THE fiercely competitive supermini sector is packed with talent and the latest SEAT Ibiza is one of its stars.
Sitting on the VW group's new modular compact car platform this handsome looking hatch is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
It offers clean, sharp styling and takes some of its looks from its larger Leon sibling - and that is no bad thing.
Nicely packaged in five-door only form, this fifth generation Ibiza has been designed to give more space and practicality.
It is about the same size as its predecessors but the designers have made it wider to provide more interior space and a larger boot.
Four adults can travel in real comfort and for shorter journeys it would handle five thanks to its increased head and legroom.
The boot is also the biggest in class at 355 litres and this increases significantly if you fold the split 60-40 rear seats.
The cabin is nicely appointed and all the instruments and controls are easy to read and use. The SE model I sampled was well specced for the money and offered all the tech required for modern motoring.
A neat touchscreen dominates the modern dash and gives you access to the excellent infotainment system.
The materials offer a boost in quality and are a match or better than most others in the class.
Owners have a wide range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from and my car came with the popular 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
With 95ps on tap it is good for a top speed of 113mph and tackles the sprint to 62mph in just under 11 seconds.
It is quiet and smooth, always perky and willing and returns a claimed combined 60.1 miles to the gallon.
Light and agile the Ibiza handles really well in town and it is also just as comfortable cruising at motorway speeds.
Visibility is excellent and it is easy to select a good driving position. The ride is comfortable and the new chassis provides good grip while the supple suspension deals well with all kinds of surfaces.
The five-speed manual gearbox is a delight to use and the light steering is sharp and accurate.
Always popular with young drivers, this latest Ibiza has a more mature feel to it and that should help win it some new admirers.
A top-seller for SEAT for over 30 years, the Ibiza is named after the sunshine island and is well-priced to continue its sales success.