Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The Sport Coupe features the same engine line-up as the five-door Ibiza with the entry-level model a 1.2-litre petrol with a modest 70bhp. It's not exactly swift with a 0-62mph time of 15 seconds, but with three-cylinders it has quite a characterful note and is surprisingly nippy in-gear. But if you intend on covering longer distances the 85bhp 1.4-litre is a better choice as it offers decent pulling power and is smoother and quieter when pushed hard.

The most powerful unit is the 1.6-litre with 105bhp and this covers the 0-62mph benchmark in 10.4 seconds, but while it's smooth it does need to be worked quite hard and doesn't feel that much quicker than the 1.4-litre - it's also quite noisy on the motorway. However it is the only model available with a new seven-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox (called DSG).

This system offers incredibly quick changes and as a result the 0-62mph time is cut to 10.1 seconds while economy is also slightly improved. The standard gearbox is a five-speed which delivers positive and slick changes, in keeping with the Ibiza's sporty image. If you're after a diesel, there was originally a 1.9 TDI (carried over from the previous Ibiza) with 105bhp.

It's punchy and pulls well from low revs, but it's noisy and pretty coarse. This was effectively replaced by two engines. The most economical is the 1.4 TDI that's available in the Ecomotive model. It's adequate in terms of pace, but where it excels is in economy - averaging an incredible 76mpg. Emissions of just 89g/km of CO2 means road tax is free too, making it great for those looking to save money.

This engine is also available in standard trim but with slightly higher emissions of 114g/km of CO2. A 1.6 TDI was introduced in July 2009 but unlike previous SEAT diesels, this is a common rail engine, which means it is smoother and quieter. 0-62mph takes 10.7 seconds - making it almost as quick as the 1.6-litre petrol but with economy of 67mpg. In November 2010, a new 1.2-litre TSI was added to the engine line-up.

The 104bhp engine offers impressive performance for its size. It comes with a choice of five speed manual gearbox (this will hit 62mph in 9.8 seconds) and seven-speed DSG automatic (reaching the benchmark in 9.7 seconds.) The manual gearbox is reassuringly slick, while the DSG is very smooth and comes at a small premium over the manual option. For a blend of economy and performance it’s the pick of the bunch.

SEAT has a good reputation for building cars that are sporty and fun to drive and this is evident in the Ibiza Sport Coupe. It has good body control, helped by its wide stance and low ride height plus there's plenty of grip which makes the SEAT feel composed. It's certainly more grown-up than its predecessor and feels more sophisticated, however it can't quite match the refinement of rivals like the Ford Fiesta.

The direct steering has decent feel though, plus the Ibiza is nimble and agile on twisting roads, making it enjoyable to drive. There are two different suspension set-ups available - one designed for comfort and the other designed to provide a sportier drive. All cars come equipped with the normal chassis as standard, while the sporty set-up is standard on the Sport model and optional on the SE.