Seat Ibiza III and IV generation.  Stylish hosts with a hint of game.  What to look for?

Seat Ibiza III and IV generation. Stylish hosts with a hint of game. What to look for?


It is one of the oldest groups on the European market and, at the same time, is resistant to changing trends. Small passenger cars more and more often play a family role. Not surprising, as they have grown tremendously over the past several years or so. Already those from almost two decades ago offer many interesting additions in the field of comfort and safety, good driving properties and a variety of motor units. Prices for spare parts and maintenance services are likely to increase. Therefore, the Ibiza seems to be a good car in times of crisis. We decided to present a profile of two generations.

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Seat Ibiza III – reviews, specifications, rust

The third generation Ibiza was built using technology known from the Volkswagen Polo 9N. The Spanish clone of the German car was produced from 2002 to 2008, today being a budget proposition for everyday travel. The round body was produced as a three- and five-door hatchback and not a very good sedan. Most importantly, the body resists corrosion for crash-free models. Following the example of other models in this segment, budget variants include half-colored bumpers and mirrors. Body length is 395 cm, width 170 and height 144. wheelbase is 246 cm.

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Seat Ibiza III – interior, luggage compartment

The interior is designed in accordance with all the principles of ergonomics, so that even a long trip in the first row will not be a challenge. The adjustment range of the driver’s seat is sufficient. Only short people will sit comfortably on the sofa. Passengers taller than 175 cm will lack legroom and headroom. The materials used to finish the cabin are hard and, as in other VAG cars from those years, are prone to scratches.

The list of optional equipment may include power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, trip computer, ABS and traction control, leather upholstery and a glass roof. Demanding drivers will especially appreciate the refined, sporty seats offered in the FR and Cupra variants. Let’s not expect miracles from the stem. In this case it will use from 267 to 960 liters.

Seat Ibiza IIISeat Ibiza III picture Chair

Seat Ibiza III – engine. From 54 to 180 horses

Engine range diesel are known products of the VAG concern. The list opens with a three-cylinder 1.4 TDI with a power of 70-80 HP, which uses unit injectors and a turbocharger without variable blade geometry (the cost of regeneration is PLN 1,500). It provides acceptable performance with low fuel consumption. On the road, getting results under 4 liters per hundred is not a challenge. Its biggest disadvantage is the play on the crankshaft over time – a proper repair costs about 1800 zlotys.

The 1.9 TDI four-cylinder is more durable and powerful. Depending on the version, it produces 100, 130 and 160 KM. Here, too, we can expect a low fuel consumption of 4.5 liters on a quiet road. The great popularity of the unit is the high price of spare parts and the quality of mechanical service.

The petrol engine variant has a four-cylinder engine with multi-point fuel injection and a timing belt. The chain occurs in smaller motorcycles. We can choose from 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 with a power of 54-70, 75-100, 105, 115 HP respectively. The top of the range is the supercharged 1.8 Turbo 150-180 hp. In any case, replacing the timing gear costs around 600-800 zlotys.

Simple design allows conversion to LPG. A basic, sequential installation is quite sufficient to reduce operating costs. In models used mainly in the city, the dirty exhaust gas recirculation valve and throttle need to be checked after years of maintenance. Cleaning is usually enough to restore full working order. As a last resort, we will have to replace the part, the cost of the part is around 200 and 250 zlotys. In 1.2, the timing chains also stretch and the ignition coils die early.

Like its class competitors, the Ibiza’s chassis is based on a simple solution. McPherson struts and torsion beam are durable, low maintenance and ensure comfort and sufficient precision. An old-fashioned four-speed automatic was offered as an option.

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Seat Ibiza IV – reviews, specifications, rust

From 2008 to 2017, the fourth version of the Seat Ibiza was produced. This time the price list includes a three- and five-door hatchback, as well as an estate car designed and run. In every way, Spanish capitalism was a qualitative and technological standard compared to its predecessor. A modern, strong design can still be loved and does not show the old age of the design. In fact, we do not see problems with body corrosion in the visible range. The car is 405 cm long, 169 cm wide and 145 cm tall. The wheel is 247 cm. Interestingly, the options list featured bi-xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Seat Ibiza IVSeat Ibiza IV picture Chair

Seat Ibiza IV – interior, luggage compartment

Although the Ibiza is the twin of the Polo and Fabia, it has a completely different character, with a hint of sportiness. Best finishing materials we can also get inside. Most of the plastics are soft to the touch and carefully assembled. The cloth seat covers and door panels are also durable. The extremely low driving position will appeal to motorists who love to drive.

