Shopping for a new hot hatch – Ford Fiesta vs. Seat Ibiza SC

Choosing a new car is always confusing and takes a lot of time, but it’s also a hell lot of fun. I have been checking a lot of cars in the past few months and I have narrowed my choices to 3 cars: Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza SC (3-door “Sports Coupe” model) and Opel Corsa, then later excluding the Corsa which I wasn’t a big fan of.

In this post I will be doing a detailed comparison between the 2 contenders based on facts about them and also based on what I’m feeling about each one, but I will leave the final verdict to you.

I will also add my currentĀ ageingĀ Fiat Grande Punto to the comparison to see how it fares against its modern rivals.

Engine/Transmission

The Fiesta has a 1.4L engine that generates 96 hp and 125 Nm of torque that is mated to a 4-speed automatic gearbox with sequential shifting control. Seriously, who still uses 4-speed automatic gearboxes in 2012?!

The Ibiza is definitely the winner here when it comes to both the engine and transmission. It is equipped with a 1.6L engine that generates 105 hp and 153 Nm of torque, mated to VW’s hi-tech 8-speed DSG gearbox.

Ibiza’s 8-speed DSG gearbox

The Grande Punto comes with a lazy 1.4L 8v engine that generates just 77 hp and 115 Nm of torque. The moment you step on the gas pedal you will feel that the car is underpowered and you will always have to work the engine hard by shifting above 4000 RPM to get half-decent acceleration. My Grande Punto has a regular manual transmission so nothing to talk about here.

Exterior

Both the Fiesta and the Ibiza look fantastic. The Fiesta is more on the cheeky cute side while the Ibiza has an angry looking front and back with some bold lines going across the car. I like both so much but I think the wide rear end and the lower roofline of the Ibiza won my heart.

Ibiza SC angry looking rear lights

While the Grande Punto looked gorgeous when it first came out in 2005, specially with its Maserati-ish front, it looks outdated now.

Grande Punto’s Maserati-ish front end

Interior

The interior of the Ibiza is very disappointing compared to how good its exterior looks. While everything is well-put together, the materials are on the cheap side and everything feels so plasticy. Also most of it is gray which makes it even worse.

The interior of the Fiesta is much better. Actually it’s a lot better than I would expect of a car in that class. I fell in love with the dark red soft-touch dashboard with silver accents around the instruments panel and the center console, and soft lights above the glove compartment. Also the trim of the door and the seat matches the red color of the dashboard which looks quite cool.

Fiesta’s interior

The Grande Punto falls right between the Fiesta and the Ibiza when it comes to the interior. The quality is good with some soft-touch parts on the dashboard. And while some parts feel plasticy and cheap, the overall feelings is good.

Equipment

All 3 cars are generously equipped with safety features and gadgets. ABS, EBD, driver and passenger airbags, 15″ alloy wheels and cruise control all come standard on all of them. The Fiesta also has side-impact airbags and a driver knee airbag.

Ibiza’s large sunroof

The Ibiza is equipped with a big-sized sunroof but lacks bluetooth and voice commands which are available on both the Fiesta and the Grande Punto. Also the Fiesta has climate control which isn’t available on the Ibiza or the Grande Punto.

Price

The Ibiza is the most expensive here at 140,000 EGP followed by the Fiesta at 133,000 EGP. My Grande Punto cost me 91,000 EGP but it wouldn’t be fair to add it to the comparison since it doesn’t have an automatic transmission like the others and also because I got it 2 years ago and cars got a lot more expensive since then.

There’s a 7,000 EGP price difference between the Ibiza and the Fiesta, but which do you think offers a better value for money? Leave your opinion in the comments below.