This fifth-generation model was launched in 2017 and established itself as a competitive player, thanks in part to its distinctive styling and spacious interior.
Initial engine choices were three 1.0-litre petrols, two 1.6 diesels and a 148bhp 1.5 petrol. The line-up was later streamlined to the 1.0 80, 95 and 115 petrols and the 1.6 TDI 95. In time the diesel was dropped, and a 1.0 110 petrol has recently replaced the 115.
Entry-level S cars got 15in steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, Bluetooth and hill hold control as standard, plus a 5.0in monochrome infotainment system. SE models added 15in alloys, a leather-clad steering wheel and gearlever and colour infotainment. SE Technology received Seat’s 8.0in touchscreen infotainment, with satnav and a CD player, plus ambient interior lighting, while SE Design cars came with 16in wheels, chrome exterior trim, a panoramic sunroof and a 300W Beats audio system.
Sporty FR models included smartphone integration, 17in wheels, gloss black exterior trim, a twin exhaust system, sports seats and suspension, DAB radio and cruise control. Xcellence featured more convenience, with rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and ignition and a rearview camera. Top-rung Xcellence Lux added adaptive cruise control.
On the road, the 1.0 95 pulls smoothly from low revs and doesn’t feel as feeble as the 1.0 80 can. The 1.0 115 is punchier still, although a little pricey for the extra oomph. The 1.5 is a real flyer, but there are fewer of these on the used market.
Ride and handling are where the Ibiza shines. It feels composed and grown-up, superior to many close rivals. Motorway driving is settled and road and wind noise are minimal. The steering is light but communicative and there’s plenty of grip, and while the handling is safe and predictable, it borders on good fun. All models have a slick gearchange, and the petrol engines are the most refined at all speeds.