2003 Seat Ibiza SE 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Uninspiring, but competent town runabout


Door mirror glass fell out on the motorway.

Rattles and creaks from rear seat and parcel shelf.

Leaking steering rack.

General Comments:

Unexciting, but dependable town transport. 1.4 engine is refined, but gutless, and put the air-con on and it nearly keels over. Frugal though - 40 mpg easily available.

Steering light and easy to manage in town, but lacks feel and precision on the open road. Handles tidily, but feels very underwhelming as a driving experience after a Peugeot 205 and a 1.4 Zetec engined Fiesta.

Meets its design brief though so can't really fault it.

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

Review Date: 7th May, 2004

2003 Seat Ibiza SE TDi (100 Bhp) 1.9 TDi PD from UK and Ireland


Cupra Chaser!


I had a squeaky handbrake rubbing on the rear disc's, but this was resolved without confrontation by my local dealer, and now (touch wood) all seems OK.

General Comments:

The car is quick for me, thought I know that the TDi Sport is a lot quicker.

It's a nice looking car and I have done a few modifications, mainly cosmetic, next on the list is a strutt brace and some bigger rims. And looks great in Black.

Currently getting around 500 miles to a full tank of Diesel (holds 45 litres), and I do give it some pasty occasionally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2003

2003 Seat Ibiza TDi Sport 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Great driving, reliable and economical car


Nothing has gone wrong in the seven months I have ownded the car from new.

General Comments:

I bought the TDi Sport because my daily commute increased greatly and I wanted a fun to drive and economical car. The Ibiza is that car.

I average 55-60 miles a gallon (mpg) in normal use and that includes urban driving and some quick acceleration. Air conditioning does reduce this by upto 5mpg.

The interior and exterior are stylish and sporty and much better looking than the related cars - Polo and Fabia.

The overall build quality is also upto comparison with VW.

The ride is a little hard, but not too uncomfortable. The handling is excellent.

I was disappointed that the Sport model did not have anything (other than the alloy wheels) to distinguish it from lesser models in the range. A badge and maybe a mesh grille would have helped.

The Ibiza is spacious and can fit 4 adults without too much trouble.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2003

2003 Seat Ibiza SE 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Excellent choice for a small car


Don't know

This was a hire drive car picked up at Luton airport for a 1 week hire.

Everything seemed to work OK on the car when I picked it up, and nothing went wrong during the week.

General Comments:

I was very impressed in the week that I drove this car.

The interior was a fairly bland black colour, with a lot of black plastic - not too inspiring. However the car was nice to drive and performed well. It got 900 miles of hard driving during the week I had it - motorways and twisting narrow Devon country roads. I have noticed some comments on this website about indifferent build quality for Ibezas, but this one seemed solid and well screwed together.

The fuel consumption was outstandingly good - this is measured from full tank on collection to full tank on return, and I double checked all the petrol invoices - the week I had the car was extremely hot, and the efficient climate control was running all the time. Motorway driving was consistent high speed (60 - 70 mph) and no attempt was made to drive economically on other roads. I also had the car stationery at times with the engine and air con running to keep cool. Despite all this the fuel consumption was an excellent 41 miles per gallon.

I think this is one of the better small cars available.

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

Review Date: 3rd August, 2003

2003 Seat Ibiza 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


A bargain great looking and handling hatchback

General Comments:

This is truly an excellent car. I am a young driver having just turned 20 years of age and this car is perfect for me:

Firstly its very economical; out of a full tank of petrol I consistently get around 200 motorway miles (70-75 Mph) and 230 combined urban/extra urban miles (430 total), resulting in 52MPG.

It is also very comfortable in many respects. These include the seats which support you well when cornering. An adjustable steering column also makes an ideal driving position easy to find. I am 6'3" and can easily do 5 hour drives without stopping for a rest and stretch which is great.

The handling on this car is also very good. The steering is quite communicative of the road and the stock tyres (Pirelli P6000's - 185/60 R14) tell you when they're about to lose grip, which is not often at all! The only problems are perhaps that the stiffened suspension can make the ride firm and the tyres emit quite a lot of road noise.

As for the luxuries, the stock CD/Radio is great - 8 speakers and wow is it loud! (it can also take CDRW's) Driver and Passenger airbags ensure a good 4 N-Cap stars, I got the optional side airbags also in a deal. Air-con is effective quickly however drains the engines power noticeably.

The interior of this car is also very spacious and evidently inspired by Volkswagen. At night you are greeted by a warm red glow from all instruments when the exterior lights are turned on which I personally love. The engine also is very quiet and the 3 cylinder thrum sounds great. I have had nothing, but praises from my passengers.

Ill let you judge the exterior for yourselves - I personally think it's great.

My only problems with this car are:

No ABS as standard, however this car does stop hard and fast - I've tried a few times.

The engine doesn't like to pull in 4th gear and above, however you can't expect much from a 1.2 anyway.

A minor problem is that the engine sometimes resonates the car slightly when idling.

Finally I have heard of problems with this car finding 1st or reverse gear with difficulty. I do not know whether it was a fault of my own however I have once had an occurrence where a miss-engaged 1st gear 'popped' out of gear.

If you buy - you'll not be disappointed! I tried many of the competitors (Yaris, Polo, Fiesta, Clio etc.) and they didn't come close.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2003

21st Oct 2003, 12:18

I've had the problem with the car "popping out" of gear, but it's now done 9,600 miles and it hasn't done it for a while, so I'm assuming that the transmission just needs wearing in.

The idle judders can be very annoying, especially as the engine is so refined the rest of the time.

My gripe with the car is the shoddy build quality and the cheap materials (thin metal, rattles, creaks and whistles) and pathetic SEAT garages.

BTW, don't keep the stereo up a lot, the speakers loosen and start to rattle... argh!

1st Sep 2004, 10:02

I have to agree with everything that has been said in all other comments. I average around 300 miles per tank and that's a mix between motorway and town driving, but town driving alone really does use a lot of fuel on mine. I too have the problem of popping out of gear and not being able to get into gear, again, in 1st and reverse. The car is made out of very cheap materials and poorly fitted together with constant rattles and clicks etc from the plastics. This is a super nippy car though and great fun to drive. I wouldn't buy a SEAT again just because of the poor build quality and the poor service from their garages, but this car isn't all too bad.