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It's the brand new Seat Ibiza!
Spain's latest Ford Fiesta rival gets clever tech, Leon looks and a new platform
So this is the new Seat Ibiza. Like, all new. It’s the latest version of Seat’s top-selling model, of which 5.4 million have shifted since 1984.
There are many headlines. First is that this time around, there’ll be no three-door. Second is that this Ibiza is a fair bit bigger than the one it replaces. Its body is 87mm wider, and its wheelbase 60mm longer, although it’s broadly the same height and length as the old car. This means there’s more space inside. More front- and rear-headroom, says Seat, plus more legroom in the back and a 355-litre boot – that’s up by 63 litres. That’s a lot of bottles of squash.
What’s made all that possible is the new ‘MQB A0’ platform. The Ibiza is the first car to get it, but in time, so too will the VW Polo and Audi A1. MQB lives under everything from the VW Golf to the Skoda Kodiaq, via the Audi TT and Skoda Superb. The tech is well proven, and exceptionally clever. Here Seat’s claiming a reduction in weight and a 30 per cent increase in torsional stiffness, for corresponding improvements in performance, economy and handling.
From launch there will be two engines on offer, each with two power outputs. A three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrol comes with 94bhp or 113bhp, while a 1.6-litre diesel offers 80bhp or 94bhp. Later in 2017 Seat will also offer a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI with 148bhp. Expect the usual array of five- and six-speed manual and DSG automatic gearboxes.
In all, we think this is a pretty good-looking thing. Granted the exterior is all very Leon, but that’s a fairly handsome car anyway. And inside things get a bit more interesting. There’s loads of kit on offer – from CarPlay and Beats audio to adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and Front Assist collision warning tech – and it looks like a decent place to spend time.
Seat’s bringing the Ibiza to the 2017 Geneva motor show in March, ahead of its UK launch this July. No word on a Cupra yet, but we’ll collar an exec at Geneva and find out for you. At least 200bhp would be required, as well as much handling aggression.
For now, though, the question is simple, and based entirely on looks. This or new Ford Fiesta?