2019 Seat Ibiza. The Volkswagen Group’s all-new MQB AO platform gets its first public outing in the fifth-generation Ibiza, big news for Seat. The company is already making bullish claims about its packaging efficiency, claiming that despite being smaller than its predecessor, it has made great strides in terms of packaging efficiency and comfort. It also says that the Ibiza, ‘comes loaded with the latest technology features, outstanding dynamics, and impressive improvements in interior space and comfort,’ and is a vital part of its portfolio review. The fiercely competitive supermini market has yet another new arrival in 2018 in the shape of the all-new 2019 Seat Ibiza. With new versions of the Nissan Micra, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo all on the way this year, the latest version of the Spanish supermini – revealed in full at this year’s Geneva Motor Show – gets a fresh design and douse of technology. The new 2019 Seat Ibiza is on sale now, and gets a starting price of £13,130.
Seat would say no, and that the new 2019 Seat Ibiza is an ‘important brand pillar’ alongside the Leon, Ateca and the upcoming Arona small crossover so it would carry over elements of their styling. But the overt similarity with the Leon will play well with those looking for a more mature supermini experience. It’s dripping with clever details the sort of stuff you expect in premium products. So you get similar triangular LED headlights to the Leon, larger wheels, up to 18-inches in diameter (and that’s before the Cupra), sharp LED rear lamp clusters, and chrome trim in the top models. Much of the tech on board filters down from the larger Leon model.
The top of the range Xcellence version, for example, includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Full Link connectivity system, an Air Care filter that isolates the occupants from any type of allergens, Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. Other grown-up options will include Adaptive Cruise Control, keyless entry, a rear-view camera (on a supermini!) and a 300W premium audio option from Beats Audio. Predictable, yes. Boring? On first impressions, no. The new 2019 Seat Ibiza is a more grown-up kind of small hatch, promising to be a scaled-down C-segment car with a supermini footprint and a sign that Seat has found its feet within the confines of the Volkswagen Group.
We’ll reserve judgement of its success until we get behind the wheel, but the signs are promising. In short, expect a sportier-driving, higher-quality, more user-friendly package from Seat. It’s going to be a nicer place to spend time, with much more tech at its fingertips. It’s grown in width over the old Ibiza by 87 mm, but is shorter and lower so it’s not a story of continued growth in overall dimensions. Space efficiency is improved thanks to a 60mm stretch of the wheelbase (now 2654 mm). So, you get more rear leg- and headroom, and a larger boot (up 63 litres to 355), although Seat has yet to confirm whether there’s a weight penalty or not compared with the previous Ibiza.
The new platform means the 2019 Seat Ibiza is lighter and more rigid, which should improve handling, performance and fuel economy. There are three engines to choose from in the UK range. Kicking things off is the 1.0-litre TSI with either 94 bhp or 113 bhp and a five-speed manual gearbox. A 1.6-litre TDI diesel will also be available, offering 79 bhp or 94 bhp. Later on in 2018, a new 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol will join the range; this is a four-cylinder engine delivering 148 bhp. A six-speed manual box will be used with this unit, although there’s the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as well.
Four models will make up the UK line-up when the 2019 Seat Ibiza goes on sale later in 2018: the S, SE, FR and Xcellence. Prices for the 2019 Seat Ibiza kick off at £13,130. At that price, buyers will be getting the car in basic ‘S’ trim level fitted with the 1.0-litre MPI petrol producing 74 bhp. The new 1.0-litre TSI engine with 94 bhp will be available on the Ibiza SE from £14,595, producing a claimed 60.1 mpg and 106 g/km CO2. FR trim cars benefit from a sporty look and adaptive suspension with four driving modes (Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual).
The cheapest one uses the 1.0-litre TSI engine with 94 bhp and is priced from £16,025, while the same engine can be had with 113 bhp from £16,630. A 1.5-litre TSI car with 148 bhp will go on sale too, but no prices have been revealed yet. The Xcellence version will be focused more on luxury, so it features a softer suspension set-up and LED ambient lights inside. Prices start from £16,715. On sale now, the new 2019 Seat Ibiza will be on UK roads this July.