1997 Seat Ibiza CLS 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A pocket rocket with 4 wheels


Exhaust rattle.

Easily solved with replacement rubbers.

Can't seem to get rid of the excessive tyre noise that this car makes. It gets very noisy at 30-40 MPH then goes quiet again at 60.

General Comments:

A very sensible car for town driving, quite nippy with a bit of grunt when you need it.

This car is everything you need if you are looking for a small family car which is cheap to run and surprisingly cheap to insure.

It's a boy racers favorite as parts and body kits are very cheap to buy and the engine can be serviced by a complete novice as the Bosch 1.4l engine is modeled from a VW Golf, which means you are getting the VW reliability when you purchase one of these little pocket rockets. I have heard that people have put 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines in these cars, for a car that barely weighs in at over a tonne, it just doesn't bear thinking about.

One thing that does get annoying with this car is the excessive tyre noise which I have put down to the design of the car, I have tried new tyres and a wheel balance which didn't solve the issue, I have also had the bearings checked and just gave up, but you do get used to it.

If you are looking for a cheap, reliable runabout and not worried about the comforts that most expensive cars offer, then I do recommend that you at least take one of these cars for a test drive as you will fall in love with these cars very quickly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st September, 2010

1997 Seat Ibiza 1.9D 1.9 diesel from Spain


Unreliable after 40,000 miles


Engine mounting broke 75,000 ( kms )

Fuel leak Injection overhaul 80,000.

New power steering pump 82,000.

Brake noise, always, especially when wet (pads and discs OK)

New transmission 88,000.

Pre heater plugs now fail when cold.

Oil leak 80,000.

General Comments:

VW parts are not what they used to be. I once had older Golfs which were great, but the Ibiza (a VW polo underneath) is fitted with lower quality parts and deliberate planned obsolescence, such that anything other than low mileage is not worth buying. While the gear box and Engine block seem to be reliable, they are just about the only bits that haven't gone wrong. Brakes feel like my old Morris Minor!

Like it for looks, seats wear well, aircon good cost me €4000 in bills over 3 years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th September, 2005

31st Mar 2006, 07:52

I don't agree with you!!!

I have the same year, and never had problems with it. Just need to put diesel in and change the oil!!!

The car has 150.000km.

20th Jun 2006, 07:49

I agree, I have a 1.9 DIESEL non turbo. It's cheap to run, very reliable, great little car, and looks good. I've had it 3 years and nothing has gone wrong with it yet.


5th May 2010, 17:02

We have a little Seat Ibiza Salsa D. 1.9, indirect injection, naturally aspirated (no turbocharger). The brakes are adequate, nothing more than that.

It's a 1996 model and we've had seemingly forever. It's been the second car in the family until now (2010) and it's now the only car.

It is not the quickest thing around of course, but it's approaching 150,000 miles (yes, that's over 240,000 km) and it's an unburstable little drive.

Unusually for its era it has PAS, front powered windows, remote locking. That's it, though. And the CD/radio is quite pleasant.

The bodywork is getting tatty, it lived by the sea in its early days, but mechanically it's been, and is still being, a dream.

It keeps going and going. Never fast, of course, but it still maintains a comfortable 80+mph on long Motorway runs with four on board, plus the tiny amount of luggage in the small boot.

Fuel economy is not great, however, naturally aspirated diesels are not good at economy.

The little 1.9 litre VW diesel engine is robust.