Used Seat Ibiza Hatchback 2002 - 2008 review

Category: Small car

The Seat Ibiza was our Car of the Year in 2003 and Supermini of the Year three times

Seat Ibiza Hatchback 02-08
  • Seat Ibiza Hatchback 02-08
  • Seat Ibiza Hatchback 02-08
Used Seat Ibiza Hatchback 2002 - 2008 review
Star rating

What's the used Seat Ibiza hatchback like?

The Seat Ibiza is based on the Volkswagen Polo, but it's significantly more stylish and a lot more enjoyable drive.

The Ibiza's suspension is well controlled, its steering quick, and the handling sharp - making it one of the best-driving superminis of its era. The only major downside is a firm low-speed ride.


The Seat Ibiza was our Car of the Year in 2003 and Supermini of the Year three times

  • Smart-looking, fun to drive
  • sharp handling
  • Limited rear cabin space and firm low-speed ride

The driver gets plenty of space and a good range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. Sadly, it's a different story in the back, where the low roofline limits headroom. Boot space is adequate and similar to that of rivals.

Ownership cost

What used Seat Ibiza hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Seat Ibiza hatchback?

Seats are usually cheaper than the VWs they're based on, and the Ibiza is no exception. However, the most popular superminis, the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, are cheaper still.

Our favourite, the 1.2-litre averages 47.1mpg, while the 1.4-litre does 43.5mpg. The petrol FR manages 36.2mpg and Cupra 35.8mpg. The 1.4 diesel averages 61.4mpg, and the 1.9-litre 57.6mpg. The sporty diesel FR and Cupra models come in at 57.6mpg and 56.5mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Seat Ibiza hatchback should I buy?

The beauty of the Ibiza is that the cheapest model is probably the best. The three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine with 63bhp keeps up with traffic in- and out of town, and has low running costs.

The 74bhp 1.4-litre is worth considering, but it needs to be worked hard. Performance fans are catered for by the 150bhp FR and 178bhp Cupra models, introduced in 2004, which both have a turbocharged 1.8-litre engine.

Diesel options are the 73bhp 1.4 or the 100bhp 1.9-litre, both deliver decent pace, but are a little unrefined by today's standards. There are also FR and Cupra versions of the 1.9-litre diesel with 128bhp or 158bhp.

The range was revised (although not face-lifted) in 2004, with renamed trims. S and SX versions come with air-con (climate control on the SX), twin airbags and a CD player.

SE (later badged Stylance) adds alloys and side airbags, while the sporty FRs and Cupras also get traction control.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used Seat Ibiza hatchback?