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Seat Ibiza facelift (2015): the supermini beat goes on

Published: 07 May 2015

► New 2015 facelift for Seat Ibiza
► Laissez-faire looks, new tech instead
► Cleaner engines, tuned chassis

Seat has updated its Ibiza supermini for 2015 with a range of cosmetic and equipment upgrades unveiled - appropriately enough - at the Barcelona motor show.

This is big business for Seat: although the Leon has now overtaken the Ibiza as its best-selling range, collectively there are more Ibizas on the roads than any other model, with more than five million sold in the past 30 years.

What’s new on the 2015 Ibiza?

The cosmetic upgrade is a modest tidy-up really, with changes limited to new headlamps with LED day-running lights, new 16- and 17-inch alloys and two new paint choices. Instead, Seat has concentrated its efforts inside and underneath the Ibiza’s skin.

Predictably, the infotainment systems are given priority, with the addition of the latest Easy Connect systems whose MirrorLink software is supposed to let smartphones pair their apps and navigation systems with the car’s display.

It works with Android and Apple phones, Seat claims. And the Spanish have also announced a partnership with Samsung to develop further connectivity solutions.

New engines, cabin update too

Familiar VW-family engines join the Ibiza range, stretching from a 74bhp 1.0-litre triple to a 148bhp 1.4 Eco TSI which shuts down a pair of cylinders under light loads. The cleanest engine, the 1.4 TDI diesel is capable of 83mpg and 88g/km of CO2.

Inside the cabin of the new Seat Ibiza

Seat has fettled the cabin to nudge the Ibiza’s cockpit upmarket a little with softer-touch materials; even superminis nowadays can’t get away with cheap ’n’ shiny plastics too obviously. Fresh tech such as drowsiness recognition, a new stereo and voice recognition are now available (depending upon spec).

Injecting more Leon into Ibiza

‘It is the first example of how we ‘Leonize our portfolio’, applying the successful formula of Leon into all our model range,’ said Jurgen Stackmann, president and CEO of Seat. ‘Alongside efficiency, quality and safety, we have placed particular emphasis on the issue of connectivity. The new Ibiza is now part of the connected  world. 

‘With an average age of 43, the Ibiza has an exceptionally young customer base, with its share of young female buyers well above average.’ Which explains why colour packs switching the hue of door mirrors, air vent surrounds and more allow extra personalisation. A leaf from the books penned by Mini and Fiat 500?

See the new Seat Ibiza in UK showrooms in autumn 2015. The facelift applies to five-door and three-door Sport Coupe hatchbacks, as well as the ST Sport Tourer estate.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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