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Seat's all-new Ibiza is touching down on Northern Ireland's forecourts

The Ibiza is Seat's biggest-selling car.

Just in time to savour one of the best early summers for years, Seat's all-new Ibiza is touching down on Northern Ireland's forecourts.

Seat will cash in on the Spanish brand's reputation for stylish and sunny cars with a complete overhaul of the popular supermini.

The Ibiza has been on the market since 1984 and the latest iteration is its fifth generation. To date, it remains Seat's biggest-selling car, with more than 5.5 million sold.

It sits in a fiercely competitive segment, battling the likes of the Fiesta, Corsa and Clio, so the new version needs to be completely shipshape.

It's evolution rather than revolution on the design front, however that still means significant advancement over the outgoing model.

As Seat begins to impose the latest design language across its range, the new Ibiza looks more like the new Leon, it's Golf-like bigger sister, than before. It is sharper-looking and appears better planted on the tarmac.

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The all-new Seat Ibiza.

The overhangs are very short, particularly at the front, with the four wheels situated virtually on the four corners of the car.

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 delivers the sportier look of a 3-door model.

The interior is roomier thanks to the MQB AO platform. This is the new supermini platform shared across the Volkswagen group and it gives, according to Seat, 30% greater torsional stiffness as well as better noise dampening and ride.

The actual size 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.

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The all-new Seat Ibiza.

The boot is bigger by 63 litres, bringing its total capacity to 355 litres. The loading height has also been lowered. Under the bonnet, you'll find new Euro6-compliant engines, with three aluminium block and cylinder petrol engines to choose from.

The first option is the three cylinder 1.0 TSI with 95 or 115 PS, along with a turbo-compressor, intercooler and direct injection.

A new 1.5 TSI will be available in late 2017 with four cylinders and 150 PS.

There is an efficient 1.6 TDI diesel unit as well, coming in 80, 95 and 115 PS outputs.

Rather uniquely in this class, there is also a compressed-natural gas (CNG) engine - a 1.0 TSI unit with 90 PS.

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.

There are trim levels, starting with the Reference followed by the Style trim. The top-of-the-range models are the FR and XCellence trims.

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The all-new Seat Ibiza.

FR is the most dynamic to look at - and to drive, too. Not only does it get the best engine, but there are exclusive dynamic design elements like rear diffuser, unique front bumper, sport suspension and an exclusive exterior black pack. There are four driver mode settings, Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual.

XCellence, on the other hand, focuses on comfort, elegance and technology with a distinctive design combined with more convenient and smart functional equipment.

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, with 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 including optional extras.

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