SEAT Ibiza Celebrates 30 Years of Being a Best Seller

SEAT's Ibiza supermini is turning 30 years old this weekend (April 27, 2014) and we think it deserves a pat on the boot lid spoiler for that. The first full production model rolled off the assembly line 3 decades ago and since then over 5 million examples have been sold, mainly in Europe. This not only makes it one of the most popular cars in its class, but also SEAT's all-time best seller.
SEAT Ibiza 1 photo
Photo: SEAT
Going in production in 1984, the first generation cost 825,000 pesetas at the time, which is equivalent to €15,620 in today's prices. Not cheap, but they still managed to sell 1.2 million of them. The carmaker collaborated with Italdesign, Karmann and Porsche.

The second generation of the Ibiza came about in 1993 and stayed in production until 2002. A major facelift was done in 1999. The Mk2 was entirely based on Volkswagen's A03 platform and shares multiple parts with Volkswagen Polo. Sedan and estate versions existed, but they were marketed under the Cordoba name. The second generation of the Ibiza was the first model in its segment to be equipped with a TDI diesel engine, in this case a 1.9-liter commonrail four-cylinder with 90 PS. This has been the most successful generation to date, with over 1.5 units sold, nearly 600,000 more than the current generation.

Introduced in 2002, the third generation became a truly noteworthy car for SEAT, as its design and improved quality propelled it into view. Just like before, the platform was shared with VW's Polo, this time called the A04 and coming bundled up with a number of suspension components and engines.

The fourth and current generation was launched in 2008 and received a cosmetic update in 2013. Currently, 1,600 assemble 700 Ibizas per day at the Martorell factory.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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