The SEAT Ibiza is a stalwart of the SEAT brand and has been around since 1984. This summer, the fifth generation of the Ibiza supermini will arrive in Ireland. This all-new model sits on a new small car platform from the Volkswagen Group and debuts with new styling, more tech and improved driving dynamics and comfort. I travelled to Barcelona with SEAT Ireland to drive the new car.
The design of the new SEAT Ibiza is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but the Ibiza has matured with more lines and contours for an edgier and sportier look. The car has not grown in length (it’s actually 2mm shorter and 1mm lower) but it looks more elongated and elegant in the metal when compared to the previous model. There is a choice of seven body colours including Desire Red, Mystery Blue and Mystic Magenta.
Inside there is a new cabin design that is a big improvement over the outgoing model. The material quality has improved and the large expanse of grey dashboard has been broken up with a new decorative moulding that stretches the width of the cabin. A large touchscreen with glossy black surround is the focal point in the centre of the dash.
The SEAT Ibiza is sold now as five door only. The new Ibiza is a significant 87mm wider than the car it replaces and that is immediately apparent when you sit into the driver’s seat because there is more shoulder room between you and your passenger. The rear seating space in the previous generation always felt a little on the small side but there is now 35mm more leg room for rear seat passengers and 17mm more headroom. Boot space has increased by 63 litres to 355 litres, which is excellent for this class of vehicle.
In Ireland, the new SEAT Ibiza will be available at launch with a non-turbo 1.0-litre (75hp) petrol engine and a new 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol with 95 or 115hp. Joining later will be a new 1.5-litre TSI 150hp four cylinder turbo petrol and 1.6-litre diesels (80 and 95hp). A DSG automatic gearbox is available paired with the new 1.0-litre 115hp engine. At the launch, I drove the new 1.0-litre 115hp turbo petrol engine with both a 6-speed manual and a DSG automatic gearbox. This engine is fast and nippy with 0-100kmh achieved in 9.3 seconds, and robust enough to be taken out of the city. This unit has an average consumption of 4.7l/100km and CO2 emissions are 108g/km.
On the road
The new SEAT Ibiza is the first car from the Volkswagen Group to use the new MQB A0 platform. There is now a better balance between handling and comfort, and the steering has also been improved. On the tight, twisty mountain roads of our test route around Barcelona, the new Ibiza was brilliant to drive with excellent grip and precise steering that tightens perfectly going into turns for good feel and easy positioning on the road. At motorway speeds, the Ibiza is stable, quiet and refined.
The all-new SEAT Ibiza is available in four trim levels in Ireland: S, SE, Xcellence and FR. Entry level equipment includes Front Assist, remote central locking and touchscreen. SE cars add 15“ alloys, front fog lights, LED DRLs, rear LED lights, air con and Bluetooth. Xcellence adds a leather pack, cruise control, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, and folding electric mirrors. FR is the sporty one and features 17“ alloys, dark tinted rear windows, SEAT Drive Profile, and updated styling.
Pricing for the new SEAT Ibiza starts at €14,995 for the S range, €17,335 for the SE range, €18,745 for XCELLENCE and €19,465 for the FR range. The new 1.0-litre TSI is available from €18,065. Diesel pricing is yet to be confirmed. SEAT has announced a special 3-2-1 offer on new Ibiza which provides customers with a 3 years‘ free service plan, 2% PCP and one years‘ free road tax.
The SEAT Ibiza will be up against it this year with plenty of new competition coming from new or refreshed models like the Toyota Yaris, Renault Clio, Nissan Micra, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio.
The SEAT Ibiza has grown-up. The new Ibiza’s confident stance and style on the outside is matched to a new found maturity on the road. There have been welcome improvements in space, comfort and refinement, and the new interior and infotainment means the Ibiza is well equipped to take the fight to the competition. While the new 1.0-litre turbo petrol tested at launch is excellent, the higher list price means it likely won’t be the default option for Irish buyers. It’s a shame, but new Ibiza looks to have the basics covered.
The new SEAT Ibiza will be in Irish dealers from late June.