Inside, the logo is to be found emblazoned on the front sports seats, the gear-knob and speedometer dial, just in case you forget
The rigid chassis and stiff body also serves to protect passengers by forming a safety-cell, which goes a long way to explaining how the Ibiza gained a 4-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests. If over confidence gets the better of you, then there are side airbags, which are standard on the FR and Cupra, while, the whole range benefits from large front airbags, a collapsible steering wheel and a brake-pedal block, which disengages in the event of a collision. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) is standard on the Cupra and is a £395 option on the FR only.
Generally, the changes to the revised Ibiza include new front and rear bumpers and more aggressive front air intakes, which are now in three sections. The FR gains 17-inch alloys, Titanium-coloured door mirrors, honeycomb mesh grille and, at the back twin chrome tail-pipes. The FR badge is quite prominent and not just on the outside.
Inside, the logo is to be found emblazoned on the front sports seats, the gear-knob and speedometer dial, just in case you forget. As befitting a sports hatch, the two main instrument dials are white-faced.
The dashboard is made using something called ‘one-shot’ moulding. It gives the fascia a smoother appearance most noticeable in the passenger air bag cover. Instead of a hinge, this section is micro-perforated so that it detaches easily if the airbag is deployed.
I like the way in which the centre console (silver-coloured in the FR), begins as a surround for the instrument pod. It then flows down towards the centre where it angles towards the driver housing the climate and audio system controls.
All Ibiza models have a single radio/CD player with six speakers but in the FR this is upgraded to accept MP3 discs and has secondary audio controls on the steering wheel. We are told that satellite navigation is not available for the Ibiza in the UK.
Both the front sports seats have mechanical height adjustment and the steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach, while, in the back the three rear passengers have plenty of legroom. The rear seats have an asymmetric split and fold function increasing the deep, 267-litre capacity boot even further.
There you have it. The Ibiza is practical, comfortable and a whole lot of fun. Auto emocion? Oh yes.2 July 2006
SEAT Ibiza Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||SEAT Ibiza FR 1.8|
|Body Type||3-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Luna Grey Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||46.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||3-Year or 60,000 mile (whichever comes first) warranty from date of first registration|
|Price (when tested on the 02/07/06)||£11,975 OTR|