Vista 1.0 5-door
the arrival of the new SEAT
Ibiza range of supermini five-door
Hatchbacks, SC (three-door Sports
Coupe) and ST (Sports Tourer
five-door estate) models breathe
life into an ailing brand?
NEW MODELS ARRIVE with keen prices on average just 3% higher
than the models they replace with a range of new EU6-compliant
engines, much improved interior quality, improved ride comfort and more gadgets
or technology, although the exterior styling changes look minimal.
Prices start from £10,000 for the SC versions; from £12,315 for the five-door
Hatchbacks; and ST estates are available from £13,015. I counted 32 different
models listed in the latest price list boosted by a wide range of engine options
and a lot of specification choices: E, S, SE, Toca, Vista, Connect, FR and the
FR Red Edition although the availability varies between body styles. Cupra versions
join the range in January 2016.
are six petrol and three diesel engines, six of which are completely new, again
depending on the model chosen. These range from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
developing 73bhp (75hp) plus there are 95 and 110hp turbocharged versions of
the same engine which offer better performance, improved fuel economy and lower
SEAT UK expect to sell
around 22,000 Ibiza
models in 2016.
Typical UK buyers are
split 51% female and 49%
the largest proportion in
the 25-to-34 age
are also four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI turbo petrol 90 and 110hp units and a 1.4-litre
Eco TSI 150hp four-pot petrol engine. For diesel fans there is plenty of choice:
75, 90 and 105hp 1.4-litre TDI turbodiesels with the 75hp TDI Ecomotive being
the cleanest in the range 88g/km CO2 emissions alongside 83.1mpg
in the official Combined Cycle.
SEAT UK says they expect to sell around 22,000 Ibiza models in 2016; 44% of
them will be the SC three-door with 53% taking the five-door Hatchback versions
and just 3% opting for the ST estates. Typical UK buyers are split 51% female
and 49% male with the largest proportion in the 25-to-34 age category.
The likely best-selling model will be the five-door Hatch; the most popular
trim will be Vista; and the most popular engine will be the three-cylinder normally-aspirated
1.0-litre 75hp petrol unit. This model is priced at £13,445.
And it's the model I drove at the recent UK media launch. Starting from the
outside, the slightly revised body retains the chiselled look with sharp styling
lines, and the long wheelbase with short overhangs continues as before. LED
driving lights are standard from the SE spec upwards. Depending on the trim
level, there are six exterior colour pack options.
Inside there is a much more obvious improvement in terms of quality and specification.
Most of the plastic trim around the fascia and door panels is now soft-touch
which has replaced the cheap-looking hard plastic trim of previous versions.
There is a sportier Leon-style steering wheel with control buttons, new dials
and colour packs for the steering wheel, air vent surrounds and upholstery.
In line with other manufacturers in the supermini sector, SEAT has introduced
higher and more advanced infotainment and connectivity functions through their
new SEAT Full Link, Mirror Link and SEAT Connect systems which use Smartphone
connectivity and Apps via the touchscreen.
Vista specification includes LED tail lights, front fog lights with cornering
function, five-inch touchscreen, FM/AM radio and six speakers, leather steering
wheel and gear knob, Bluetooth, AirCon, 60:40-split folding rear seats, trip
computer, power windows and door mirrors, Driver's Pack (cruise control, hill
hold, tiredness recognition and rear parking sensors), and 16-inch alloy wheels.
A big improvement is
in ride comfort.
SEAT, with their strong
have always liked to
offer a firm, even hard,
ride for even their
most popular models.
Not anymore; comfort is a
new proposition and
its very welcome...
big improvement is in ride comfort. SEAT, with their strong motorsport heritage,
have always liked to offer a firm, even hard, ride for even their most popular
models. Not anymore; comfort is a new proposition and it's very
The ride is now more compliant by a large margin and it hasn't, thankfully,
reduced the Ibiza's ability for nimble and sharp handling with good body control
during higher cornering speeds. The steering is light and the brakes well balanced
and predictable on wet or dry blacktop.
The five-door Hatchback models seem to offer the best mix for price, space and
usability. Although the three-door SC versions have the same 292 litres of boot
space as the five-door Hatchback, they offer very little rear legroom. Neither
are the less popular ST estates any more spacious for passengers than the five-door
models although they do, of course, have a larger (430-litre) load capacity.
Expected to be the main-selling engine, the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder normally-aspirated
petrol unit serves up a modest 73bhp and 70lb ft of torque at 3,000rpm. Mated
to a five-speed manual gearbox, top speed is 107mph but the benchmark zero-to-62mph
needs a lengthy 14.8 seconds.
The Combined Cycle fuel consumption is officially 54.3mpg and on test using
A and B country roads it returned 47.1mpg. The CO2 emissions are 118g/km so
first year road tax is £0 and thereafter £30 for subsequent years. This three-pot
unit appeals most because of its purchase price with the Vista
spec in five-door Hatchback form it costs £13,445. However, this engine is no
more than competent and is short of mid-range response.
A much zippier unit, which is far more responsive, is the all-new 1.0-litre
Eco TSi turbocharged, direct injection, three-cylinder petrol unit with 93bhp
(95hp) the real gain is the 118lb ft of torque on tap from just
1,500rpm. Top speed is 119mph and zero to 62mph takes a much brisker 10.4 seconds.
official fuel economy is 68.9mph (51mpg on test) with CO2 emissions of just
94g/km making it more fuel- and CO2-efficient, more responsive
and completely free of road tax. The downside is that this engine does not come
with Vista specification, only the lower SE level, and costs £530 more to buy
in the five-door Hatchback body.
The likely best-selling
engine is the 1.0-litre,
three-pot petrol unit;
its Combined Cycle fuel
consumption is officially
54.3mpg and on test
using A and B country
roads it returned
Even though the insurance is higher at Group 13E instead of Group 8E for the
non-turbo unit in the Vista version, I would gladly pay the extra because of
the more responsive performance, better real-life fuel economy, and greener
a wide range of bodystyles, specification levels and engine options, the new
Ibiza has been improved in some important areas and offers keen pricing, sharp
exterior looks, vastly improved interior quality and finishes, and a far more
compliant ride. The 75hp engine lacks midrange response but for not much more
money the new 1.0-litre 95hp turbo petrol engine is a far better choice plus
it also costs less to run.
Even so, the heavily refreshed Ibiza has a tough sales task in a growing, discounted
and price-led supermini sector. The best-selling Ford Fiesta still leads the
way with the highly rated Skoda Fabia popular because of its cheaper price.
Then, just to name a few, you have VW's Polo and Vauxhall's Corsa ranges, both
strong contenders for you money in a buyer's market.
Ibiza Vista 1.0 5-dr | £13,445
Maximum speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 14.8 seconds | Test Average: 47.1mpg
Power: 73bhp | Torque:70lb ft | CO2 118g/km