What's the used Seat Ibiza hatchback like?
Previous generations of the Seat Ibiza were good and popular cars, but they never competed right at the top of the small car class.
All that changed when Seat launched the fifth generation Ibiza in 2017. It was a new model from the ground up, sitting on a new platform and with a range of revised engines.
SE Technology gets Seat's 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system – complete with sat-nav and a CD player – and ambient interior lighting, while SE Design includes 16in wheels, tinted rear windows, chrome exterior trim, a panoramic sunroof and a 300W Beats audio system.
Sporty FR models add smartphone integration, 17in wheels, gloss black exterior trim, a twin exhaust system, sports seats and suspension, a DAB radio, cruise control and Seat's driving modes controller. Range-topping Xcellence features more convenience, with rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and ignition, and a rear-view camera.
On the road, the entry-level 1.0 80 engine is a little too feeble. The 1.0 95 is more than up to the job, pulling eagerly and smoothly from low revs, while the 1.0 115 is punchier still. The 1.5 is a real flyer, but it will cost more to run and there are not so many around on the used market. On paper, the diesels are impressively economical, although both are a little gruff.
When it comes to the ride and handling, this Ibiza feels grown-up and composed, and superior to many of its rivals in the small car category.
It smooths over minor imperfections more adroitly than a Ford Fiesta or Skoda Fabia and is more settled on the motorway than those cars. Its steering is light and easy but also communicative. There’s plenty of grip and the handling, while being safe and entirely predictable, borders on good fun.
There’s a slick gearchange and a positive clutch on all models, while road and wind noise are kept out for the most part. The petrol versions are very refined at nearly all speeds, while the gravelly note struck by the diesel units lets those models down slightly.
The Honda Jazz has a slightly larger boot, but only by a fraction. A couple of big suitcases or a small buggy will fit easily and we’ve managed to squeeze in five carry-on suitcases without removing the parcel shelf or folding down the rear seats. There’s also the option of a false boot floor.
All versions of the Ibiza have six airbags, active head restraints, tyre pressure monitoring and automatic emergency braking (AEB) to help prevent you from running into the car in front. All that helped it score five stars (out of five) in its Euro NCAP crash test, with particularly strong scores for adult occupancy protection and pedestrian safety. A tiredness recognition system is standard on FR and Xcellence trims, as is an alarm.
You can also view sat-nav maps on the excellent 12.3in digital driver display. It replaces regular dials and, as well as maps, shows lots of useful information right in front of your eyes.