It’s not easy being the Seat Ibiza. While it can be splendid car in itself, there’s no escaping the competition such as the Ford Fiesta and the Skoda Fabia. Such stellar small hatchbacks raise the bar as high as the stakes, so Seat has responded with an upgraded model.
The looks are updated, there’s more space in the smarter cabin and the infotainment is the latest kit. With a keen price, surely that should swing some sales? To answer that question we took some readers to the factory in Spain to let them pore over the new model. Here’s what they thought.
Thomas Bennett drives not only a Seat Leon but, for his day job, he also drives a train, but he resisted making any comments about the car handling like it was on rails. Instead he focused on the technology in the cabin. He just loved the six-speaker Beats Audio which you can have in Xcellence trim. This gives you a sub-woofer in the boot and a whole lot of bass but Bennett also liked the smartphone mirroring capability so that he could stream music.
The 8in touchscreen which you get on all but the lowest trim level he found to be much better and faster than the system in his current Leon, everything from sat nav to graphics. He gave the car as seen five stars, as did Philip Bailey, who normally runs a Skoda Fabia, so bang in the target market.
He also had experience of the older Ibiza, and found the new model better built, more solid, with tighter gaps. So, better built, and better looking too. “I like the defined crease lines on the bonnet and the front bumper, especially the way they wrap around the front foglights. I also like how the line that goes down the side of the car kinks up over the rear wheels and joins the outline of the rear window.”
Better built, better looking and more spacious to boot. “Although this Ibiza is roughly the same size as its predecessor, the seats seem a lot more spacious than before. It was really easy to find my perfect driving position, and once I’d done so, I got in the back seat and still had plenty of head and leg room.”
James Taleporos drives a Fiesta, so again he’s right in the spot for this car. Especially as he’s not taken with the looks of the new Fiesta. The slightly bigger Ibiza scored good points with him for space.
“The boot is one of the biggest in this class. It’s massive, especially compared with my Fiesta’s, and a good shape. Having an adjustable boot floor is useful, and it leaves a flat floor – although it is a bit of a pain to use.”
It wasn’t just the size though. Like the others, he liked the crisp new styling which he felt carried on from the outside to the inside. In fact he felt it could definitely go head-to-head with cars like the Skoda Fabia or VW Polo because “it’s now a bit roomier, material quality is better and the infotainment is great.”
Graham Scott is a writer for WhatCar.