Ibiza raises

supermini bar

SEAT Ibiza, front
SEAT Ibiza, interior
SEAT Ibiza, side, static
SEAT Ibiza, rear, static
SEAT Ibiza, side
SEAT Ibiza, rear

THAT ray of Spanish sunshine on wheels, the SEAT Ibiza is moving forward with a fifth generation model that is causing a stir in the supermini sector.

The Ibiza, which first came to these shores in 1984 was initially treated as something of an also-ran but has now developed into a big player in Britain - even more so now with a new version which features the impressive build quality and magnetic appeal of SEAT's popular Ateca SUV.

The Ibiza is SEAT's best-selling car and has always been popular with family drivers and those who are young at heart, selling 5.4 million units since its beginnings.

The new car is built on the company's MQB A0 modular platform which will go on to form the underpinnings of the new VW Polo and Audi A1and has been designed and developed by SEAT.

In terms of styling the new Ibiza is an evolution of the larger Leon model - and that's no bad thing.

What's special is the premium feel in a car costing from £13,130.

If the badges were obscured you could not be blamed for thinking you were driving an Audi. The car's handling suggests this too.

In my view the latest Ibiza sets new standards in its field, a case proven by the fact that it is already picking up awards.

And the UK is a major export market for SEAT so the marketing for the Ibiza has to be just right.

The new Ibiza comes in a five-door only body style in line with current trends and loses none of its youthful appeal. Indeed, the Ibiza already has the youngest customer base of any supermini.

Slightly larger than the car it replaces, the new model features the latest connectivity features including wireless charger and a Beats audio system.

Engine options at launch are three 1.0 petrol units of three cylinders with outputs of 75, 95 or 115ps. These are latest generation three-cylinders engines from the VW stable and are super smooth.

The 95ps in particular is highly economical with a Combined mpg of 60.1, allied to CO2 emissions of 106 g/km. It has 113mph in its sights and reach 62mph in just 10.9 seconds.

Diesel options of 1.6-litre capacity will soon become available.

There is also a raft of active and passive safety features including Front Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control making this car very advanced for its type.

In recent years there has been a move away from the traditional hatchback to compact SUVs. The latest Ibiza could begin to reverse the trend and is a top class supermini.

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