2003 Seat Ibiza 1.2 from UK and Ireland
The poor mans Polo
There has been a maddening whistle emanating from the passenger side area since new. It's been back to the garage three times, but never fixed.
The dashboard has been a sea of rattles and creaks. Most of these have been sorted out now, but they tend to come back a week after the garage fixes them.
I'm only 9 stone and the driver seat is looking very creased already at 4500 miles.
Front driver seat height adjust - this would lower itself of its own accord over time. The garage fixed it.
Also the interior plastics mark very easily.
1.2 only returns 40mpg at absolute best, a lot less with A/C on, traffic or above 75mph.
I originally bought this car because I was sick of buying Rovers which seemed to be made by monkeys rather than men. This 'reliable' car is perhaps a punishment for deserting our car industry.
The car looks sporty on the outside and the inside isn't bad either. Twice it's been likened to an Alfa Romeo.
The 1.2 is surprisingly nippy and fine on the motorway. It's also amazingly quiet all of the time. The problem is when it is idling when it does tend to irritate by juddering (common to the 1.2 3-cylinders say the garage).
The ride is good, a little hard, but then this is a small car. The handling is nowhere near sporty.
In all, I don't know what to make of this car, it is full of gadgets and features which I am still discovering. It's got the credentials of being '03 What Car? car of the year and being part of the VAG group. However, it is also badly built and let down by incompetent after-sales support.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 22nd June, 2003
21st Oct 2003, 09:12
I can vouch for the passenger-side whistling with my brand new 1.4S. Kicks in approaching 60mph. Any ideas?
30th Jan 2008, 07:56
I have had an 03 1.2 Ibiza for just over a year. All in all I would say a good little car, economical and good looking, but there is one problem I think Seat/Volkswagen need to address:
The engine management system (ECU) is prone to fault/complete failure.
After it showed up that my car needed a new catalytic converter at £500, I thought the problem was solved, but less than 4 months later the system is showing 20 contradicting faults... my mechanic assures me this is not physically possible so it must be the ECU.
Apparently as the ECU is mounted on the engine block instead of in the actual car like most makes, this problem could well be reoccurring and turns out to be extremely expensive.