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The Seat Ibiza receives a welcome update that adds tech and convenience features to round off an already appealing package.

31 Oct 2019


Tech upgrades seem fitting for a marque that prides itself on a lineup of youthful, sporty vehicles. But are the upgrades to the Ibiza sufficient to lure our local tech-savvy youth into an otherwise less familiar brand?

Local distributor Vertex certainly seems to believe so, and have accordingly upgraded the high spec 'Style Plus' version of its supermini.

Adaptive Cruise Control is easy to figure out and use, with all its associated controls located on a single stalk

The car now sports Seat's Kessy Keyless Access and Start System, as well as Tiredness Recognition, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Technology in a supermini?

That's right. But having technology isn't the end of it all. As Apple's tremendous rise has shown, technology also has to be intuitive to use in order to truly appeal. Luckily, the Ibiza's tech upgrades are easy to figure out.

All the controls associated with the Adaptive Cruise Control are located within a single stalk on the steering wheel, and the central digital display within the driver's cluster provides immediate and assuring confirmation that your adjustments have been registered by the vehicle.

Shades of grey predominate in the interior

Left to its own devices, the system brakes and closes gaps smoothly, allowing you to simply set your preferred following distance and forget about it until you leave the highway.

On the inside

Those already familiar with Volkswagen's interiors will find the Ibiza's a truly homely place. All the switchgear and buttons are where you'd expect them to be, while the controls all have that familiar weight and damping that we have come to know from the Volkswagen Group's line of products.

The 8.0-inch infotainment delivers colourful graphics and a beautiful font

Where the Ibiza doesn't do as well, however, is with its prodigious use of grey plastics. Alternating the texture of the surfaces does alleviate the effect somewhat, but we imagine a majority of this car's market might be looking for an interior with a little more show.

Thankfully, the 8.0-inch infotainment display captures most of your attention with its colourful displays and beautiful font. Equipped with Seat's Full Link suite of Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility, it is also easy to use, with prodding and swiping doing as you would expect it to, while the touchscreen itself delivers high levels of sensitivity and responsiveness.


On the road


The Ibiza is also now built atop Volkswagen's MQB A0 platform, and sports an increased wheelbase and width compared to its predecessor, with the changes yielding surprising sovereignty when driving at highway speeds, while sound insulation easily rivals cars a segment above.

355 litres of boot space will see to your family's stowage needs

The steering is a tad on the light side, but pleasingly communicative and accurate, allowing you to simply throw the car into corners and up multi-storey carpark ramps.

And when you do spot that open lot, the car's short length and the suite of parking sensors work with the reversing camera to make parking a painless affair for even the greenest amateur.

Body roll is also well-controlled and the car is well-damped over larger bumps, although driving over poor surfaces can cause a worrying amount of clatter from the semi-rigid rear suspension to transmit into the cabin.

1.0-litre three-pot turbocharged powerplant makes 112bhp and 200Nm of twisting force

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit in the Ibiza puts out a respectable 114bhp, and a tremendous 200Nm of torque, which the seven-speed dual clutch automatic is very keen to make full use of.

Day-to-day driving sees the car switching to the higher gears at the first opportunity, which no doubt contributed to the excellent tested fuel consumption rate of 14.7km/L.

Take control of the gearshifts yourself, however, and the Ibiza delivers a decent turn of speed thanks to its low 1,160kg kerb weight. Plus, the three-cylinder plays an addictive snarly soundtrack to boot.

The Ibiza's short 4m body makes manoeuvring up ramps and parking in any multi-storey a breeze

A compelling car, this one

At $92,999 (as of 31 October 2019), the Seat Ibiza is a compelling package. For those willing to ignore the weaker brand recognition, the Seat Ibiza packs plenty of intuitive tech into a package that is fun to drive and easy on the wallet.

Perfect, in other words, for those new to the world of motoring.
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Car Information

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Price

: $90,999

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder 12-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

999cc

Horsepower

:

85kW (114 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

200 Nm / 3500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9.5sec

Top Speed

:

193km/h

Fuel consumption

:

21.2 km/L

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