The exterior of the Spanish brand’s Ford Fiesta rival - which will continue to be offered in three-door SC, five-door and estate ST forms - has received only the mildest of tweaks, with different headlights that now include LED daytime running lights, two fresh designs of alloy wheel and a couple of new paint colours.
It’s a different story inside and under the bonnet, though, because the Ibiza gets some of the VW Group’s latest three-cylinder petrol engines. The entry-level powerplant is the 74bhp 1.0-litre motor that’s already seen extensive use in the Up, Mii and Citigo city cars. However, the Ibiza is the first VW Group product to get turbocharged versions of the same engine, with 89bhp and 109bhp. These motors have been expected for some time - indeed, we sampled the higher-powered configuration in the ultimately stillborn Up GT back in 2012.
Seat has yet to release any detailed performance or efficiency data, but it has revealed that the turbocharged 1.0 engines will produce 118lb ft and 148lb ft respectively, and that the more modest of the two motors will emit 94g/km of CO2. It's likely to be badged Ecomotive - the first time the efficiency-focused sub-brand has featured on a petrol Ibiza. Even the higher-powered 1.0 TSI will emit 99g/km when paired with a manual transmission, although it will also be offered with a DSG dual-clutch automatic.
The Ibiza will also be offered with the VW Group’s 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘ACT’ engine, which features cylinder-on-demand technology. It’ll be one of the most potent motors in the revised line-up, with 148bhp, but Seat claims it will return nearly 60mpg.
The diesel line-up is also new, with a 74bhp 1.4-litre three-cylinder unit that emits 88g/km, and two more powerful options, with 89bhp or 104bhp.
The Ibiza continues to be based on the PQ26 platform, but Seat claims to have revised the Ibiza’s suspension settings for greater comfort, in direct response to customer feedback. Adaptive dampers will be offered as an option; they can operate in either comfort or sport mode. The steering is changed, too, from hydraulic power assistance to a speed-sensitive electrically assisted set-up. If the adaptive dampers - called Seat DriveProfile - are fitted, the steering weight and response will adjust depending on the mode selected.
The cabin gets a range of improved materials, with soft-touch plastics on the dashboard and, on all but the entry-level S editions, a central touchscreen for the revised infotainment system. Optional ‘colour packs’ will bring some of the exterior shades into the cabin, with coloured highlights around the air vents and insets in the steering wheel.
The new infotainment set-up brings the Ibiza up to the same level as the VW Polo and the recently launched Skoda Fabia. DAB radio is now available and buyers can also add MirrorLink, which runs approved apps on your smartphone but allows you to control them via the car’s interface. The Ibiza is the first car in the VW Group to offer this service alongside Apple Airplay and Android Auto; Seat claims this means customers will be able to switch smartphone brands with confidence, knowing that their car will still be compatible.
The new Ibiza is due on sale this autumn. Seat hasn’t announced prices but we’d expect them to be broadly in line with the existing models. That would mean a starting price of around £11,500 for a 74bhp three-cylinder petrol three-door in S trim - or about £12,500 for the same model with SE trim, which brings air-conditioning.