Latin Sparkle? Find Out In Our 2014 SEAT Ibiza Review
The 2014 SEAT Ibiza supermini is designed by the same pen as a Lamborghini? That’s a crazy concept, but exactly the case with the 2014 SEAT Ibiza hatchback, which was sculpted by a Lambo designer. The ‘Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo’ – or ‘SEAT’– was consumed by Volkswagen in 1986. The shared Lamborghini talent is no surprise since the famous sports car Company is owned by the German manufacturer as well. The Ibiza has always been a popular model for SEAT, but in 2012 the company decided it needed a makeover to stay current and competitive. The company claims the revised model is harder-better-faster-stronger. We will be the judge of that.
Even though the 2014 SEAT Ibiza is based on the same chassis as its siblings the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia, it doesn’t drive like either. Possibly the SEAT brand’s sporty image has convinced us to push the car just a little harder, revealing a playful side we overlooked in its relations. The Ibiza definitely packs a lot of go fast goodies (especially if you opt for one of the fancier models), including the XDS electronic differential lock, which allows you to get more power to the pavement during quick manoeuvres. All of the TSI petrol models get the locking diff, including the 105PS 1.2-litre unit which does sixty in 9.8s before topping out at 120mph. You can specify either the buttery smooth DSG automatic or a manual gearbox to accompany any engine other than the 1.4TSI – it can only be had with the slushbox. Other XDS-equipped Ibizas include the 105PS 1.6-litre diesel and the super-slick 143PS 2.0 TDI FR model, which can dash to 60mph in just 8.2s on the way to 130mph.
Those variants of the 2014 SEAT Ibiza are great for fulfilling track car fantasies, but if you are looking for something more practical, the 12v 70PS 1.2-litre petrol model is rumoured to be a favourite among accountants. This version does 0-60mph in about 14s and maxes out at just over 100mph – not exactly neck snapping performance. The thrifty 75PS 1.2-litre TDI diesel is decent and puts down equivalent track numbers, but stay away from the played out 85PS 16v 1.4-litre petrol unit.
Design and Build
There’s a trio of Ibiza body styles to choose from including a five-door hatch, ST estate and the sleek three-door SC. The only noticeable exterior changes from the previous generation are the subtle tweaks around the headlights and grille.
Inside you’re greeted by an endless sea of not-so-friendly black plastic, with a dash of soft-touch materials applied here and there to compensate. In an effort to beautify the interior, SEAT has applied a more attractive steering wheel, revised instrument graphics, and improved seat materials for your bottom. The glove box has grown to 10.7-litres but the rear head room has not – adults will bump their noggins on the three-door Ibiza SC’s swooping roofline every time. But, if you choose the five-door and ST estate models, three children, two adults or one Great Dane should fit in the back just fine. The boot measures 284-litres, increasing to 292-litres in the five-door and 450-litres in the ST estate.
Market and Model
If you want to look Lamborghini sexy behind the wheel of an Ibiza, plan on shelling out £10,000 to £17,000. Standard equipment is reasonable with all models receiving front electric windows, tinted glass, a stereo with AUX-in point and steering wheel controls, remote central locking, a 12v power socket and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. As far as safety is concerned, all trim levels get twin front and side airbags and antilock brakes. Despite this, SEAT feels safety is only for those with deep pockets, since ESC stability control isn’t available on entry level models. If you’re enough of a high roller to get the ESC package, it includes both a Hill Hold Control system) and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring system.
Cost of Ownership
The 2014 SEAT Ibiza may have Lambo inspired styling, but fortunately it has supermini ownership costs. The 1.2-litre diesel TDI engine with its clean Diesel Particulate Filter is the most miserly of the lineup, and if you get it with the optional Ecomotive package featuring Brake Energy Recovery and a Start/Stop system, emissions are a paltry 92g/km. This oil burner also achieves an impressive 80.7mpg – road trip time!
Of course, the petrol engines are nearly as economical. The 70PS 12v 1.2-litre petrol model manages 52.3mpg on the combined cycle and puts out 125g/km of CO2, while the 105PS 1.2 TSI version nets 55mpg and CO2 emissions of under 120g/km.
The 2014 SEAT Ibiza doesn’t rival its Lamborghini brethren on the track, but it does provide competitive pricing, good looks, and low ownership costs. The Ibiza does nearly everything well, and stuffs it into one charming little package. It’s definitely worth heading down to the dealership for a spin.
2014 SEAT Ibiza or Lamborghini – what’s your preference??