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All new SEAT Ibiza supermini revealed

Roomier car first on new VW Group platform.

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The fifth-generation of the SEAT Ibiza supermini has been revealed at a special event in Barcelona.

Described by its creators as the ‘best Ibiza yet’ and ‘a major step forward’ in the brand’s renewal of its range, the new SEAT Ibiza will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 7th March and go on UK sale in July.

The new Ibiza will be offered, like other recent new superminis, as a five-door model only. The three-door version has fallen victim to significant declines in sales of such cars, while the estate model is unlikely to be repeated due to the imminent reveal of the Arona small SUV.

A new platform

The car is built on a new version of the VW Group’s latest MQB architecture – the A0 platform is specifically designed for smaller cars and the Ibiza the first model to use it.

While the body styling is familiar, and closely related to the latest version of its big sister the Leon, the car is 87mm wider, and fractionally shorter and lower than its predecessor.

Crucially a 95mm extension to the wheelbase, to 2564mm, frees up significant interior space – 35mm extra rear legroom, front headroom up by 24mm, rear headroom by 17mm, and the seats gaining 42mm extra width. The bootspace mushrooms by 63 litres to 355 litres, which SEAT claims is class-leading.

Five engine options will be available. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI petrol unit will be offered with 95 or 115hp, and will be joined before the end of 2017 by a new four-cylinder 1.5 litre unit, dubbed EVO and with 150hp.

Diesel buyers will choose from two versions of the 1.6 TDI unit, with either 80 or 95hp. Depending on model the engines will be combined with five or six-speed manual transmissions or a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG-auto unit.

Tech fest on offer

SEAT promises plenty of technology across the four trim levels, S, SE, FR and the new Excellence grade. Connectivity and driver assistance systems will be to the fore, equipment including a wireless charger and smartphone compatibility through Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. Among the driver-aids available will be Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, a keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.

The SEAT Ibiza has for many years been the brand’s top seller globally, with over 5.4 million finding owners since the first version launched in 1984. The Mk5 model will form one of three core pillars for the brand’s future growth, alongside the Ateca SUV and the Leon, which now competes with the Ibiza for most popular SEAT status.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.