Find out what real-world motorists make of Seat’s all-new supermini
The new Seat Ibiza has a formidable task ahead of it. Two arch-rivals, the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia, are both highly rated and, in the case of the Fiesta, have topped the UK sales charts year after year. To take them on successfully, the Ibiza needs to do it all.
But Seat is bullish. It believes the new car doesn’t have a weak area, and has competitive pricing on its side. Early road test reviews also suggest it’s a five-star on-road performance that’s up with the best. What, then do the people who may actually buy it make of it?
Thomas Bennett is one such person. He’s a 30-year-old train driver, who’s thinking of swapping into a smaller car than his current Seat Leon hatchback: the Seat Arona small SUV has taken his eye, but he also feels the Ibiza might be more fun to drive.
He struggles to fault it. The new, much-improved eight-inch touchscreen system is leagues ahead of his older Leon, it has smartphone mirroring, and the Xcellence trim our readers were assessing includes a superb Beats Audio premium stereo. Thomas also liked all the storage slots: “It has been really well thought out.”
Thomas simply couldn’t find fault: it was an unwavering five-star rating from him. Will 27-year-old project manager James Talepros be as impressed? He currently drives a Ford Fiesta but doesn’t like the look of the new one: good news for Seat, as he says, “the Ibiza is a really attractive car, and that carries on inside”.
He likes the crisp lines, the LED running lights that double up as indicators and, inside, thinks the seats are generally comfortable. A big boot impresses him too: “It’s massive, especially compared with my Fiesta”.
Although it’s not a full five-star rating, James still gives the Ibiza four stars, concluding it’s more grown up than before, a car better able to give sister model the Volkswagen Polo a run for its money. “It’s now a bit roomier, material quality is better and the infotainment is great.”
56-year-old university administrator Philip Bailey drives another Seat Ibiza challenger, a Skoda Fabia. Compared to his car, he’s very impressed with the looks, describing the creases on the bonnet and the line on the side of the car, “which kinks up over the rear wheels and joins the outline of the rear window”, as particular standouts.
Philip reckons the new Ibiza is a lot more spacious than the old one, just the job for taking his 87-year-old mother out at weekends. Trim quality is much improved too, he says, “particularly the dash, with tight panel gaps”. Again, he can’t fault it: it’s another five-star rating, and another full house score for Seat. Sounds like we’re going to be seeing a lot of the new Ibiza before long: watch out, Fiesta and Fabia.