The compact hatchback has been a go-to for thousands of UK drivers over the years. Even today, with the rising popularity of crossovers and compact SUVs, hatchbacks are still a great fit for all types of owners.

The Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza are two core models in this area. Well known for their reliability and good value, they are cars which typify the segment - but what do they each offer? Let’s find out.


Both of these cars share the same platform, but go about the business of styling in quite different ways. The Polo has some typical Volkswagen design touches and ties nicely in with the latest Golf. It’s definitely the more ‘grown-up’ of the two here.

The Seat, meanwhile, has a slightly funkier edge to it with sharp headlights that look particularly smart. The Ibiza also gets a handwriting-style badge at the rear.


Since both of these cars are sitting on the same platforms, you get the same choice of engines. They’re all largely based around efficiency, with turbocharged 1.0-litre options offering a great combination of performance and good fuel economy.

If you’re after a sportier option then we’d lean towards the Polo, since it features a range-topping GTI version which uses a punchy 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Blue VW Polo
SEAT Ibiza


Both of these cars somehow manage to deliver a great amount of space despite having relatively compact proportions. For example, even taller passengers can get comfy in the back of the car while up front there’s a good level of visibility thanks to relatively slim pillars.

The Polo and Ibiza also bring a really impressive 351-litre boot, which is only slightly smaller than the one you’d find on the larger Volkswagen Golf. It’s great for people who need a little extra room in a car that still isn’t all that large.


If you’re after cars that’ll bring both decent comfort and nippy handling, then you’re in the right place. Both cars here are great for driving in urban areas, because they’re relatively compact while the peppy engines are great for nipping in and out of traffic.

But the Polo GTI, with its upgraded suspension and more powerful engine, is easily the most dynamic of both the cars here.

Red SEAT Ibiza
Blue VW Polo


Whichever car you opt for here you’re getting a good deal of standard equipment. All Polo models get LED headlights as standard, as well as 15-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning. Volkswagen’s ‘App Connect’ service is also included, allowing you to easily pair your phone to the car’s system.

It’s a similar story with the Ibiza, too. All cars get intricate 15-inch alloy wheels and body-coloured bumpers which bring a more premium feel. Seat’s clever eight-inch digital cockpit also comes equipped as standard, giving really clear readouts and configurable layouts.



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