What is it?
The Seat Ibiza first went on sale in the UK in 1985 and this, the latest generation, is the best yet. This is the first Volkswagen Group car based on the MQB A0 platform, which means it should promise much in the way of handling, ride and comfort. There are four five-door-only models on offer: S, SE, FR and a new premium Xcellence. Initially there are three, three-cylinder petrol engines: 74bhp 1.0 MPI, 93PS 1.0 TSI and 113bhp 1.0 TSI. A 148bhp, 1.5 TSI Evo will come later in 2017, but don’t get too excited - Seat says there are no plans for a Cupra. There’s a choice of five-speed manual transmission on 74bhp and 93bhp versions, and six-speed on the 113bhp and forthcoming 148bhp Evo versions. A DSG auto is available on the 113bhp FR. There will also be 83bhp and 93bhp 1.6 TDI diesels available later.
The naturally aspirated 74bhp, 1.0 MPI engine is available in S, SE and Xcellence trim levels and, although the combined fuel consumption is slightly worse than the 93bhp TSI turbo engine at 57.6mpg compared with 60.1mpg, choosing the least powerful engine drops the insurance group from to 5E from 11E for the S and SE and from 12E to 6E on the Xcellence.
Wheel sizes range from 15-inch on the S and SE to 16-inch on the Xcellence and a striking 17-inch design for the FR. Inside, S models comes with basic black-and-white 5.0-inch touchscreens but the SE upgrades to colour. FR and Xcellence models get 8.0-inch colour touchscreens including voice recognition and sat-nav as standard as well as apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The same set-up is an option on the SE.