Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Perhaps surprisingly, the Ibiza has slightly higher starting price than the Volkswagen Polo. However, that’s because the Polo is available with less powerful engines; like-for-like, the Ibiza is the slightly cheaper option.
True, it does look quite expensive compared with rivals such as the Skoda Fabia, but then it should hold its value better and so be worth more when you come to sell it on in the future.
If you're buying on PCP finance, as the vast majority of small car buyers do, the Ibiza offers slightly lower monthly payments than the Polo and Ford Fiesta, although the Fabia is cheaper still. Meanwhile, insurance and servicing bills are very competitive by class standards.
If you’re a company car driver, the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is definitely your best bet, thanks to its low CO2 emissions. The diesel emits less CO2 but will actually cost you more in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax due to penalties levied against diesels. So far, we've put only the 1.0 TSI 95 through our real-world True MPG tests; it averaged a seriously impressive 54.0mpg.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level SE gets a good list of kit as standard, such as electric door mirrors, automatic headlights, metallic paint and the 6.5in infotainment system we mentioned earlier. Moving up to SE Technology adds only the 8.0in system and built-in sat-nav.
For that reason, our favourite trim is FR. As well as 17in alloy wheels, this trim gains you a more aggressive bodykit, sports seats, a DAB radio, cruise control and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. You also get the sports suspension mentioned earlier, while FR Sport spec adds 18in alloys, digital instrument dials and dual-zone climate control.
If you don’t want the sporty feel of the FR set-ups, you can opt for Xcellence trim, which also includes the DAB radio and cruise control but adds a rear-view camera and softer suspension. There’s also range-topping Xcellence Lux option, but this brings only a few cosmetic changes, so it’s not worth considering.
Seat as a brand was rated average in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing 10th out of 31 manufacturers. That’s a better showing than Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz managed.
The standard warranty period is three years or 60,000 miles, although this can be extended for a fee to four years/75,000 miles or five years/90,000 miles. It’s worth bearing in mind that Hyundai and Toyota offer five-year warranties as standard, while the class-leading Kia warranty covers you for seven years.
Safety and security
All versions of the Ibiza have six airbags, active headrests, tyre pressure monitoring and an automatic emergency braking system (AEB) to reduce the risk of colliding with obstacles in the road ahead. All of this helped the Ibiza score the full five stars (out of five) in its Euro NCAP crash test, with particularly strong scores for adult occupancy protection and pedestrian safety.
An alarm is standard on FR trim and above, as is a tiredness recognition system that will alert you if it thinks you’re becoming too drowsy to drive. However, it's slightly disappointing that there's no option to add blindspot monitoring or traffic sign recognition.
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