New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 Sportback: which is best?

The latest Seat Ibiza is one of our favourite small cars, but does buying a new one make more sense than seeking out a barely used Audi A1 for the same money?...

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Mark Pearson
24 Jul 2017 9:2 | Last updated: 17 Sep 2018 15:53

New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 – driving

New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 Sportback: which is best?

The ibiza is a comfortable car that rides well. Our FR-specced car comes with a slightly firmer suspension than the lower models, and larger alloy wheels, but although you feel the bumps beneath you, it never threatens to get uncomfortable. This slight firmness means the car steers well and handles better than any car in this class. Under the bonnet, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine is more than up to the job, and feels surprisingly brisk.

Our Audi A1 in Sport trim comes with a firmer sports suspension and 16in alloy wheels, which make for a firm but not uncomfortable ride. Some Sport cars will have been specified with the standard SE’s suspension set-up, though; if you can find one, this is a more comfortable arrangement still. The A1 is good fun in corners, with precise steering and nimble handling, even if it isn't quite as competent as the Ibiza. However, the 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine is a smooth and punchy performer, and the A1 feels noticeably quicker in this guise than the Ibiza in its 1.0-litre form.


New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 – costs

New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 Sportback: which is best?

For the price of our favourite Ibiza, it’s possible to buy a one-year-old example of our favourite A1. The Ibiza we prefer is the 1.0-litre engine mated to FR trim, and although this is listed at £16,270 new, our New Car Buying service could link you up to a dealer who would sell you one for £14,208. This is roughly the same price as a one-year-old, low-mileage A1, bought from an independent dealer, in our chosen 1.4-litre Sport guise. Remember, too, that the Ibiza will suffer some heavy first-year depreciation, while the A1 has already shed that.

The Ibiza was too new to have been included in our most recent reliability survey, but the previous model finished quite low down in the small cars class and Seat as a brand was rated average, finishing in 21st place out of 32 manufacturers. By contrast, the A1 finished third in the small car class, with an excellent overall score of 93%. Audi finished 12th out of 32 manufacturers. Both cars come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty from new, which means the Audi would only have two years of its one left.

The Ibiza has official average fuel consumption of 60.1mpg, compared with the A1’s 55.4mpg. The Ibiza would pay the current standard rate of annual road tax, £140 a year, while the A1 would pay the same if registered after April 2017 and a little less if it came before that date.


New Seat Ibiza vs used Audi A1 Sportback: which is best?