Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Three 1.0-litres petrols power most of Ibiza range
  • Frugal diesel also available
  • Responsive and good to drive

What engine options are there?

There's a small but capable range of engines, spanning 80-115hp in petrol form. Unusually, you can also buy a diesel Ibiza for now – while there's a choice of five- and six-speed manual and a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox depending on which engine you choose.

Petrol engines

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
1.0-litre MPI
80hp, 93Nm
15.3secs
106mph
1.0-litre TSI 95
95hp, 175Nm 10.9secs
116mph
1.0-litre TSI 110
110hp, 200Nm 10.2secs
121mph
1.0-litre TSI 110 DSG
110hp, 200Nm 10.0secs
121mph

View full SEAT Ibiza specs

Kicking the Ibiza petrol engine range off is the same 80hp engine you’ll find in the smaller Mii city car. It’s likely to be favoured by those who rarely venture out of town, and comes with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The most popular engine is the turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI with 95hp. It's a punchy performer, with an eager response from the throttle and very smooth power delivery, and works really well with the slick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox. It’s more than comfortable on the motorway, and will even pull well up slight gradients without the need to change down a couple of gears.

If you want something with a bit more poke, there’s a 110hp of the same 1.0 TSI unit. It’s a great option for those regularly driving on the motorway as it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox instead of the usual five. You’ll appreciate the extra gear, allowing the Ibiza to settle down at higher speeds.

In practice, it doesn’t feel massively quicker than the 95hp engine, though, but a lot of that comes down to how refined the engines are – you don’t notice because it’s so quiet. It picks up quickly and responsively, though, and easily keeps up with faster moving traffic, thanks to 200Nm of torque available from 2,000-3,500rpm.

All Ibizas come with a manual gearbox as standard and, whether it’s a five- or six-speed transmission, it’s a joy to use. The throw of the gear lever is nicely weighted and doesn’t feel overly light like many superminis have a tendency to, with an agreeable chunkiness to its action. .

Handling

  • Feels like a grown-up car
  • Excellent ride, but still fun
  • Steering is well-weighted

With the Ford Fiesta, the Ibiza has a fight on its hands, as the car from the Blue Oval is incredibly accomplished when it comes to providing a fun drive that’s also compliant and relaxed when you want it to be.

The Ibiza does an excellent job though, and feels quite similar to the Fiesta when it comes to offering impressive ride comfort and tidy handling. Through a series of bends, the Ibiza feels composed with tight body control and well-weighted steering, providing enough feedback for the driver to know what’s going on beneath them.

The steering isn’t quite as communicative as a Fiesta, nor as quick to react to inputs, but this translates to a less frantic, more planted feel on the road, which will likely appeal to those looking for something with a bit more balance.

If you specify a sportier-looking Ibiza FR, sports suspension and larger 17-inch alloy wheels come as standard, with 18-inch wheels available at extra cost. This makes the Ibiza even sharper, allowing for a sporty, involving drive that feels more akin to a Fiesta than regular Ibizas.

The upside is that there isn’t a huge compromise in terms of ride quality, either. It still offers a well-balanced ride overall, just with slightly tauter control when you’re driving that little bit more enthusiastically.

In reality, more Ibiza owners are going to be concerned with how easy it is to manoeuvre in town than how much fun you can have a twisty country road, and the good news is its compact dimensions lend it to very stress-free urban driving.

Visibility is good, and the steering is light enough to manoeuvre in and out of tight spaces with ease, while optional extras such as parking sensors and cameras will help this even further.