Thursday 20 July 2017

'A long hot summer in store': World premiere of the new SEAT Ibiza

The all new SEAT Ibiza
The all new SEAT Ibiza
The all new SEAT Ibiza
The all new SEAT Ibiza

Philip Hedderman in Barcelona

IT'S gonna be a long hot summer in the supermini sector with the unveiling of the sizzling new Ibiza.

Now in its fifth generation, the Spanish car giant’s best-selling model gets a radical overhaul and a major re-design.

With over 5.4 million sales worldwide, SEAT have launched a major offensive to become the top of the class in safety, style, performance and comfort.

Taking sartorial tips from its big brother, the Leon, the nose is unmistakeable with a double crease down the bonnet and flanked either side by the now signature LED headlamps.

Up the flanks it’s pure Ateca with sharp creases running up the high shoulders to the tail light clusters (also LED) while a chiselled lower line compliments the flow along the door sils.

At the rear the DNA from the award-winning SUV is ever present and the integrated tail pipes in the bumper add a really sporty feel.

The all new SEAT Ibiza
The all new SEAT Ibiza

First in the VW group to use the new MQB A0 platform, the new car is shorter (2mm) than the outgoing model but the wheelbase has been lengthened by 60mm. It’s also lower (1mm) and wider (87mm) giving it a much more aggressive presence on the road.

The extra dimensions are also felt inside where legroom in the rear seats has increased by 35mm, while the headroom has gone up by 24mm (front) and 17mm in the back. Even the seats are wider (an extra 42mm) making it far more comfy.

The boot has also been enlarged by 63 litres, bringing its total capacity to a best-in-class 355 litres.

Inside the new Ibiza is as stunning as the outside and the top of the range models we got up close and personal with in Barcelona this week were sporting state-of-the-art 8 inch i-Pad-like touchscreen which dominates the decluttered cockpit.

This is home to Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link connecting your phone to the car and wireless charging is offered as an optional extra.

It’s also loaded with executive saloon features including adaptive cruise control, keyless entry with dash-mounted engine start button, front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.

It’ll be offered in the familiar four trims – S, SE FR and XCELLENCE – and only as a five-door. The ST (estate version) has been consigned to history.

There are 4 petrol engines to choose from. The first a 1.0 MPI with 75bhp, a 3 cylinder 1.0 TSI with 95 or 115bhp.

A new 1.5 TSI will be available in late 2017 with four cylinders and 150bhp.

The 1.6 TDI diesel engines will come in 80, 95 and 115bhp varieties while you can also opt for 5 or 6-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

No official prices as yet but the order books will open later this summer with the first arriving just in time for the 172 plate.

A little bird tells us that  SEAT are keen to keep the prices just below €15,000 - a slight increase on the €14,295 currently charged.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a spin in the new baby but if it performs half as good as it looks then SEAT are onto another winner.

Petrol heads will be delighted to hear that a blistering Cupra is also in the pipeline.

Bring on the summer.

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