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SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR (2022) review: 3.5/5

The SEAT Ibiza has been updated with a much-improved interior and some fashionable new tech for 2022.

 

Words: Mark Smyth - @Motorscribe

Published on: October 1, 2021

Words: Mark Smyth - @Motorscribe

Published on: October 1, 2021

Tech Specs

Model testedSEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR
Engine1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmissionfive-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat hatchback
CO2 emissions124g/km
Irish motor tax€200 per year
Combined economy47.9mpg ( 4.9 litres/100km)
Top speed186km/h
0-100km/h 10.9 seconds
Power95hp at 5,000-5,500rpm
Torque175Nm at 2,000-3,500rpm
Boot space355 litres
SafetyEuro NCAP safety rating for SEAT Ibiza

Like its Volkswagen Group supermini siblings, the SEAT Ibiza has undergone a modest mid-life update and it's likely to be the first of the trio to go on sale in Ireland. The exterior looks little different, but the interior is much improved, making the likeable hatchback more appealing than ever.

In the Metal:

The changes on the outside of the SEAT Ibiza are minimal to say the least, including revised front and rear bumpers, new colours, a few different wheel styles and a rear badge that now looks handwritten.

The inside is a whole different story though, with a completely revised dash that now includes a larger touchscreen infotainment system mounted higher up than before. This not only means you don't have to drop your eyes so far from the road but there's also a nifty little ledge to rest your hand on so you're not trying to hit the right point on the screen aimlessly. It's just like the set-up in the new Skoda Fabia. It's also a more user-friendly system and now features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for those who prefer to use their own apps.

That redesigned dashboard also features a lovely thick, padded plastic along the top, although many of the other significant touchpoints throughout the interior, especially in the rear, use cheap, hard plastics. Saying that, if you don't have kids or regular rear passengers, you're barely even going to notice.

Driving it:

We drove the 1.0 TSI FR version, which has a punchy little three-cylinder engine beneath the bonnet that sounds much sportier than it is, especially when you stir the great manual gearbox and push the revs up a bit. Power maxes out at 95hp at a rather heady 5,000rpm, but get it up to speed and it cruises along pleasantly. It'll suit urbanites the best but it's more than up to a bit of long-distance motorway driving and, with cruise control now standard across the range, that's going to be a little more relaxed, too.

The driving position is good, but the lack of adjustment on the height of the seat belt meant it was cutting across my shoulder which was annoying. Of course this depends on the height of the driver so won't be an issue for everyone.

The FR and the FR Tech both have sports suspension, which pulls the car 15mm closer to the ground and also firms up the ride. It's noticeable on occasions and of course adds to the car's handling characteristics slightly in the corners, but it doesn't detract from the level of comfort you expect in an affordable compact hatch.

The steering is good with a light feel in town but enough feedback for motorway cruising and sporty driving. All models offer a choice of driving modes including Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual, not that there's much you can really adjust yourself.

What you get for your Money:

Irish pricing and specifications for the 2022 SEAT Ibiza have yet to be confirmed.

Where the Skoda Fabia is focused on style and value for money, the Ibiza adds a slightly sporty element into the mix, which is probably why the FR versions with sports suspension tend to be popular. You're still likely to get a lot of equipment for the price though, including the touchscreen infotainment system. The digital instrument cluster is expected to be standard on all but the entry-level models. Alloy wheels, LED lighting and climate control are likely standard across the range, and all add to the appeal.

Summary

The SEAT Ibiza continues to be a great package, offering something slightly sportier in terms of look and feel than the Fabia. Like its Skoda twin, it's big on value and the new interior combined with the fashionable technology makes it a strong choice if you're in the market for a compact hatchback.



Alternatives

Car Reviews | Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost ST-Line | CompleteCar.ie
Ford Fiesta vs. SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR (2022): the Ford Fiesta is a great thing with punchy but economical engines, lots of kit and a massive range to choose from with a Fiesta to suit everyone. An updated model is on the way.

Car Reviews | Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI (2022) | CompleteCar.ie
Skoda Fabia vs. SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR (2022): the new Fabia continues to be big on style, practicality and affordability. Like the Ibiza its redesigned interior is a big improvement, and it too ticks the value box.
Car Reviews | Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2021) | CompleteCar.ie
Toyota Yaris vs. SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR (2022): the Yaris is more compact than many of its rivals, but it's a great car to drive and the hybrid technology provides some zero-emissions running that the Volkswagen Group products don't.

Tech Specs

Model testedSEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI FR
Engine1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmissionfive-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat hatchback
CO2 emissions124g/km
Irish motor tax€200 per year
Combined economy47.9mpg ( 4.9 litres/100km)
Top speed186km/h
0-100km/h 10.9 seconds
Power95hp at 5,000-5,500rpm
Torque175Nm at 2,000-3,500rpm
Boot space355 litres
SafetyEuro NCAP safety rating for SEAT Ibiza