Ford Fiesta ST-Line vs Seat Ibiza FR vs Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
On a tight budget but want a sporty looking hatchback? We give the nattily clad versions of the Fiesta, Ibiza and Fabia a workout to see which is best...
What will they cost?
If you are considering one of these smarter superminis, the chances are you’ll be buying on finance. Put down a £1000 deposit on a three-year personal contract purchase (PCP) scheme and Seat will relieve you of £199 a month, which actually looks pretty reasonable when you consider that Skoda charges £218 and Ford £257.
That said, Ford and Skoda allow a maximum of 12,000 miles a year, whereas Seat limits you to 10,000. In each case, at the end of the three years, you have the choice of either handing back the keys, paying a hefty ‘balloon’ payment to own the car outright, or using any equity you’ve built up as a deposit on your next new car.
If you (or your parents) are paying cash up front, the Ibiza will cost you the least at the outset – after discounts it’s nearly £1700 cheaper than the Fiesta and close to £1900 less than the Fabia. That’s partly because it has the cheapest brochure price, but also because Seat dealers are willing to cough up the biggest discounts.
The Ibiza works out cheapest when you consider the total cost of ownership over three years, too, even though it’s predicted to lose value sharply.
While the Fabia will cost you the most to buy initially, it actually works out slightly more than £400 cheaper than the Fiesta to own over three years. That’s mainly because it’s predicted to be worth more when it’s time to sell it on, although its lower insurance and servicing costs also help.
All three of our contenders come with electric front windows, air conditioning, alloy wheels, a sporty body kit and a leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel as standard. In Technology Pack guise, the Ibiza tops its rivals by giving you Bluetooth and sat-nav for free.
Meanwhile, the safest car of our trio is the Fabia; it equals its rivals’ five-star Euro NCAP crash test scores, but also comes with automatic emergency braking as standard. This important safety kit is a £200 option on the Fiesta, but it’s not available on the Ibiza.