Good: well finished, decent overall package
Not so good: standard specification is light on features
The car-derived van market is a relatively small one in Ireland, but that hasn't stopped SEAT from wanting a slice of the pie. Unlike some van conversions that are converted in Ireland this compact Ibiza Van is designed and produced in the factory as a proper commercial variant.
There is also the option of having side metal panels in place of the rear windows or, at no additional cost, the rear glass can be left in place in either clear or opaque finishes. The latter, seen here, leaves it looking much like a regular Ibiza, though some business users may prefer the added security of the side metal panels, not to mention the obvious sign writing opportunity.
Inside, there is a half-height solid bulkhead with the top half caged off, which allows for good visibility behind. This doesn't leave any space behind the rear seats, but on the other hand does maximise the cargo area in the back.
Whether you choose to go with the rear panels or just leave the glass in, there is a useful foldable hard cover that sits over the cargo area, much like the pull-out tarp you would find in a regular estate car. As there are no rear seats, the flat load area is useful for bulkier items once you get them over the boot lip.
With the floor and rear wheel arches lined in hard wearing fabric - rather than moulded plastic - the SEAT does lend itself more towards just carrying lighter loads, rather than building materials for example. That's not a major criticism though, as most commercial vehicles of this size do just that, but it's worth pointing out that the Ibiza does have a GCW of 440kg. There is also the option of having a third party rubber or ply-lined floor installed afterwards, of course.
Up front, the layout is just as you would find in the regular SEAT Ibiza, but the Van features the lower trim level. SEAT might call it utilitarian; others would describe it as basic. A plastic steering wheel and gear selector remind you that this is no luxury vehicle, but both get the job done and should at least be hard wearing. One more important omission from the standard equipment list is Bluetooth, something that business users will certainly require.
To drive, the Ibiza Van performs reasonably well. Its relatively light weight combined with the torquey 1.4-litre diesel engine makes it feel brisker than the 13-second 0-100km/h time might suggest. The ride is compliant on most surfaces and handling-wise it won't leave you wanting on more rural roads.
Overall the Ibiza Van is a smart looking vehicle that is well finished and, given its keen pricing, will appeal to SMEs and fleet buyers.
Ford Fiesta Van: offers a more polished driving experience, but less powerful diesel engine.
Opel Corsavan: nicer interior and is capable of carrying heavier loads.
Toyota Auris Van: larger and more expensive, but has a more useful five-door body style