1998 Seat Ibiza SXE 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Unreliability lets down good car


New clutch at 45k.

New headlight at 51k.

Seat belts need replacing as tension has given.

Auxiliary drive belt tensioner needs replacing.

Countless squeaks and rattles.

General Comments:

This is my girlfriends car and she loves it. My wallet hates it though.

How can a German engineered car be so badly unreliable?

Dealers have been pitiful, though this is the specific dealers fault, not SEAT.

I drive a 1989 Honda which has given me 60k trouble free miles since I bought it 5 years ago (when it had 35k miles)

We are desperate to sell this car and buy Japanese.

A decent car, but ours was made in a rush before siesta time!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th December, 2003

10th Sep 2004, 12:56

I can’t believe you are complaining about the car needing a new clutch and headlight! Surely these are wear and tear items (maybe your girlfriend rides the clutch). I have a 1998 1.4 Ibiza SXE and have had no problems with it (just the usual from tyres & exhaust). My previous car was a 1995 Honda civic ESI. The civic was a huge disappointment as it was always in the garage (countless electrical faults, leaking head gasket, split breather pipes…. the list goes on), the Honda also needed a service every 6000 miles, this meant the annual service bill was over £300. In my opinion Honda are seriously overrated and suffer appalling build quality (do miss the vtec engine though).

1998 Seat Ibiza Cupra Sport GTi 16v 2.0 16v DOHC from Australia and New Zealand


A neat, nimble and fairly quick little package


Camshaft position sensor failure, centre console/audio head unit creaks terribly, map light vibrates, clutch cable needed replacing.

General Comments:

A good little car, but has the common Volkswagen faults - clutch cable and distributor problems. The rattly centre console is maybe due to the car being lowered, so I won't complain too much on that front.

The engine ABF 16v engine is great, although could do with a handful more power. The car doesn't feel as quick as it is until you run against another hatch and flog them! The handling is very neutral for a front wheel drive, but maybe a bit too much body roll for a hot-hatch?

Nevertheless, a great little car, which with a few mods will hold it's own against the big boys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2003

1998 Seat Ibiza GTi 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Quick, not one for long journeys


Coolant leak from presumably a fitting, when consulting dealer and having the car looked at I was told there was nothing wrong with it. I still have to top up the coolant with approximately a pint every two to three weeks.

As a result of the above the heater suffers from air bubbles therefore cold air comes out when heater is positioned "hot".

With water on the roof and the windows down, a lack of guttering means water is fond of dripping into the car, as I found out it's not a good idea to try to dry the door card off with your sleeve as the lock buttons are fragile "snap!"

General Comments:

The small problems I've had with the car have not put me off, they are after all only small problems.

The 150BHP motor is really quick provided you squeeze it hard, with 16v lag it gives you no power below about 3800RPM. The power is married very well to the precise handling and it becomes almost too tempting to drive VERY quickly.

The sports suspension and sports or bucket seats do give you a very firm ride, and with a lack of head restraint you can't relax very easily.

It's a drivers car and you certainly know your driving it.

The motor linked to the trip computer gives you unbelievable fuel returns when driving the way you probably should, I've seen figures of 46.5 MPG on a half hour trip before.

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

Review Date: 10th May, 2003

1998 Seat Ibiza SXE 1.9 TDi from UK and Ireland


An economical and reliable bargain buy!


New battery at 30,000 miles, but nothing else to report.

General Comments:

A great economical vehicle which regularly returns 55 miles per gallon. Trim is plastic looking but I bought the car for the economy, not the looks. Nice load space in the rear though rear leg-room is cramped for an adult.

Superb dealer, always helpful, never patronising and service costs are reasonable as major services occur at 20,000 and oil change at 10,000 miles.

Quick for a diesel and cruises happily all day at 80mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2001