New look 2015 SEAT Ibiza to take another crack at supermini sector

These are the first pictures of the new facelifted 2015 SEAT Ibiza, unveiled at the Spanish brand’s home motor show in Barcelona. The car goes on sale later this year priced from around the £11,500 mark.

Although we’ll see a completely new Ibiza as early as next year, this updated version of SEAT’s compact hatchback debuts a more efficient engine line-up, extra safety equipment and new connectivity technology.

The Ibiza’s latest design is a subtle evolution of the previous car – the main changes include new LED running lights, as well as two new alloy wheel designs and two paint colours – both seen here on SEAT’s show stand in Barcelona. There are also more customisation options now available.

Like the previous Ibiza, the car will be available in three body styles, including the five-door version, a sportier three-door SC model and a more practical ST estate.

SEAT Ibiza: new interior technology

SEAT’s efforts with the exterior might be small, but it’s addressed the Ibiza’s interior tech more thoroughly, equipping this facelifted model with its second-generation Easy Connect system and even more gadgets.

Compared to sister cars like the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia, the old Ibiza was lacking connectivity features, but with the option of Mirror Link – reflecting certain apps on your smartphone on the car’s central screen – a DAB radio and voice control as part of SEAT’s MediaSystem plus option, the Ibiza is now on a par with rivals.

It’s all wrapped up in a new interface that SEAT says should make it easier to use than on-board kit in previous Ibizas, with Apple and Android phones supported.

On top of this, there’s also a more safety kit, including a new ‘Tiredness Recognition System’ to monitor driver fatigue on the move, as well as what SEAT calls Multi-Collision Brake – this automatically slows the car down after a crash, and if the airbag is deployed it’ll even apply the brakes and flash the hazard lights to warn other drivers.

Updated engine and suspension

While this extra safety is great, the Ibiza has always been at the sportier end of the hatchback market, and SEAT hasn’t forgotten this with the updated Ibiza. As a result there’s a retuned suspension setup with the option of adaptive dampers, and a new engine line-up.

The entry-level model gets a 74bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol. If you want a bit more power you can opt for either a 94bhp or a 104bhp 1.0-litre Eco TSI unit – the latter available with SEAT’s DSG dual-clutch gearbox – which is a turbocharged version of the regular 1.0 petrol.

There’s also a 148bhp 1.4 Eco TSI with Active Cylinder Management, which shuts down two of the engine’s four-cylinders on the move to improve efficiency. This blends decent performance with low consumption, returning a combined figure of 58.9mpg, according to SEAT.

If you want even more efficiency, the 94bhp 1.0 Eco TSI Ecomotive betters this by another 10mpg, kicking out just 94g/km CO2 emissions, meaning free road tax.

The 74bhp 1.4 TDI is the most frugal in the range, offering official fuel consumption of 83.2mpg combined and 88g/km CO2, while the 89bhp (also available with a DSG box) and 104bhp TDI turbodiesel units hit over 74.3mpg. 

There’ll be three trim levels on offer in the UK from launch, kicking off with the entry-level S version. SE models get air conditioning and a colour touchscreen as standard, while the sportier FR version features some racier design touches.

Prices are yet to be announced, but expect the new Ibiza to start from around £11,500 when it goes on sale in the UK later this year.

Check out our round-up of the best superminis on sale now…

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