SEAT IS hoping that stylish design and new technology can win over drivers of Britain’s most popular car, the Ford Fiesta.
Unveiled today, the new Spanish small hatchback, or supermini, goes on sale to British drivers in July, and is likely to cost from £13,500 – pitching it against the Fiesta.
It is built on a new Volkswagen Group platform, and is claimed to advance the class’ standards of performance, comfort and safety.
Its new bodywork will only come with a five-door configuration. Seat says it is slightly shorter and lower than the outgoing car, but a wider stance and longer wheelbase liberate more interior space, with wider seats, an extra 35mm of rear legroom and more headroom, while boot space is now 355 litres – meaning more space for growing families.
The engine line up features a 1-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre TDI diesel. Five or six-speed manual gearboxes, or a seven-speed DSG automatic, will be available depending on the version.
Seat will offer four trim levels initially in the UK; S, SE, FR and a new Xcellence spec. In time, a go-fast Cupra version is expected to join the range. Adaptive driving modes for the FR and Xcellence allow drivers to subtly adjust the car’s driving behaviour.
Safety equipment will include automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, and gadgets such as Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and a Beats audio system will be offered.
The Ibiza is Seat’s best-selling model. Over 5.4 million models have been sold since its debut in 1984. The Spanish car maker is expected to launch a small crossover SUV in the near future, which will share many of its components with the fourth generation, 2017 Ibiza, and must compete with the Nissan Juke.