- Premium feeling cabin
- Solid, engaging drive
- Spacious interior
- Only available as a five-door
In the space of just under a year, Seat have launched the new Ateca, brought out an all-new Leon and now turning their attention to the flagship (Armada...geddit?) model, the Ibiza.
We went along to Liverpool to test out the all-new version, but does the new generation live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
On The Road
At launch there are three 1.0 petrol engines, a 75PS, 95PS and a 115PS; we tested the 95PS which comes with 175Nm of torque that's good through the mid range and has plenty of power as soon as you put your foot down. With it emitting just 106g/km of CO2 and producing 60.1mpg, it'll offer excellent running costs. It’s mated with an ultra smooth five-speed manual gearbox but if we’re honest, we did keep looking for that sixth gear.
The 75PS offers 57.6mpg and 112g/km of CO2, while the 115PS gets from 0 - 62mph in 9.3 seconds, has 200Nm of torque to get to moving with a six-speed manual gearbox.
A 1.6 diesel will be available later on this year with 80PS and 95PS, while a new 1.5 petrol will also arrive with 150PS for the sporty Ibiza FR version.
The Ibiza is the first model from the Volkswagen Group to use the new MQB Ao platform, that's slightly shorter than the outgoing generation but wider with a longer wheelbase. This new platform actually sets up the Ibiza to be a really good driving experience. We couldn’t fault the ride, it’s really comfortable and the model is a really agile, solid and engaging car to drive.
The steering is finely balanced between being light and heavy, it’s very responsive to the slightest touch so you don’t have to fight with the wheel too much on the twisty stuff to get a reaction. On the famous ‘Evo Triangle’ in North Wales it was a dream to drive on the sweeping roads. It really felt at home.
Could the Ibiza be mistaken for its older sibling the Leon? Indeed it could be as Seat have described the Ibiza’s styling as being an evolution of the Leon. If you look at it over the generations it’s gone from being a small boxy car, to an elongated sporty supermini. With its clamshell bonnet, sweeping lines, sleek front lights and wider stance it looks mightily impressive and is a really well executed design. We like...
What is noticeable is how quiet the cabin is as they’ve done a great job in sound-proofing it from engine and road noise, so it’s definitely a very relaxing drive.
In The Car
The third generation Ibiza, although a very good car, wasn’t very driver focussed whereas this fifth generation is the complete opposite.
As a driver, everything is at your fingertips and you’re not as lowly slung in the comfortable seats, so all-round visibility is good.
An eight-inch touchscreen is very intuitive, you only have to hover your finger over the screen for it to react. Like with the previous generation, which was streets ahead of the competition, it can be connected through your smartphone by Apple Car Play, Android Auto or Mirror Link.
There are four trim levels: S, SE, FR and new to the Ibiza range is Xcellence. They all come packed with equipment from LED daytime running lights, air-conditioning, sports seats and keyless entry and go.
The new platform it now sits on has made the car a lot more spacious, it offers plenty of leg room both up front and in the rear, with leg room in the back now increased by 35mm and the seats are 42mm wider. These overall improvements have made a huge difference, but that’s not the only thing, the boot is also larger by a huge 63 litres so now comes in at 355 litres which puts the rest of the segment to shame. This supermini is not so mini...
There’s also decent storage around the car in the glovebox, in the doors and between the front seats where there are two cupholders.
So how much does the Seat Ibiza come in at? Prices start from £13,130 for the S trim and 1.0 75PS engine, with the top level Xcellence coming in at £16,715.
It’s competively priced as the Toyota Yaris starts at £12,495 and the Volkswagen Polo £11,970.
The Seat Ibiza is impressive, it really does what you want from a car, it’s a great drive, it’s spacious, economical and it’s all packaged up into a real looker. Seat definitely have a hit on their hands with this new version and it’s worth keeping an eye on the brand as a new smaller crossover arrives later on this year called the Arona and more new models next year.
Seat can congratulate themselves on a job well done when it comes to the quality of this model as it’s definitely on a par with the other Volkswagen group cars.
Black high gloss inlays, chrome highlights and subtle yet funky cloth seats add sophistication to the interior, while LED lighting on the FR and Xcellence versions add further stylish enhancements along with Alcantara on the seats.
The Ibiza has already won an award taking the Red Dot honours for its design which is well deserved. Seat are slowly climbing up the reliability ratings which is a good thing as the Ibiza has struggled in the past with a few issues. But if their new Leon is anything to go by then the Ibiza won’t be struggling for long.
Seat don’t scrimp and save when it comes to the long list of safety technology on the Ibiza and are ahead on their rivals on this so it’s no wonder then that it scored the full five stars in the Euro NCAP tests.
Adaptive cruise control, new front and rear parking sensors, front assist, electronic stability control plus a multi-collision braking system are just some of the features on this new model.
It also has a tyre pressure monitoring system, ISOFIX points, airbags with FR trim adding a tiredness recognition system and Xcellence trim has a coming and leaving home headlight function.