SEAT's Ibiza was given a major facelift last autumn and although it may look similar it has been greatly improved.
The Ibiza recently celebrated its 30thanniversary by reaching over five million global sales and this recent makeover keeps the accomplished supermini competitive in a very tough market.
Most of the really important changes are hidden under the skin and bonnet but the interior and technology have also been brought right up to date.
This car featured the highlight of the new range - Volkswagen group's super 1.0-litre three cylinder engine.
Combined with tweaks to the suspension and steering the Ibiza is now more fun than ever and it is still cheaper than most of its rivals, including the Corsa and Fiesta.
SEAThasn't tampered too much with the exterior styling as the Ibiza's sharp looks are still fresh and the addition of new LED running lights and some personalisation options were enough to keep it desirable.
The new engine is available with three different outputs and the test car featured the frugal eco unit which is boosted to 95ps but has emissions of just 94g/km and is capable of 68.9mpg on the combined cycle.
It is a smart little performer, quiet and willing and linked to a slick five-speed manual gearbox.
The little unit proved to be surprisingly nippy, good in town traffic and equally happy at motorway cruising speeds. Fitted with start/stop technology it also has a gear shift prompt on the dash to advise you when to change gear.
As a result I averaged about 57mpg in real conditions, making this engine one of the most fuel efficient petrol units available.
The ride and handling are also much improved giving the Ibiza a new lease of life.
Although the interior of the previous model was well built, it was dated with dull scratchy plastics and hard surfaces. Thankfully SEAT have taken this on board with a modern new facia and better quality soft touch materials being used.
A new infotainment system features a colour touchscreen and is easy to use and there is a full smartphone connection that can be used by iPhones and Android devices. A 3D navigation system is also available at extra cost.
The steering wheel is now fitted with multi-function buttons and adjusts to give you a good driving position.
Standard equipment on the SE model tested is generous and includes air conditioning, alloy wheels, a DAB radio, remote locking, alarm, halogen headlights, LED running lights and LED taillights as well as the infotainment system with six speakers.
Options fitted to the car included metallic paint at £530, a convenience pack which includes auto-headlights, a coming and leaving home function, rain sensing wipers and electric folding door mirrors at £230.
In addition it had the navigation system plus which features a 3D map display, high resolution colour driver's display and two SD card slots with voice recognition for £580. A space saving spare wheel added another £100 to the total.
Even so, £13,975 for this five-door SE 1.0 Eco TSI represents good value for money and even with the options fitted it is still a good deal.