Even a journey of a few hours on the seats will not be a chore, and the seats are ergonomic and comfortable. The sports seats of the Cupra version deserve praise, they ensure good support for the body in turns. This time, in the second row, two people up to 180 cm tall will have enough space. The additional list includes, among others, manual or automatic air conditioning, navigation, on-board computer, a number of security systems, leather upholstery, comprehensive multimedia and DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The luggage compartment of the hatchback has from 290 to 1120 liters. If we choose a station wagon, we will get from 430 to 1165 liters.

Seat Ibiza IVSeat Ibiza IV picture Chair

Seat Ibiza IV – engine. From 60 to 192 hp

The various types of gasoline engines are, in a way, divided into two parts. Low operating costs and no problems are guaranteed by indirect fuel injection engines without recharging. They are 1.0 75hp, 1.2 60-70hp, 1.4 85hp and 1.6 105hp – all work with the option of a sequential gas installation. They didn’t experience any common pain either, but still provided average performance. Each of them has received multi-point fuel injection and a timing belt, thanks to which ongoing service costs will be kept to a minimum.

Only occasionally we can find problems with the exhaust valve of the gas circuit or the throat – in each case a thorough cleaning of this element helps.

The dynamics and flexibility of supercharged units from the TSI family. However, they suffer from a number of serious technical defects, especially in the types produced in the first years of production. We can choose from 1.2 TSI 105 KM, 1.4 TSI 150-180 KM and 1.8 TSI 192 KM.

They had direct fuel injection, a turbocharger with variable blade geometry and an unstable timing chain, then replaced with a belt (the problems then decreased). Unfortunately, this last feature turns out to be very unstable. It can stretch even after 30-40,000 km, requiring urgent replacement – the cost is about PLN 1,500. Otherwise, we will face an expensive repair of the unit. In addition to chain problems, they also struggle with defective piston rings, which are reflected in the burning of engine oil.

Seat Ibiza IV – diesel engines

Alternatives to the economical ones are 1.4 TDI 80 KM and 1.9 TDI 90-105 KM using old, noisy injectors. The newer 1.6 TDI 90-105 PS already has common rail injection. All boats are characterized by low fuel consumption and sufficient dynamics even with a full load on board. Moreover, they do not have any operational problems. However, we must be prepared for the usual maintenance costs related to the possibility of regeneration of the injection and turbocharger.

You should be careful about models with DSG automatic transmissions. For the first thousand kilometers it is very fast, which also positively affects fuel consumption. Gear changes are smooth and almost imperceptible. Unfortunately, as reported by mechanics, this solution is not permanent, which is due to the lack of oil changes. With a mileage of 180-250,000 km, or even earlier, the gearbox may show signs of excessive wear. Then, the replacement of the clutch assembly and the repair of the mechatronics can easily cost more than PLN 5,000.

Seat Ibiza III and IV – price

The third generation Ibiza can be found in more than 200 units on the secondary market. Surprisingly, there is a large portion of high-pressure versions. Cheap copies are worth 3-5,000 zlotys. Because of their age and wear and tear, one should approach such vehicles with caution. They may require a large investment. It is better to take 9-12 thousand from your wallet and enjoy a well-maintained car from the end of production.

The popularity of the fourth body is more than twice as high. Gasoline versions have lower profits, although they should be handled with caution. At the beginning of production, it is enough from 12,000 to 14,000 zlotys. These are cars with motors from the MPI family. A minimum of 18,000 zlotys should be reserved for detailed tests with extras, and better. budget it will turn out to be an amount exceeding 25,000.

Seat Ibiza III and IV – reviews. Summary

Ibiza is a great recipe for troubled times and a solid recommendation for young families. In terms of competition, driving characteristics and the variety of drive units are a positive differentiating factor. Unfortunately, we can only recommend some of them. Those from the MPI family will not be disappointed. Charging TSIs should be handled with caution, although after adjusting and using a timing belt, the problems have been resolved. On the other hand, diesel with manual transmission is good. Corrosion protection and on-board electronics also receive positive feedback. On the other hand, the finishing materials and soundproofing of the interior are average. However, both generations are considered durable and reasonably priced.