What's it like?
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but it is probably safe to say the new Ibiza is a pretty little car with great proportions and striking looks from almost any angle. Inside, it is the same story with quadrilateral shapes carried across features such as door handles, air vents and door mirrors to create a slick, harmonious feel throughout the cabin.
The dash is clean and classy despite the use of inexpensive-looking surface materials and touchscreens are smoothly integrated at its centre. Instruments are crisp and expensive-looking, giving a premium feel to the cabin. It’s generally a fun place to be and spacious too, with plenty of room for six-footers to sit one behind the other and a usefully shaped 355-litre boot, which is 63 litres bigger than that of the outgoing model.
The naturally aspirated 74bhp, 1.0 MPI engine tested here in SE spec is predictably sluggish in a car weighing a tad over a tonne. Accelerating requires patience and overtaking manoeuvres a deal of strategic planning but, once it is up to speed, it will cruise at 70mph without any fuss.
The gearbox is pleasingly light-shifting and the brakes are not over-sensitive with a good feel. The steering is less responsive and feels slightly less agile than the benchmark Fiesta in that crucial moment the wheel is moved away from the straight-ahead and, in that sense, it doesn’t convey the same sense of excitement. Because of that, the Ibiza may be missing a trick in that sometimes subliminal connection a car makes with a driver, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that it is supremely poised with a good ride, decent body control and no vices.
Should I buy one?
Seat has put a lot of effort into the new Ibiza and it shows. It’s a properly grown-up supermini with enormous appeal, a good range of safety equipment and an attractive options list including a Beats sound system. Unless you are shooting for the lowest price or insurance group, the 93bhp engine is probably a better choice at £14,595 in SE trim; the torque and flexibility of the turbo adds far more to the performance than a 19bhp difference in power suggests. Make that choice and you’ll buy into a five-star package that has no real faults and a lot to like. Prices range from £13,130 for the Ibiza S 74bhp 1.0 MPI to £17,310 for the 93bhp 1.0 TSI Xcellence.
Location North Wales On sale Now Price £14,000 Engine 3cyls, 999cc, petrol Power 74bhp at 6200rpm Torque 70lb ft at 3000-4300rpm Gearbox 5-spd manual Kerb weight 1091kg with driver 0-62mph 14.7sec Top speed 104mph CO2/tax band 112g/km, 21% Rivals Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208