Small engined supermini's can be fun!
Clutch master cylinder required replacement.
Rear washer seemed to lose all pressure.
First of all I would like to point out I was looking for a second hand 'Focus' sized car, to move up a level from the 206, which was 4 years old. At no point did I think new (well pre-registered) was going to be an option. Ford didn't seem interested in my business, Peugeot had found me a 307 that I could afford, SEAT looked unlikely when they told me that Leon's were hard to come by, but then he pointed out the Ibiza he had in stock.
Whilst the Leon was just out of our pirce range, we test drove both it and the Ibiza and fell in love with the Ibiza straight away. My exact words were "That was the 1.2 I just drove wasn't it?", I was certain he must have given me a 1.4 to sell the car, as the difference between that and my 1.1 206 felt astonishing. Maybe it was the combination of the extra 100cc and the SEAT handling, I don't know.
So I took delivery of a 5-door, Platinum Grey 1.2i 12v SX on a rainy Friday afternoon and haven't regretted it since. I use it to potter about town, and do 70mph dashes of about 1-2hrs duration. Both of which the car handles well. When in town you feel you have a very nippy car, and on the motorway it cruises very nicely, although road noise might be a little higher than normal.
I agree with comments that the interior can appear spartan, but the features make up for that, as does the room inside. To have ABS at this price is good, as I can really appreciate having it whereas I didn't in the 206. Also to have climate control and alloy wheels was just a bonus. As for space, whilst it was a little on the cramped side, it did haul 5 people with luggage for a 290 mile journey, and it has to be said the 1.2 engine did struggle on hills. However none of the rear passengers complained about being cramped.
For maintenance I have had no problems. Although the dealer I purchased the car from closed down shortly after I took delivery, our business was transferred to another dealer. However after starting my new job, I found a SEAT dealer almost opposite and a lot closer to the one that we had been recommended. I do appreciate that I am lucky, as SEAT dealers can be hard to find I hear. I have only had to visit them 3 times. 2 faults and one service. All 3 times the car has been returned to me the same day, fault fixed. I was used to having minor faults (broken seat handle for 1) diagnosed on the 1st day, wait for the part and bring the car back 2 weeks later to have it fitted with the 206. Not the case with SEAT. When the clutch cylinder needed replacement they advised that it could be replaced, but was not necessary and that if I did want it done, the warranty would cover it, all diagnosed and fitted while I was in the office.
The stereo is good, with the speaker providing good sound quality. However the dealer said there were 8 speakers, yet I can only find 6.
All in all, I find it very enjoyable to drive, despite the small engine. However I feel that fuel consumption is a bit more than I was expecting, especially as the climate control only gets used on the hottest days.
I am already saving for another Ibiza, rather than move up to the 'Focus' sized car I wanted 20 months ago. Although this time I think the 1.9 TDi PD 130 will be my target, hopefully I will get as much fun out of it and improve the fuel economy too!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th May, 2006