Seat’s ever-pop­u­lar Ibiza has been win­ning sales – and awards – for years. One year af­ter the re­lease of an all-new gen­er­a­tion model, how is it stack­ing up?

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - CARFINDER UPDATE


WHAT’S NEW? There are no bet­ter ac­co­lade to a car man­u­fac­turer than sales and awards.

So, then, it would ap­pear Seat has lit­tle to worry about with the new Ibiza, which is scor­ing in both ar­eas.

Sales are said to be stack­ing up very well, and the award front go­ing swim- mingly, with the Ibiza pick­ing up sec­tor prizes in two of the UK’S big­gest awards, the What Car? Car of the Year Awards (Best Small Car) and the UK Car of the Year Awards 2018 (Best Supermini) in Jan­uary alone.

It was an im­pres­sive fifth gen­er­a­tion over­haul that won it for the Ibiza. This is an as­sertive, mod­ern and value for money re­vamp that won the car new friends.

It needs them, of course; this is a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket seg­ment. Ri­vals like the Ford Fi­esta, Re­nault Clio, Vaux­hall Corsa, VW Polo and Skoda Fabia are ready to gob­ble up the Ibiza’s lunch at the first op­por­tu­nity.

The Ibiza has been a long-time favourite, hav­ing been around since 1984. It re­mains Seat’s big­gest-sell­ing car, shift­ing more than 5.5 mil­lion units to date.

Seat has boldly stated that the Ibiza is one of the Con­tin­ued on Page 2 >>

three pil­lars of the com­pany, to­gether with the Leon and Ateca.

So what’s new about the fifth gen­er­a­tion car? Well, just about ev­ery­thing. The one thing that has evolved rather than been to­tally re­newed is the de­sign.

It looks 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 fifth-gen 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. The load­ing height has also been low­ered.

touch­screen, LED day­time run­ning lights and air con.

SE Tech­nol­ogy, which costs £620 more than SE, builds on this, adding Me­dia Sys­tem Plus, sat nav with 3D map and auto-head­lights.

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 twin ex­hausts, a 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, Xcel­lence fo­cuses on com­fort, el­e­gance and tech­nol­ogy with a dis­tinc­tive de­sign com­bined with more con­ve­nient and smart func­tional equip­ment and the ad­di­tion of Al­can­tara leather-like up­hol­stery.

SAFETY AND TECH The car comes with ex­cel­lent driv­ing as­sis­tance sys­tems in­clud­ing Front As­sist, Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol, Key­less En­try Sys­tem with heart­beat en­gine start but­ton, a new gen­er­a­tion of front and rear park­ing sen­sors and a rear-view cam­era.

For this class, a stand­out fea­ture is a wire­less phone charger with GSM am­pli­fier that boosts the mo­bile phone sig­nal.

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 £15,125 for the base-level SE trim and rises to £17,310 for the top-spec Xcel­lence model, not count­ing op­tional ex­tras.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? The new Mini fea­tures an im­proved equip­ment tally, but buy­ers should be wary of the ex­ten­sive op­tions list. As stan­dard, the car comes with a 6.5-inch in­fo­tain­ment dis­play, DAB ra­dio, LED lights front and rear, air-con­di­tion­ing, and re­mote cen­tral lock­ing. Equip­ment lev­els in­crease

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