SHINY NEW SEAT IBIZA AIMS TO SHAKE UP SU­PER­MINI MAR­KET

Seat has pro­duced an all-new gen­er­a­tion of its ever-pop­u­lar Ibiza su­per­mini. The new car has been re­designed from the ground up. Will it main­tain Seat’s po­si­tion in a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket?

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - PAUL CONNOLLY

WHAT’S NEW The su­per­mini mar­ket is no­to­ri­ously com­pet­i­tive and some of the best-sell­ing cars re­side there.

The Ford Fi­esta, Re­nault Clio, Vaux­hall Corsa, VW Polo and Skoda Fabia. The Seat Ibiza is up there too, and has been since the Eight­ies.

The Ibiza, you’ll re­call, has been around since 1984. It’s now en­ter­ing its fifth gen­er­a­tion and re­mains Seat’s big­gest-sell­ing car, shift­ing 5.4 mil­lion units to date.

Seat has boldly stated that the Ibiza is one of the three pil­lars of the com­pany, to­gether with the Leon and Ateca, on which Seat re­lies to con­tinue build­ing the suc­cess of the com­pany in the fu­ture.

So what’s new? Well, just about ev­ery­thing. The one thing that has evolved rather than been to­tally re- newed is the de­sign.

It looks, well, more Leon-ish, which is a good thing as it brings the Ibiza and its big­ger brother more into line. The fam­ily fea­tures are more ob­vi­ous.

Based on Volk­swa­gen’s MQB A0 Plat­form, it’s lost weight, gained room and looks a lot sharper. It will only come with five doors.

Seat says the styling is youth­ful and sporty, and it’s hard to dis­agree with that as­sess­ment. The front and rear over­hangs are very short, with the four

wheels sit­u­ated vir­tu­ally on the four corners of the car.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

The new Ibiza is only avail­able in a 5-door op­tion, which is now more func­tional and Seat’s en­gi­neers have worked hard to en­sure the new de­sign of­fers the sportier look of a 3-door model.

In­side, the 2017 Ibiza is con­sid­er­ably roomier thanks to a new body which is 87mm wider, 2mm shorter, and 1mm lower. It also has a 60mm longer wheel­base.

Rear leg room has in­creased by 35mm, while head room has gone up by 24mm in the front seats and 17mm in the rear, ac­cord­ing to Seat.

The boot is big­ger by 63 litres, bring­ing its to­tal ca­pac­ity to 355 litres, mak­ing it “best in class”. The load­ing height has also been low­ered.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Pulling power comes from new Euro6-com­pli­ant en­gines, with three alu­minium block and cylin­der petrol en­gines to choose from.

The first op­tion is the 3 cylin­der 1.0 TSI with 95 or 115 PS, along with a tur­bo­com­pres­sor, intercooler and di­rect in­jec­tion. A new 1.5 TSI will be avail­able in late 2017 with four cylin­ders and 150 PS.

Ef­fi­cient 1.6 TDI diesel en­gines come in 80, 95 and 115 PS va­ri­eties.

Fi­nally, the MQB A0 plat­form al­lows the new Ibiza to of­fer a com­pressed-nat­u­ral gas (CNG) pow­ered 90-PS 1.0 TSI en­gine, the first of its kind in this class.

The gear­boxes avail­able are a man­ual 5-speed trans­mis­sion for the 95-PS and lower en­gines and a 6-speed trans­mis­sion for the more pow­er­ful en­gines.

The dual-clutch DSG 7-speed gear­box is an­other of the op­tions avail­able on the new Seat Ibiza.

TRIM LEV­ELS

The new Ibiza has four equip­ment lines, start­ing with the Ref­er­ence fol­lowed by the Style trim. The top-of-the-range are the FR and Xcellence trims.

The FR trim comes with the most dy­namic and tech­no­log­i­cal equip­ment to en­joy the best per­for­mance.

Ex­clu­sive dy­namic de­sign el­e­ments have been specif­i­cally cre­ated for it like, rear dif­fuser, ex­clu­sive front bumper, sport sus­pen­sion and ex­clu­sive ex­te­rior black pack. The FR of­fers four mode set­tings, Com­fort, Eco, Sport and In­di­vid­ual.

Just as FR fo­cuses on sporti­ness, for a sportier car, Xcellence fo­cuses on com­fort, el­e­gance and technology with a dis­tinc­tive de­sign com­bined with more con­ve­nient and smart func­tional equip­ment.

SAFETY AND TECH

The car comes with ex­cel­lent driv­ing as­sis­tance sys­tems in­clud­ing Front As­sist, Adap­tive Cruise Con- trol, Key­less En­try Sys­tem with heart­beat en­gine start but­ton, a new gen­er­a­tion of front and rear park­ing sen­sors and a rear-view cam­era. A higher qual­ity and pre­ci­sion re­flected in a pre­mium eight-inch touch­screen.

For this class, a stand­out fea­ture is a wire­less phone charger with GSM am­pli­fier. In terms of con­nec­tiv­ity, you also get Ap­ple Car Play, An­droid Auto and Mir­ror Link. There’s a Beats pre­mium au­dio sys­tem, too.

Pric­ing be­gins at £13,130 and rises to £17,310 for the top-spec Xcellence model, not count­ing op­tional ex­tras.

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