2002 Seat Ibiza TDi 130 Sport 1.9 Pumpe Dusse from UK and Ireland


Cheap to run pocket rocket


The airbag light is permanently on; it will be fixed with a new seatbelt pre-tensioner, but the part has taken 2 months to arrive.

Squeaky driver's seat back.

Driver's headrest falls to lowest position after adjustment.

General Comments:

The standard car is quite quick and the 6-speed gearbox keeps things on the boil nicely. There is loads of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.

At idle the engine is quite rattly, but it soon smooths out as the revs pick up.

Handling seems quite good; very sure-footed, but somehow it feels high so I am discouraged from exploring the limits. There is little body roll, so perhaps the problem is lack of support from the 'sport' seats. Ride is quite hard, but I like that.

The seats are very uncomfortable over long distances; no lumbar support and insufficient under-thigh. they also lack bolstering despite being described as sport seats, and have no upper body location at all.

I have had the car chipped by APR (now Revotechnic) who claim 180bhp and 300lb/ft. It is now very quick; a true hot-hatch that regularly surprises drivers of 'performance' machinery. It will still return 50mpg on a motorway run and I have yet to see a tank show less than 40mpg on the (pessimistic) trip computer.

I have also changed the wheels as I thought the originals looked awful, and I have had the door handles and mirror backs painted as the car looked like a base model when they were black.

The standard stereo sounds OK, but I replaced the head unit and found a vast improvement. The speakers are actually not too bad for standard fit.

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

Review Date: 26th December, 2002

31st Jul 2003, 10:16

I bought one of these in March. See the 'duffers' section of Top Gears website for the list of faults. I agree with the review. Loads of torque, reasonably good handling, but absolutely dire build quility. It's been screwed together like a Seat from 10 years ago. i. e BADLY. Seat UK are replacing mine and my new one turns up in September. I hope it's MUCH better put together.

I'm now itching for more power from it so will be looking at 'chipping' the new one. I had a 'tussle' with a Golf TDi 130 and was only a gnats chuff quicker.

2002 Seat Ibiza SE 1.9 TDI PD from UK and Ireland


Buy one!


On delivery the radio code had not been programmed in. Dealer phoned back same day with correct code.

Some minor rattles, especially from the front passenger seat belt clip.

General Comments:

This car has a much better interior than the previous Ibiza. The seats are a lot more comfortable although the display for the air conditioning and ventilation is almost impossible to look at whilst driving!

A very refined TDI PD engine with minimal cabin noise, even at motorway speeds. Excellent acceleration.

Specification is good too. It has ABS with disc brakes all round, 15" alloy wheels, electric mirrors and windows, climate control, CD player, remote locking too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2002

8th Aug 2003, 15:55

Update of above car.

Everything fine until 5,000 miles then...

Roof head-cloth became detached between door pillars causing it to rattle and front drivers' window rattled. These were sorted by the dealer, but the worst thing is the strange 'clonking' noise coming from the front suspension area. The dealer can't find the fault.

I've taken the car in on numerous occasions and now a man from the after sales team is traveling up from Milton Keynes to Scotland to have a look.

Still can't really fault the dealer, they've been fairly good, seems you either get a good Ibiza or a bad one!

Please, if anyone has a similar fault regarding above please comment.

16th Dec 2003, 05:37

Further update of above car.

Turns out it was the anti-roll bar at the front of car which became loose. Now sorted by dealer after over 3 months and numerous trips to dealer. Even had to pay for a courtesy car on several occasions as you have to insure yourself on it, then there's no fuel in it either!

This fault is apparently common in the Leon too.

Car has now done nearly 10k miles and although most of the problems have been ironed out the car is not perfect.

I would still, but another SEAT, my last Ibiza (X reg) was far better built! Appears to be luck more than anything else!