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SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017) Buying Guide

SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)
SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)SEAT Ibiza (2008-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

The fourth-generation Seat Ibiza was in production for almost a decade, but it hardly dated thanks to regular revisions. Modern, eye-catching, good to drive and cheap to run, the Ibiza stood out in a segment full of bland contenders. New drivers were reassured by its five-star Euro NCAP rating but while the Ibiza makes a great first car, this sharply styled supermini is also just the job for anybody wanting something fun and distinctive for the daily commute, whether it's on the motorway, around town or anywhere in between. There's a wide choice of models, from ultra-practical estates to brilliantly fun sports editions such as the FR and Cupra, with the seriously frugal Ecomotive along the way. It's not the most spacious car in the segment and it?s not the most accomplished dynamically. But while the Ibiza is no class leader, it is a great all-rounder.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Wide model range
Distinctive styling
Spacious cabin
Good to drive
Strong TSI and TDI engines
Good value
Some lacklustre petrol engines
Spartan entry-level models
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Key Dates 
7/08The five-door Ibiza Mk4 arrives in 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol forms.
11/08The three-door Ibiza SC goes on sale.
3/09The range is bolstered by 1.4 and 1.6-litre diesel engines.
7/09The 178bhp 1.4 TSI Ibiza Cupra reaches showrooms along with the 99g/km 1.2TDi Ecomotive.
9/09The Bocanegra is mechanically identical the the Cupra; it features a distinctive black nose.
9/10The ultra-practical Ibiza ST (estate) appears alongside the 92g/km Ibiza E Ecomotive and the zesty 1.2 TSI.
1/12A facelifted Ibiza comes with revised styling, higher-quality interior and a 1.2 TSI Ecomotive petrol option.
8/15Another refresh brings new engines, overhauled suspension, high-tech options plus a higher-quality interior.
  • Steering racks wear, so listen for clunking noises when manoeuvring at low speeds on full lock.
  • The electric window motors short out leading to the mechanism going up or down of its own accord. or refusing to move.
  • Some engines drink oil, especially the 1.4 TSI which can get through a litre every 600 miles.
  • Modified Ibizas are popular with young drivers, so check for non-standard suspension, remaps and bodged electrics.
  • Creaks, squeaks and rattles are common and so are jammed cup holders. These can be replaced easily on a DIY basis though.
  • Air conditioning systems can be temperamental, so listen for hissing and see if the system produces cold air.
  • The rear washer pipe can come adrift, filling the boot with water.
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