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Whichever Ibiza bodystyle you choose - five-door hatch, ST es­tate or this sportier three-door SC, it won’t at first glance ap­pear to have changed very much over the orig­i­nal ver­sions of this MK4 model.

But then few changes were needed. The orig­i­nal an­gu­lar ‘ar­row­head’ shape was penned by stylist Luc Don­ck­er­wolke (the same guy who did the Lam­borgh­ini Gal­lardo supercar) and it’s ma­tured nicely, changes here be­ing lim­ited to sub­tle dif­fer­ences.

If you’ve owned an orig­i­nal fourth gen­er­a­tion Ibiza model be­fore, it’ll be a bit like see­ing an old friend who’s had Bo­tox on the sly. up too much in terms of is­sues.

Cor­ro­sion is sim­ply not an is­sue with SEATs and an­other rea­son why re­sale val­ues are high. The al­loy wheels on the Cupra mod­els are very prone to kerb rash and look for crash dam­age and tired tyres. The fourth gen­er­a­tion SEAT Ibiza is one of those cars that was tweaked and fet­tled un­til it re­ally came good.

It helped that the ba­sic de­sign was right but this model re­ally only got into its stride af­ter the 2012 model up­date, when new en­gines and a smarter in­te­rior were added to the mix.

As a used buy, this re­freshed MK4 model Ibiza is good value for money, as resid­ual val­ues haven’t stood up quite as well as its Volk­swa­gen Polo coun­ter­part. Ideally, we’d want one of the rare 1.4 TSI ACT en­gines, but if funds didn’t per­mit that, base 1.2-litre petrol and diesel vari­ants make a lot of sense too.

Span­ish flair on a bud­get? That’s about the size of it.

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