Verdict SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSi 95PS Xcellence
2017 is the year of the supermini, with many key replacements for popular models making their way to market – including the new SEAT Ibiza.
The Ibiza gets off to a great start being a new spacious, great looking, refined, fun-to-drive, affordable supermini alternative.
Although, we wish the interior was better finished, plus the 95PS engine had the six-speed manual gearbox of the 115PS version we also tried. Finally, we wonder if the cheaper (£16,255) SE Technology trim might be the sweet spot for business buyers, with the navigation system fitted as standard.
We haven’t driven the new Ford Fiesta yet and there’s an imminent new Volkswagen Polo too, but on first acquaintance, we reckon the Ibiza is a strong enough contender to take on the best.
- P11D Value: £17,115
- BIK band: 20%
- 5-door hatch
- 93bhp 1.0 litre, 3cyl petrol/five-speed manual
- CO2 Emissions: 106g/km
- Economy (comb): 60.1mpg
WE try the SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSi 95PS Xcellence version of the all-new fifth-generation version of SEAT’s best-seller the Ibiza supermini, with 5.4 million sold.
Now a five-door hatch only, the new Ibiza is the first Volkswagen Group car to benefit from the all-new MQB AO platform, which will also underpin the forthcoming new Audi A1 and Volkswagen Polo.
Other highlights include the choice of downsized 1.0-litre MPi petrol engines (diesels follow later), plus the fact that the Ibiza is longer, wider and features the latest connectivity, comfort and safety technology.
Available to order now, UK deliveries will start in July. However, Business Car Manager was lucky enough to get a go with the predicted best-selling engine – the 1.0-litre TSi petrol with 95PS in new Xcellence trim at the International launch.
- That refined new 95PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, which also boasts a gutsy 175Nm of torque. Specifications include a lightweight aluminium block, variable inlet and outlet valve timing for smoothness and a double overhead belt-driven camshaft which means 18,000-mile service intervals are possible – even on such a small engine.
- It might only boast 95PS, but this engine’s lightweight build works well with the Ibiza’s keen dynamics. It feels quick off the mark, is happy to be revved, yet remains smooth throughout. Well-matched to a slick, six-speed manual transmission, emissions are 106g/kg while consumption is 60.1mpg.
- There’s more good news about the Ibiza’s driving manners. This SEAT supermini almost feels like a scaled-down version of the Volkswagen Golf. The ride on the Xcellence’s standard 16-inch alloys is refined, yet in the corners it remains a tidy handler. Yes, there’s some bodyroll, but there’s plenty of grip and it feels very secure.
- Wider with a longer wheelbase equals no more legroom, but 63 litres of extra boot space. Still, we reckon four adults could travel in comfort inside the new Ibiza. The car’s neat, modern interior design means it’s a pleasant place to spend time too.
- Okay, so the new Ibiza looks like a scaled-down version of the bigger Leon hatch and the triangular design details transfer well to this supermini. Design highlights have to be the short overhangs, then there’s the double side blisters that meet on this SEAT’s rear door. Plus, the neat way that the rear blister is carried on in the rear light cluster, the sporty upswept window line and the lower cutout at the side. At the front, you won’t miss the standard LED headlights, the sculpted bonnet and the ‘X’-shaped design around the grill and front air dam. At the back, like the front, there are distinctive LED light clusters, with sharp metal work around them and the boot.
- We drove the top spec new Xcellence trim at launch, this includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, dual-zone climate control, keyless go, front and rear parking sensors, Beats Audio system, cruise control and Alcantara trim – all for £17,310.
- Safety equipment is comprehensive and includes features seen on the Ateca crossover and facelifted Leon, such as Front Assist, which warns if the distance between you and the car in the front is reduced. There’s also a rear view camera as well as ABS plus driver, passenger and side airbags.
- The Ibiza’s interior design might look sharp and from a distance the plastics look worthy of a Volkswagen Group product. However, on closer inspection, they are made of hard and in some places shiny plastics that look like they will mark easily. However, this isn’t a dealbreaker.
- The standard 5” touchscreen looks and works well, but we were less impressed with the optional navigation system, which in our opinion didn’t work intuitively.
- The Ibiza feels solidly built, but with the cheap-feeling interior plastics and the way all the doors clang shut, this SEAT feels disappointingly inferior compared to say even the current Volkswagen Polo.