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SEAT Ibiza interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

Like the Volkswagen Polo it shares a lot of parts with, the SEAT Ibiza has quite an upright stance with fairly large windows. That makes all-round visibility pretty good although, like most modern cars, the rear pillars impact how much you can see behind you – a necessity to make the car safe in the event of a rollover. Still, the Ibiza should be easy to park, which is good as parking sensors are only fitted to certain trim levels and a reversing camera is saved for the very highest spec.

Material highlights include a leather-covered steering wheel and handbrake, but elsewhere it’s possible to see where SEAT has saved the pennies. The cabin features a lot of hard, uninspiring plastics – they’re particularly noticeable on the interior door handles – but these materials should, at least, be durable.

From FR upwards, you get a padded dash insert that replaces a slab of plastic on lower models. It’s surprising how much of a difference this makes to the feel of the interior.

Material quality improved with the 2021 facelift, with more soft-touch plastics added. Certain models also get coloured air vent surrounds, which give the interior a welcome pop of colour. Similarly, pre-facelift cars in FR and FR Sport trims have red contrast stitching for a sporty hint.

Both front seats have height adjustment so it should be fairly easy to find a comfortable seating position. Other practical concerns are catered for by deep door bins and a bigger glovebox than the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208.

Standard equipment

SEAT calls the Ibiza SE ‘The Essential One’, but that might be underselling it a little. As standard, you get air conditioning, fog lights and alloy wheels, emergency brake assist and hill-start assist, plus a touchscreen with DAB radio and phone connectivity. On facelift models, you also get LED headlights and cruise control thrown in. What’s more, SEAT offers metallic paint free of charge on new Ibizas – you can also choose flat white paint – which means that there are plenty of colourful examples on the used market.

SE Technology adds a set of bigger wheels and a larger touchscreen with in-built sat nav.

FR is SEAT’s sporty badge, and the Ibiza FR lives up to expectations with larger 17-inch wheels, tinted rear windows, twin exhaust finishers, sports suspension and red interior accents. You also get cruise control, auto wipers and driving modes, allowing you to choose between Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual modes.

Don’t get FR confused with FR Sport, which gets even larger wheels, suede-trimmed seats, two-zone climate control and digital dials.

Luxury-focused Xcellence has chrome window trim, keyless entry and multi-coloured ambient lighting, among other things, while top-spec Xcellence Lux also throws in adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors and the aforementioned rear-view camera.

Infotainment and audio

You won’t have to tape your phone to the dashboard, as every Ibiza features Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. That means you can use your phone’s apps for media, navigation and telephone functions, which is especially useful if you buy an Ibiza that doesn’t have sat nav or live traffic updates included.

The entry-level SE spec gets a smaller screen than all other trim levels, and we think it’s worth choosing at least SE Technology as the bigger screen fills its surround better. Besides adding sat nav, the bigger screen also comes with voice control and an extra USB port, so it’s quite a useful upgrade.

All facelift cars get a slick set of digital dials, with FR Sport and Xcellence Lux trims getting an upgraded full-width version. On pre-facelift cars, these two trim levels are the only ones that get a digital cluster.

None of the six trim levels get a boosted sound system as standard, but a Beats audio system was available as an optional extra so may be fitted to some cars. There’s not too much wrong with the standard speakers if you’re a casual listener, but audio enthusiasts will want to seek out a Beats-equipped Ibiza – or go for the Volkswagen Polo Beats which, as the name suggests, gets this juicy extra thrown in.

Rear seat space

The island of Ibiza might be known for nightclubs with busy dancefloors and long bar queues, but the SEAT version doesn’t suffer from those things. There’s room for two adults to dance to their hearts’ content in the back of the Ibiza and, if you’re not doing the Macarena on the motorway, there’s just enough room for three adults to sit side-by-side.

Legroom is generous and there’s room under the front seats to nestle your feet. Headroom is also very good – what we’re trying to say is that the SEAT Ibiza is more comfortable and more spacious than its party island equivalent.

The Isofix points are located on the two outer rear seats, and they’re easy to find – but you do need to unzip the cover, unlike other SEATs where the points are instantly accessible. The doors open nice and wide, and the space they leave makes it easy to get sleeping children in and out.

There’s not too much back there for adult occupants, with highlights being large door bins and seatback pockets to stash things away. It would be nice to have a rear USB or two, to allow rear-seat passengers to charge phones or tablets if they needed.

Boot space

Its 355-litre offering is one of the biggest in the supermini class, beaten only by the latest Skoda Fabia and certain versions of the Renault Clio. The Ibiza actually matches the much longer Mercedes A-Class, which is a size above and considerably more expensive.

It might miss out on handy features like an adjustable boot floor – which would give you a flat load area when the rear seats were folded and reduce the sizeable load lip – but the Ibiza still does well for boot space.

Once you’ve hauled your items over the load lip, they’ll sit in a nice, square space. Its size and shape makes it versatile – you really could fit a few suitcases or a large pushchair in the Ibiza’s boot. It’s accessed by a wide boot opening, so it’s easy to load up with bulky items.

The rear seats fold 60:40 and you can keep the seatbelts out of the way with built-in clips. Folding the seats down frees up a lot more space, especially if you’re happy to load past the parcel shelf.

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