get to 62mph. The FR trim level (which we have also tested) does attract a more powerful diesel at 105hp and the range topping Cupra is furnished with a 1.8TSi engine with a very impressive 182hp getting you to 62 in under 7s.
Overall, the SEAT Ibiza is a somewhat schizophrenic car with its rather pedestrian and somewhat underpowered 1.4TDi and 1.0TSi at one end and its almost fire breathing 1.8TSi Cupra at the other. The sweet spot is perhaps the 1.2TSi which we have also tested. It produces a respectable 105hp, is cheaper to lease than the diesel and still returns in excess of 50mpg without needing to worry about DPF’s. Build quality and specification is overall impressive and it is certainly a good prospect for a company fleet especially taking into account the cost to lease it which can be around £165+VAT/month, on a Business Contract Hire, for the 1.4TDi FR Tech or sub £130+VAT/month for the 1.2TSi FR, on a 3+35 contract covering 10,000 miles per annum.
Facts & Figures (Ibiza 1.4TDi Ecomotive  SE Tech, on Test):
Engine: 1.4 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
Top Speed: 107mph
Fuel Economy (Combined): 76mpg
CO2 Emissions: 100g/km
If you would like to find out more about the SEAT Ibiza, please contact JCS Fleet using the contact form below or call us on 01223 911 761.