This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest SEAT Ibiza Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The three and five-door Ibiza hatchbacks share their 1.0, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, and the 1.9 diesel, engines with the VW Polo; the 1.8 and 2.0 engines are shared with the bigger-bodied Golf. 1.4 engines are much preferred over the smaller units; pass over the early 1.0 (45 bhp) in favour of the later 50 bhp 1.0 MPi. There are two 1.6 engines, a 75 bhp unit in S and GLX cars, and a 100 bhp unit in the SXE; the 1.8 comes with 90 bhp in the GLX, and 130 bhp in the 16-valve 1.8 GTi.

Carrying on the tradition of the Golf GTi now that the Golf itself is so big and heavy, the Ibiza 2.0 GTi 8-valve (115 bhp) and 16-valve (150 bhp) models are the top performers, with a rear spoiler, front fog lights, alloy wheels and front sports seats helping them look the part

Although the ride may not be class-leading the Ibiza is lots of fun when it comes to handling. There is plenty of grip and a real sportiness about its behaviour, especially on the wide-tyred and seriously fast, GTi models. That harsh ride though can become a little wearing on longer journeys. Firm suspension and steering give plenty of feel, some rivals are more agile; good grip; brakes a bit vague.