With the UK leading the world when it comes to DAB Digital Radio – about 85% of UK households can receive the hi-tech service and there are now more than 400 digital radio stations here – it stands to reason that in-car DAB is set to be a big hit, too.
SEAT, typically, is in the vanguard of this new technology, being one of the handful of manufacturers to offer standard-fit DAB receivers. The latest model to showcase this entertainment and information revolution is the special edition Ibiza 1.9 TDI DAB, which combines cutting edge ‘ICE’ with sports styling and remarkable value.
Available to order now, the swift, frugal supermini – powered by a potent 100 PS 1.9-litre four cylinder turbodiesel mated to a tried and tested five-speed manual gearbox – makes the 21st Century radio format available to cost-conscious supermini buyers, with a great value price tag of £10,995 RRP.
The three-door only special edition – limited to just 300 cars and available to order now – features a state-of-the-art Blaupunkt Nashville DAB radio capable of receiving all the currently available DAB broadcasts.
The smart head unit offers pre-set storage of up to 20 stations and scrolling display DAB radio text. Traffic announcements (where available) can be turned off, selected by region or received unfiltered while DAB-PTY (programme type) information displays and allows the selection of similar types of programme (news, pop, classics, sport etc).
Additionally, auto DAB switching will move to the equivalent FM station should no DAB signal be available, meaning listeners shouldn’t miss a minute of their favourite song or show. And the system even includes a recording facility via MMC or SD-type flash memory card (card not included), allowing users to capture that classic match commentary or concert for playback later either in-car, or via personal computer.
Sound quality is assured thanks to a powerful 4 x 50W amplifier with separate adjustments for treble, bass, fader and balance. To top it all, the built-in CD player will play standard audio CDs and CD-R&R/W discs – further broadening the SEAT driver’s music choice.
But that’s not the end of the story, as the special edition Ibiza also includes some particularly sporty styling additions to help it look as good outside as it sounds inside. Among the £600-worth of extras offered as standard on this car are a FR-style honeycomb front grille, 16” Spica alloy wheels (previously standard on FR) and exclusive Formula Sport seat trim.
The Ibiza 1.9 TDI DAB is available in a range of stylish colours including Emocion Red, Ada Blue metallic, Luna Grey metallic, Zenith Grey metallic, Black Magic metallic and ultra-trendy Candy White. Metallic paint costs £360 RRP.
And it’s as quick as it is slick, with a 0 to 62 mph time of just 10.8 seconds and a top speed (where legal) of 118 mph. The torquey 240 Nm powerplant is frugal, too: around town drivers can look forward to 42.8 mpg while in the combined cycle the Ibiza is good for 55.4 mpg. All this, plus CO2 emissions of just 132 g/km and highly competitive group 5 insurance.
With a recent survey showing that more than a third of the UK population knows about DAB technology and, in May of last year, sales of DAB receivers exceeding sales of VHF radios for the first time, there’s never been a better time to explore the benefits of in-car DAB.
And if you've already discovered all the new stations available on DAB with an in-home or portable product, the new SEAT offering means there’s no need to miss out on that DAB-only rock station, jazz outfit or rolling news channel.
SEAT Head of Marketing Steve Robertson said: ‘The appeal of DAB digital radio is undeniable. Crystal clear sound and a much wider choice of stations speak for themselves.
‘What we’ve done here, though, is to make this great in-car entertainment solution available in a very competitively-priced vehicle which tops off the deal by looking great.Published 9 February 2008