Seat Ibiza Hatchback 1.0 TSI 110 Xcellence 5dr DSG
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
This improved version of the fifth generation SEAT Ibiza supermini offers small car buyers a smarter set of more media-savvy talents. It'll need them if it's to distance itself from its Volkswagen and Skoda design stablemates and continue as a credible alternative in this tightly fought segment.
'Enjoyneering'. It's one of those marketing words of course, but it's also a rather apt description of what Spanish maker SEAT sets out to create when it brings us a small car. Something beautifully engineered: but with a bit of extra Latin sparkle. Something like this, the Iberian brand's much improved fifth generation Ibiza supermini? Perhaps. The 'beautifully engineered' bit isn't difficult to believe. The 'Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo' - or 'SEAT' as we better know it - is well used to injecting a little life into the mainstream market. In this case, the Spanish maker's position within the Volkswagen Group means that this car was the first of the conglomerate's supermini models to get the empire's sophisticated MQB A0 small car platform, something that enables weight savings and the addition of extra electronic features borrowed from larger models. Plus SEAT reckons that with this revised MK5 model, buyers will really notice the extra media options, the smarter interior and the additional safety provision incorporated this time round. Will it all be enough to keep this car current against more recent rivals? Let's find out.
On the move in this Ibiza, SEAT hopes one of the first things you'll notice is this model's 'big car' feel, something particularly evident in its rigid, rattle-free roadgoing demeanour. In part, this comes courtesy of the stiff MQB A0 chassis. That in turn means flat cornering and benefits ride quality that's un-bettered in this class. We're slightly less sure about SEAT's decision to extend that same 'big car' feel to the steering which, as a consequence, is a tough lighter than some really enthusiastic drivers might like. The good news though, is that you still get enough feedback through your fingertips to keep you well informed on how well the front tyres are gripping on faster, twistier roads. Bottom line? If you'd ideally want a supermini with the spaciousness of a Skoda Fabia or a Honda Jazz and would like the sharp handling of a Fiesta and the supple ride of a Volkswagen Polo, you'll get closer to it with this SEAT than with any other class contender we can think of. SEAT has had a good look at the engine range. It's now all petrol-powered - and all based around a 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder turbo powerplant which produces either 95 or 110PS. The feebler engine gets a six-speed manual gearbox, with 7-speed DSG auto transmission available on most variants with the 110PS unit. Diesels have now been dropped.
Design and Build
There aren't many exterior changes to this revised version of the MK5 model, but you might spot the now-standard full-LED headlights and the revised alloy wheel designs.It's still a five-door-only design with short front and rear overhangs and at the front of the car, triangular full-LED headlights dominate. Under the skin, as before, the car is based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB A0 platform, shared with the VW Polo. Inside, the update changes are a little easier to spot, with a new floating central infotainment system with bigger screen sizes - either 8.25 or 9.2-inches, depending on spec. Top variants now get a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument binnacle screen too. With all the monitors, there's now a built-in e-SIM and SEAT's 'Hola Hola' voice control system. And of course the brand's usual 'Full Link; smartphone-mirroring set-up, which accommodates 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'. Other update changes include a softer-touch dashboard, as well as a more ergonomic multifunction Nappa leather steering wheel. The driver and passenger air vents have been redesigned and the surrounds now illuminate. Otherwise, things are much as before. That MQB A0 platform allows for a longer-than-average wheelbase, which translates into decent rear seat space and a decently-sized 355-litre boot.
Market and Model
Prices haven't changed very much, so expect a price span in the £17,000 to £22,000 bracket, which means that, as before, you're getting Volkswagen Polo technology for a significant saving. Only five-door models are on offer and the trim lines run from 'SE' to 'SE Technology', 'FR', 'FR Sport', 'XCELLENCE' and 'XCELLENCE Lux'. As for equipment, well the full-LED headlights are a highlight. Plus most models get 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'/'MirrorLink' 'phone connectivity, plus buyers can specify a premium 8-inch touchscreen and a wireless charger with a GSM amplifier. In addition, there's the chance to add in a thumping 300-watt 'Beats' Audio system with 7 speakers and an 8-channel amplifier. Other features buyers might want include keyless entry with a 'heartbeat' engine start button, front and rear parking sensors and a higher quality rear view camera. 'FR' and 'XCELLENCE' variants get colour-personalisable LED interior lighting too. Safety-wise, SEAT has added various new features to this revised model, though you'll need plush trim or an extra spend for most of them. There's the brand's latest 'Travel Assist' semi-autonomous driving system, which allows you to let the car do most of the steering, throttle and braking work on the highway and in traffic queues. There's also now 'Lane Assist', 'Side Assist' and 'High Beam Assist'. As before, the Ibiza can also feature 'Front Assist' autonomous braking and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Cost of Ownership
Being able to dip into the Volkswagen Group parts bin for the niftiest tech usually means a very low overall cost of ownership and that's certainly the case here. The 1.0-litre TSI 95PS petrol models are capable of up to 54.3mpg and a CO2 figure of as little as 118g/km - so who needs a diesel? The 1.0 TSI 110PS auto petrol model manages up to 47.9mpg and up to 132g/km. A start/stop system, which switches off the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill, is on all models. What else? Well there's SEAT's usual three year/60,000 mile warranty. That's unexceptional when rivals like Toyota and Hyundai offer five years of cover as standard and Kia offers up to seven years. However, the SEAT deal is extendable, so you might be able to negotiate on that. And it includes two years of Europe-wide roadside assistance.
Ibiza's important to Spain - and this one certainly is to SEAT. This car is, in short, something of an Iberian success story. And one that looks set to continue for some time yet. Extra infotainment provision, a slightly smarter look, more equipment and some useful extra safety features have nicely embellished the Ibiza's proposition, to the point where it's now a supermini you simply can't ignore. Unlike many other affordable small cars of this kind, it's fun to drive. And unlike other fun to drive contenders in this class, it's relatively spacious inside. Plus this car is safe, comfortable and well connected. In summary, we're looking here at a car that, like its brand, has matured nicely. One mindful of the fact that modernday Spaniards need to balance Latin spirit with sober sense. In this Ibiza, they've a small car that does exactly that.
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Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.