The Ibiza protected well, its cabin suffering only relatively modest deformation during the frontal impact. Protection offered in the side impact was also good. Seat decided to fund the testing of a car with side impact airbags, which are an option in some European markets. They worked well. Protection for children was mixed: the older one was well looked after but in the frontal impact the chest and neck loads for the 18-month-old were relatively high. Finally, the Ibiza gave pedestrians above-average protection.
The cabin remained stable and suffered minimum distortion in the crash. Loads fed through to the passenger’s chest were less than for the driver but both were high. Protection for the driver’s knees did not fully satisfy Euro NCAP requirements, but it is acknowledged that the test standard is difficult for any small car to meet. The centre rear belt was a lap-only type, which provides much less protection than a three-point belt would.
The Ibiza protected reasonably well without a side airbag although forces acting on the driver’s chest were relatively high. The car equipped with an optional side airbag did much better. There was no evidence of the driver’s head striking the central pillar but his abdomen was loaded by the protruding armrest.
There was a pictogram on the door pillar and peel-off label on the windscreen; neither warned against using a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger’s seat. Both restraints used two-point ISOFIX mountings but instructions given were inadequate and could lead to misuse. The restraints protected the children’s heads in the frontal impact but the younger child risked serious neck injury. However, the seats provided full protection in the side impact. The passenger frontal airbag had an on/off switch but it was hidden in the glovebox.
The bonnet was fairly compliant where an adult’s and child’s head was most likely to strike it but the wings and front of the car were unforgiving.