The Ibiza has been a core part of the Seat range for some time now, offering fun, frugal motoring to the masses. These days, the Ibiza is more grown-up than ever, but it has had to go through some serious changes to get to this point. Here, we’re going to take a trip down the Ibiza’s memory lane to see how this little car has changed.
First unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show, the original Ibiza is where everything started. It proved to be an instant hit, too, with its boxy dimensions and spacious interior striking a chord with many buyers. Hitting the ground running here in the UK in 1985, the Ibiza’s arrival only just preceded Volkswagen’s involvement in the firm. It wouldn’t be until the arrival of the second-generation car, however, that we’d see the fruits of this partnership.
This was the first Ibiza to be released after Volkswagen Group’s ownership of Seat. Sharing its underpinnings with the VW Polo - a process that would continue to the present day - the Ibiza was a far more modern affair than before and was available as a three and five-door. Not only was it one of the best-selling cars in its native Spain, the Ibiza proved to be a real hit in the UK, with a facelifted version in 1996 only helping to boost this presence even further. A more powerful Cupra version was introduced at this point, too.
Things took a more rounded turn for the third generation Ibiza, which now features a bubble-like exterior design coupled with a sharp front end look. There was also the choice of two go-faster Ibizas at this stage - the FR and Cupra - which really boosted Seat’s performance credentials. Far larger than the generations previously, this latest Ibiza not only delivered in terms of space but also brought an exciting and involving driving experience.
First unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the fourth-generation Ibiza showcased a clever evolution on its predecessor’s design, with a more angular look helped by a variety of dramatic lines and styling details. Sitting atop a new platform, this Ibiza was also available as a five-door estate, adding a more practical version to the Ibiza’s line-up. There were also a variety of performance versions - the FR, Cupra and Bocanegra - to choose from.
And here we are, the present day. Revealed to the public back in 2017, the latest Ibiza sits on the Volkswagen Group MQB A0 platform, giving it more interior space than ever before as well as improved levels of technology and assistance systems. Powered by a range of efficient engines, this generation of Ibiza was given a modest facelift in 2021