SEAT Ibiza FR EcoTSI

DSG

SEAT Ibiza FR, action
SEAT Ibiza, front
SEAT Ibiza, side
SEAT Ibiza, rear
SEAT Ibiza, interior
SEAT Ibiza, detail
SEAT Ibiza, detail
SEAT Ibiza FR Edition
SEAT Ibiza FR, side
SEAT Ibiza FR, rear
SEAT Ibiza FR Edition, rear
SEAT Ibiza FR, interior
SEAT Ibiza FR, boot

SEAT enthusiasts are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting from the best selling Ibiza range, with around 30 models on offer.

New to the line up is the FR version of the popular 1.0-litre, three cylinder model, offering a great blend of performance and economy.

FR denotes the more sporting nature of the model and at first you wonder if its not at odds with the diminutive size of the engine.

But once you get behind the wheel it soon becomes abundantly clear that this 999cc model is a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

With 110bhp and a slick seven-speed DSG gearbox this is one lively 1.0-litre.

Punching well above its weight it will hit 62 miles per hour in a very sharp 9.3 seconds and go onto a top speed of just over 120 miles per hour. Not what you normally expect from a car powered by a three-cylinder engine.

Only a few years ago you would be looking at buying a 1.6-litre model to get such sparkling performance.

At the same time with the FR EcoTSI you get the benefits of great economy - SEAT claims more than 64 miles per gallon although my average for the week was closer to 54mpg - and rock bottom road tax of just £20pa.

Opt for an FR model and you get a long list of sporting extras to distinguish the car from others in the Ibiza range.

Features include sports suspension, twin exhausts pipes, sporting front and rear bumpers, FR sports front seats, steering wheel gear shift paddles and 16 inch Stratos alloys with 215/45 R16 tyres.

The firmer sports suspension ensures that this is an enjoyable car to drive with plenty of grip but no wallowing on corners. And despite the harder ride even vociferous back seat passengers should be comfortable and therefore quiet.

On the practical side the Ibiza offers a generous boot for a supermini and inside the cabin there's space for five to get comfortable without being too close.

The dashboard is functional rather than fussy with a heavy predominance of black plastic. But the essential dials are well placed and easy to read quickly and I liked the flat bottomed, sporting multifunctional FR steering wheel.

A central touchscreen eliminates the need for too many buttons and it works simply and well. On the radio setting, for example, you can change stations with just one touch of the screen as it should be. On several cars I have driven recently, modern technology meant five separate actions were required simply to listen to a different radio programme.

This new addition to the Ibiza range is a car with a wide range of plus points and is set to appeal to drivers of all ages.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Ibiza FR EcoTSI DSG

Price: £16,140

Mechanical: 110bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group: 102g/km

C02 emissions: 17

Bik rating: 15 %

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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