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SEAT Ibiza

By / 9 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

SECTOR Supermini  PRICE £9,995 – £16,840  FUEL 47.9 – 80.7mpg  CO2 92 – 139g/km

Ibiza is SEAT’s biggest seller, and justifiably so. It’s the purest representation of that sporty, affordable SEAT character the brand wants to express, undercutting the Polo and more exciting than the Fabia.

SEAT now has its sights set on the Chinese market, and this refreshed Ibiza will be an important part of that campaign. It’s gained a few subtle bodywork revisions and an altered range, looking near identical to the 2007 IBZ concept car and ready to sit alongside new and forthcoming models without looking dated.

IBZ debuted the Ibiza ST, and this has had the most attention. The range is now almost identical to the hatchback, which means buyers can choose the ST in sporty FR spec with larger wheels and red-stitched sports seats ­– a model that lets it live up to the name Sport Tourer.

Little has changed inside: good quality plastics positioning this somewhere between Fabia and Polo on the tactility scale, and even the basic models manage to avoid feeling cheap.

Engines are almost identical to the outgoing car, comprising of three and four cylinder petrol and diesel models ranging from the 60bhp 1.2-litre petrol to the 148bhp 1.4 TSI – the most powerful model until the Cupra arrives next year. CO2 emissions are as low as 92g/km for the Ecomotive.

But the stars are found in the mid-range. The 103bhp 1.2 TSI petrol introduced last year is a lively little engine that suits the Ibiza perfectly, and the equivalent 1.6 TDICR is commendable too. It’s just a shame there’s no sixth gear on either to boost motorway refinement and efficiency.

Ibiza is claimed to retain 38% of buyers, and it’s growing in fleet. Broader engine and trim choice and pin-sharp styling are unlikely to alter its trajectory, making this a worthy part of SEAT’s global ambitions.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.