SEAT Ibiza Review
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
With the world gone crossover and SUV mad it's nice to see SEAT has updated the Ibiza giving it a refreshing look with the technology inside to match. A lot like what the Polo is to VW, the SEAT Ibiza has been a key pillar of the brand’s success since it was first introduced in 1984. Now 38 years on and five generations in, the little Ibiza has amassed almost six million units sold easily making it SEAT’s most successful vehicle.
This updated, fifth-generation model is aiming to maintain that success but now there is even more competition. SEAT has made subtle styling tweaks to an already good-looking car but it’s on the technology side that real gains have been made.
This new model integrates full LED technology as standard placing Eco LEDs on SE and SE trim levels, while FR models upwards get full LED lights to offer better visibility with lower energy consumption. The Ibiza’s side profile stays true to its predecessor with short overhangs, and wheels pushed out to the four corners for better handling and stability. Aside from the standard 15 and 16-inch alloys on entry models, buyers get a choice of three new alloy wheel designs, two 17-inch (FR, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux trims) and one 18-inch option (FR Sport).
More colours have been added bringing a choice of nine colours, including two new finishes Sapphire Blue and Asphalt Blue.
SEAT Ibiza Features
Although the exterior styling updates are moderate new materials and technology systems inside give the Ibiza a greater level of quality. The first thing you notice when you sit in is the new floating central infotainment system display. The screen has increased in size by more than 20 per cent compared to the outgoing model and is now 9.2-inch in diameter. On our FR model a high-resolution 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit sits directly in front of the driver relaying speed, revs and other vitals. This most certainly brings the Ibiza’s interior into the digital age. What we like also is the fact that SEAT did not integrate the heating controls into the multimedia system but in turn left them stand alone, with good old-fashioned turn dials. This is just simpler and faster than scrolling through menus in our opinion. One piece of tech we couldn’t live without is the SEAT full Link system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto wired and out-of-car connectivity with SEAT CONNECT. This is just essential nowadays for the busy lives we all lead.
Like many small Volkswagen, Audi group products the new SEAT Ibiza will offer a trio of three-cylinder petrol engines; an 80PS, 95PS and 110PS model. The entry three-cylinder 1.0 litre MPI petrol engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The engines multi-point injection system helps it deliver decent response at low-to-mid engine speeds, while the 80PS power output and 93Nm of torque mean that it offers enough to handle the demands of modern-day driving. Direct-injection technology is used throughout the rest of the engine line-up, with two 1.0 EcoTSI options available. The 1.0 EcoTSI 95PS unit, linked to a five-speed manual transmission, provides 175Nm of torque and is certainly a little more peppy. Our test car had the 110PS / 200Nm which you can have either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. This engine packs real punch and feels spirited to drive!
SEAT has always preformed well in the safety stakes and the new Ibiza integrates a range of new driver assistance systems that make it much safer than many vehicles in this sector. The outgoing model already had Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist, and Tiredness Recognition but the updated vehicle now combines Travel Assist which offers semi-autonomous driving so that the vehicle can change its cruise speed with the flow of traffic. Also offered is Lane Assist, Side Assist and High Beam Assist using a front-facing camera to detect vehicles in front, travelling in either direction and will automatically switch the lights between high and low-beam as necessary.
SEAT Ibiza Prices
Entry into SEAT Ibiza ownership starts at €19,885 for the SE model. SE Plus can be obtained from €20,300. Xcellence starts at €23,995 with the Plus variant coming in at €26,060.
Our test car was the FR priced at €23,800 whilst the added spec on the FR Plus comes in at €25,765. Realistically for comfort and a nice level of spec you should be consider spending between €23 and €24k. There are some great PCP and finance packages available though your local dealer.
Living with the little SEAT Ibiza was easy and it provides a fun and practical form of transport. Like its predecessor the boot space’s total capacity remains at 355 litres, making it one of the best in class, and accessing the space is easy with a low loading height. It even has split levels where you can drop the boot floor pan to give you greater space. Our test car didn’t have a spare wheel but instead had the pump kit but rest assure, the spare wheel well is present should you want a space saver. On the outside few of our colleagues recognised that much had changed but inside is where the difference is felt. When you see the soft dash materials and Nappa leather steering wheel, it becomes evident that SEAT prioritised the interior and tech over the exterior. The functionality of the Apple CarPlay worked well during our test drive and the frugal 1.0 litre engine returned healthy mpg well into the mid 50’s. With so many considering electric or hybrid cars next its disappointing to know that some petrol powered cars will be overlooked. Our advice is until the charging network gets a lot better don’t totally dismiss the combustion engine just yet! They still have a lot to give.
SEAT Ibiza Pros
SEAT Ibiza Cons
Slighted dated styling
To see our full video review please visit our YouTube channel here.
To view all SEAT Ibiza’s currently for sale with Irish dealers please click here.
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