Ibiza has been a significant part of the brand’s success since it was first introduced back in 1984 and, after 37 years, five generations and nearly six million sales, it‘s SEAT’s most successful vehicle to ever roll off the production line.So rather than re-invent it, they’ve refreshed the exterior and brought the interior up to speed with the opposition by ramping up the connected technology and driver assistance equipment.
The new ‘face’ you might recognise now has full LED technology, while inside the new floating infotainment display is the heart of the digital upgrade, with a 20 per cent bigger screen. And sited higher up in the cabin it’s now easier to see.
Every trim level now has Beats audio as an option, and the high res 10.25 inch Digital Cockpit on FR Sport and Xcellence Lux models brings the car right into the digital age.In a world where the Fiesta has been the undoubted king for decades, the little Spaniard throws down the gauntlet and gives the family favourite Ford a decent run for its money.
Ibiza feels much more grown up and, as you’d expect from the evolution of the range, a better all round package than before. It’s now only available in five door form, but while those extra doors at the back on some superminis look like an afterthought and hence are restrictive for those piling into the rear, in the Ibiza they just look an essential part of the overall package.
It’s a very tidily styled car and proves that the Spaniards aren’t just good at sticking spikes in extremely irritated bovines but can turn their hand to slick car design too.The handling is as sharp as the stylish bodywork. There’s a lovely light clutch and equally deft gearbox that work in harmony with the power steering – very positive when you need to change direction – and that helps to make manoeuvering in town traffic or zipping along a country road, even with an engine that’s one cylinder short of a full engine bay but which you can’t knock for sheer enthusiasm.
Behold a sensibly priced car with some sporty credentials that’s still fun to drive.
Prices for Ibiza starts at £16,790 OTR for the SE 1.0 MPI 80PS, going up to £22,030 OTR for Xcellence Lux 1.0 TSI DSG-Auto 110PS.Much the same has gone on where they piece together the Arona, which came along after the hugely successful Ateca SUV and is a smaller version of said vehicle.
It’s currently SEAT’s best UK seller, accounting for 29 per cent of their sales, with the Ibiza picked up 20 per cent.
This urban SUV now has a slightly more off-road look – though it’ll never likely go there – and there’s a new grille design as well as a new rear spoiler and diffuser.
The revised interior has a more digital feel to it. You’ll immediately notice the larger floating screen infotainment system and the illuminated air vents, but you also get SEAT Connect and wireless access to Apple CarPlay and Android auto.
Prices kick off at £19,600 for an SE 1.0 TSI EVO 95ps, going up to £26,255 for the Xperience Lux 1.0 TSI DSG 110ps.
SEAT Ibiza FR Sport
Price: £20,860 (£22,145 as tested)
Engine: 1.0 litre, three cylinder, petrol
Transmission: six speed manual
Top speed: 121mph
0-62mph: 10.3 seconds
CO2 emissions: 123g/km
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