New Volkswagen Polo vs Seat Ibiza

The Seat Ibiza’s reign as the best small car around is under threat from Volkswagen’s new Polo. We find out how they stack up...

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What Car? team
10 February 2017

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Despite the fact that these cars have the same underpinnings, there are differences when it comes to interior space. In the front, a couple of tall adults will have no issues with head or leg room in either, and there isn’t much in it for front stowage space; both have a couple of cupholders, a large cubby behind the gearlever and generously proportioned pockets in their front doors.

Tall adults climbing into the cars’ rear quarters will notice a greater disparity. Both cars are among the roomiest in the class, no question, but where knees are shaving the front seatbacks in the Ibiza, they’re clear in the Polo. Head room in each case is good, although the Polo’s larger rear windows give a better view out and leave it feeling less claustrophobic for rear passengers on longer journeys.

New Volkswagen Polo vs Seat Ibiza

The pay-off for the Ibiza’s slightly less spacious rear seats is a boot that’s a bit larger and more practical than the Polo’s. Each swallowed five carry-on suitcases in our tests, but unlike the Polo’s boot, the Ibiza’s had some room left over.

In both cars, 60/40 split-folding rear seats are standard, but SE Polos also come with a variable-height boot floor – a £160 option on the Ibiza. As a result, the Polo’s boot floor is a more consistent height than the standard Ibiza’s when the rear seatbacks are down.

Seat Ibiza

Official boot capacity 355-823 litres Suitcase capacity 5

New Volkswagen Polo vs Seat Ibiza

The Ibiza sacrifices a small amount of rear leg room in order to achieve a more accommodating boot; five carry-on suitcases fitted with room to spare. You have to pay £160 extra for a height-adjustable boot floor, though.

Volkswagen Polo

Official boot capacity 351-1125 litres Suitcase capacity 5

New Volkswagen Polo vs Seat Ibiza

As with the Ibiza, two adults will be perfectly comfortable in the Polo’s front seats; those in the rear will find that their knees don’t touch the front seatbacks. Five cases were a squeeze in the boot, but a variable-height floor is standard.