1L SE Technology MPI
The Seat Ibiza is a great option if you’re looking for a spacious yet compact family car. It’s comfortable and easy to drive and park. It has a surprising amount of room and you’ll be able to store all your everyday essentials. There’s also a decent amount of legroom in the back, so passengers should feel pretty comfortable.
The interior is practical and sensibly laid out. Everything is easy to use for everyday driving, so if practicality is what you’re after then you shouldn’t have any complaints.
There’s a good range of engines to choose from, depending on how much power or efficiency you’d like.
The new fifth generation was launched in 2017 with updates in design, tech, comfort and performance.
All versions of the Ibiza feature comfortable interiors with plenty of adjustment for the driver and passengers. Most of the materials around the cabin feel good quality.
The two most recent generations of the Ibiza are quite similar inside, but the infotainment systems are less high-tech in earlier cars. If you’re going for a version with the touchscreen infotainment system, the latest set-up has even more features. The rest of the controls are sensibly laid out and straightforward to use.
In terms of practicality, the newer version feels roomier than the pre-2017 model, especially in the rear seats. The latest version also has an impressively large boot.
That said, don’t be put off the older Ibiza models. They’re very capable and, compared with similarly aged rivals, are still competitive on the practicality front.
Although the newest Ibizas are great to drive, the older models aren’t too far behind. All have light and easy controls with direct steering, which means they’ll feel secure and stable on the road.
There’s a wide range of engine options, with the earlier cars offering something for everyone. You can choose from the 1.0-litre petrol entry model, through to a range of diesels and a 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine in the sporty Ibiza Cupra.
The newer line-up reduces the diesel options to a single 1.6-litre, which is decently powerful but not as nippy or as nice to drive as the latest 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol.
The petrol engines are a better bet for most, with the 1.5-litre petrol Ibiza FR offering a suitably sporty drive.
Older generation Ibizas tend to be the best value, but the newer cars still look good value against competitors such as the VW Polo.
All Ibizas will be cheap to run, apart from the less available high-performing Cupra models. Insurance costs for the entry-level Ibiza are in Group 2, which is almost as low as they could get, while even the sporty 150hp Ibiza FR only makes it to Group 11.
Service costs will be low, and with economy figures ranging from 57 to 74 mpg for the latest engines, you won’t be spending much at the pumps.
Previous generation Ibizas are pretty reliable, at least compared with the average performance of rivals in customer satisfaction surveys. The newer model is expected to perform even better if the improved build quality is a guide.
All versions have scored well in Euro NCAP’s independent crash tests with five stars. The latest versions are much better equipped with standard automatic emergency braking and other great options, such as fatigue alerts on higher-spec cars.
Best for economy - SE 1.6TDI 95PS
Best for family - SE TECHNOLOGY 1.0 TSI 95PS
Best for fun - FR 1.0 TSI DSG 115PS
For great fuel economy, there’s no doubt the 1.6-litre diesel engine comes out on top but diesels really only suit high mileage drivers (12,000 a year or more). The smooth and economical 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine provides plenty of good performance.
If you’re looking at later cars, go for the SE Technology spec, as it comes with an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system including sat nav. However, it won’t be a huge problem if you have to navigate through your connected smartphone in the SE version.