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Reader Clinic

2017 Seat Ibiza reader test team review

Seat's small hatchback has raised its game with a more sculpted design, a higher-quality, roomier interior and new technology

Words By Kris Culmer

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If Seat could have chosen the competition for its new small hatchback, the Ibiza, it wouldn’t have gone for a former What Car? Car of the Year and a car that has almost invariably been the UK’s best-selling model since 2008.

But take on the Skoda Fabia and Ford Fiesta it must, and to do so, it can’t have practicality, driveability, interior quality, looks or, crucially, pricing as its Achilles heel.

So Seat reckons it has all of those areas covered, promising refreshed looks, more space for passengers, plusher materials, a huge boot and new infotainment. The Ibiza is well priced, too, costing within just a few hundred pounds of the Fabia.

Having group-tested the new Ibiza against the new Fiesta and the Fabia, we found it to be the new reigning small hatchback, awarding it our full-five star rating. But will our readers be similarly impressed? To find out, we invited a group to examine it at Seat’s factory in Martorell, Spain.

Thomas Bennett

Age: 30 Job: Train driver Drives: Seat Leon

β€œI’m considering a smaller car, but I’m also interested in the upcoming Seat Arona small SUV, which is actually based on the Ibiza. I like the idea of its raised driving position, but the Ibiza should have far more exciting handling.

β€œThe Ibiza’s 8.0in infotainment touchscreen is standard on SE trim and above. Compared with the system in the Leon, the speed and fluidity of it are much improved, and the graphics are of a far higher definition. Plus, the sat-nav is far quicker at planning a route.

β€œUnlike in some rivals, the air conditioning controls are buttons rather than on the screen. That’s great, because you need to be able to use them while driving without looking down.

β€œThere are nooks and crannies for storage everywhere inside. It has been really well thought out.

β€œXcellence trim gets a six-speaker Beats Audio stereo, which includes a sub-woofer in the boot. I was very impressed with the sound quality; it's clear and there’s a lot of bass.

β€œThe Ibiza is available with smartphone mirroring, and that’s very important; being able to stream music and use your phone’s sat-nav through the car’s infotainment is great. It’s especially good that you can voice-dictate text messages while driving.”

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full review of the new Seat Ibiza

And watch our video review below

Find out what our other two readers thought of the Ibiza on the next page.

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