A column by Swindon Link motoring correspondent Leigh Robinson
The SEAT Ibiza is one of the best small cars on the road, with great handling, bags of room and low running costs.
The original was launched in the UK back in 1985, and after slow start it was soon selling around 10,000 a year. It was, of course, named after the Spanish island. In 1986, VW became the major shareholder and since then the SEAT products have just got better and better.
Now in its fifth generation, there are six versions costing between £16,500 and £22,000, and you also get a long list of trim levels to choose from, including sporty FR trim and the lavishly equipped Xcellence.
There are six one-litre petrol engines which will give you around 50 miles to the gallon. The Ibiza rides the bumps with no problem and generally it’s a good ride.
Try and avoid the entry level model - the 1.0 MPI - because it has no turbo charger. Go for one of the next levels which makes the driving easier and better to get away at the traffic lights.
It’s difficult to fault the Ibiza at any level. The steering is perfect, driving in the town is a doddle and even when you speed up on the faster roads you feel safe and confident.
There’s enough space through the car with sufficient enough door pockets, and the rear seats have the 60/40 split which is standard on these superminis. This is available on all the Ibiza trims.
Getting a couple of suitcases into the car is easy peasy and SEAT give you plenty of kit. Even at the entry level, as well as the 6.5 infotainment there are electric door mirrors, automatic headlights and a refreshing palette of metallic paint.
On the safety front all versions of the Ibiza have six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring and an auto emergency breaking system, and the car secured five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.
The standard warranty period is three years or 60,000 miles, and this can be extended - for a price - for another year or 75,000 miles, or five years and 90,000 miles.