1997 Seat Ibiza SE 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Good first car, but don't keep it long


Indicators failed just after purchase. Indicator stalk replaced under warranty.

Thermostat housing (made of plastic) became warped at 68,000 miles, leaking coolant, but was quite cheap to fix.

Two new wheel bearings at 68,000 miles (common problem apparently)

New exhaust at 68,000 miles (approx)

Window winder cable snapped at 70,000 miles (approx).

Clutch became heavy at 75,000 miles (approx). Replaced clutch cable.

Engine problem 75,000 miles (approx) - often cuts out when idling or applying brakes. The fault is still undiagnosed.

Needs new starter motor - current starter motor is hit and miss. 75,000 miles (approx).

Driver's seat now badly worn (holed)

Some corrosion now evident, on sills, petrol cap flap and tailgate.

Otherwise, body and paintwork still in very good condition.

General Comments:

A good first car, looks more stylish than the Polo and is cheaper to buy.

Poor interior with very basic features, i. e no central locking. Also, the seat fabric (light grey) wears easily and becomes dirty very quickly.

Ride is reasonable, but fuel economy is not as good as I expected for such a small car.

Still looks a lovely car and it has been generally reliable, but I'm starting to have problems now (76,000+ miles).

The engine cutout - every time you dab the break or just when idling from cold - is a major headache as no one seems to know what is wrong with the car.

It still drives, but I will be letting the car go as soon as I can and expect a big loss.

Bought the car for £2,999 in 2002 and it's probably worth about £750 now, so that probably says something about Seat depreciation, compared to a VW Polo which holds value much better.

Just bought an L Reg Vauxhall Cavalier for £650 and couldn't believe how much smoother the engine, gearbox and ride is. Need I say more?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th November, 2004

30th Aug 2005, 09:37

You need to look from some higher ground.

Problems you described could appear in any vehicle at that age. Many people drive these cars with almost none or very insignificant troubles and enjoy them. ;-) Your opinion may discourage some new to the brand and it would be pity, because the problems you had are not common for Ibiza.

Good luck with your new car.

11th Dec 2007, 07:00

The engine cutting out is a common problem with this model, but easily fixed. It's caused by the throttle body not opening properly because of carbon deposits. To fix it, take off the air filter housing and clean out the throttle body with some WD40 or carb cleaner.

1997 Seat Ibiza XL 1.4mpi from UK and Ireland


Fast, fun, reliable and cheap!!


When I bought the car it had no engine!

The ECU was not working right with the engine and had to be changed (luckily I had a spare one!!

As with all VW/Seat/Skoda's the rear wheel-bearings were on their way out.

The ignition switch is giving trouble, which I will repair when I have more money.

General Comments:

I had a 1995 Ibiza which has done 160,000 miles, and I thought it was time to replace it. I couldn't find any other car I liked, so I decided to get the re-vamped version of the Ibiza. This car is a 3dr. which I think is a much better looking car than the 5dr.

My Mother is still driving my '95 car, and it is still trouble free.

I can only praise the Ibiza, it has once again been great value for money.

I bought the car without an engine and I found it a very easy car to work on. The only real problems I have had are related to the engine transplant.

The car handles like a more expensive sportscar.

The cabin is very quiet, however the seats aren't as comfortable as the ones in my previous Ibiza, I hope to fit the more comfortable Cupra seats soon.

The engine is excellent, and very responsive, there is a noticeable difference in power between the older single point injection engine and the newer mpi engine. The engine is also a lot quieter. I have found myself shocked on a number of occasions when I am going a lot faster than I thought!

This car is excellent on petrol, and I frequently get 450 miles to the tank of petrol in mixed driving conditions.

The 3dr is a really good looking car, which can look even better with a few minor additions. The previous owner of the car added tinted windows, which contrast well with the car's red paintwork, I intend to add some body-colored door handles in the near future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th November, 2004

14th Dec 2004, 18:33

I have been having non stop trouble with the above car since writing here! The ecu has failed, the coil module short circuited and fried the ht leads (60 euro) the fuel consumption has nose dived, I have begun to hate this car!!! I'm selling it and going back to a jetta/golf diesel!