If you’re in the market for a compact, spacious family car but find the thought of the running around in a small MPV too much to bear then you’d do well to look at the new Seat Ibiza ST.
It’s an estate version of the Ibiza hatchback, so it’s a stylish and impressively comfortable wagon that’ll double as a family load-lugger. Its boot is a spacious 430-litre with the rear seats in place, and the rest of the car is smart enough to get you noticed for all the right reasons.
Does it have the power to cope?
When the Ibiza hatch was launched we criticised its antiquated engines, and while the odd one or two continue to lurk in the ST line-up, Seat has now got its hands on the latest Volkswagen Group engines. These include the sweet 1.2-litre TSI petrol turbocharged engine and the super-frugal 1.6 TDI diesel.
Both generate an identical 105bhp and, thanks to turbocharging, both are spookily similar in character. The TSI petrol engine is actually the diamond in the range, pulling strongly from low revs and proving happy to spin smoothly right up to the red line. In the Ecomotive version, which comes with stop-start technology, this engine will return a credible average economy figure of 55.4mpg, too.
The diesel produces a bit more mechanical clatter at tickover, but it’s smooth and tractable as you pull away from rest. Once the car’ settled at a cruise, you’ll struggle to tell the diesel apart from a well-sorted petrol engine.
Of course, the diesel’s trump card is the infrequency with which you’ll need to pull up next to the pumps: its average economy of 67.3mpg and CO2 output of just 112g/km, should mean more than a few thrifty-eyed fleet managers will give it the once-over.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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