It's time to review the SEAT Ibiza! SEAT can do no wrong at the moment. Their Arona and Ateca models continue to rack-up 5-star awards and when you have everything from a small city car (the Mii) to a seven-seater (the Alhambra), there is very nearly a car to suit every taste. SEAT arrived in the UK in 1985 and the car leading from the front was the Ibiza. Since then, it’s grown-up and matured into a brilliant hatchback.
It still represents great value for money with the entry-level SE trim and is kitted out with air-con, Bluetooth, a decent audio system and a load of safety kit. You get a choice of two engines with this trim; 1.0 MPi 74bhp petrol and 1.6TDi 79bhp diesel. It’s the usual story; if you want refinement go for the zingy 3-cylinder petrol engine, or if you want stunning economy up to 74.3mpg, go for the diesel. Both use a 5-speed manual gearbox.
For a little bit extra you move up to the SE Tech trim. This adds a much bigger colour touchscreen which also includes satellite navigation. You can also opt for the 1.0 litre 94bhp TSi petrol engine which is terrific. You’ll still get 60mpg but your 0-60 time is a highly respectable 10.9 seconds. In other words, you can either pootle around town and eke out every mile from every gallon, or have some fun. It also means you will easily keep pace with motorway traffic.
For some serious performance and a terrific level of standard equipment, head for the SEAT Ibiza FR. The suspension is stiffened and you can choose the 148bhp TSi engine which uses a 6-speed manual gearbox. You can also get an auto. 0-60 is a lively 7.9 seconds; top speed is 134mph. Amazingly you can still expect 57mpg. 17inch alloys come as standard along with twin exhaust pipes, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, sports seats and DAB radio.
And if you want a fully loaded SEAT Ibiza, cast your eyes over the Ibiza Xcellence. Wow.
The ride is one of the best around for this size of car. There’s the happy compromise of supple at slow speeds, but taut when you’re pressing-on. Handling is top notch and utterly predictable. The Ibiza is a joy to drive.
The interior is roomy, comfortable and has a genuine feel of quality.
Our favourite? Go for the FR trim and one of the more punchy petrol engines. They’re lively, well priced and aren’t far off being as economical as the diesel versions.
The best idea is to call into Pulman SEAT in Sunderland and have a chat with the sales guys. They’ll soon sort out which is the best Ibiza for you.
Oh, and don’t forget, keep checking the Pulman SEAT website because there are always some fantastic deals.