SEAT Unveils New Ibiza Compact

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
seat unveils new ibiza compact

About a month ago, SEAT showed a concept car for the Geneva Auto Show, previewing the replacement for its crotchety Ibiza compact car. SEAT has unveiled (or someone leaked, you be the judge) pictures of the new Ibiza production car, and it's another great looker. After new subcompact cars like the new Fiesta have been revealed with sheet metal that has some style and flair, this market segment is really heating up in Europe. Until now, SEATs were just cheaper, often bizarre-looking rebadged VWs with interiors straight from Audi's 1992 parts bin. In the theoretical board room, SEAT is meant to have some sporting intent according to VW's brass, and this Ibiza has it. Is it true to SEAT's tagline "Auto Emoción?" Not with the range-topping 1.6 liter 105 hp engine, but good fuel economy and slick looks will at give the Spanish-German compact a fighting chance. (And yes, a 150-200 hp hot version will eventually be built).

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  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Apr 02, 2008

    "Until now, SEATs were just cheaper, often bizarre-looking rebadged VWs" Bizarre-looking? Don't you like the Giugiaro styling of the earlier Seats, and the DaSilva styling of the newer ones?

  • Justin Berkowitz Justin Berkowitz on Apr 02, 2008

    @Mirko Reinhardt: I like the Seats from the early 2000s. What I don't like are the brand new DaSilva ones, which all look the same. What's the difference between the Toledo, Leon, and Altea? The Altea XL at least is quite a bit bigger, but overall these are three very similar cars. And I think the Toledo is very strange looking at the back. Why didn't they just make it a regular 4 or 5 door saloon (more like the Skoda Octavia)? Also, the interiors definitely need help. I think the design in this Ibiza is the best I have seen from Seat in years.

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Apr 02, 2008

    @Justin The ones you like were the generation with the "fastback" Leon, with the MK1 Audi A3 interior... those were attractive too. I don't know who styled them though. The difference between the Leon/Altea is height - while the lines are similar, the Leon is very los wo the ground, while the Altea is more van-like. The Toledo is an ALtea with a weird butt. I'm with you there, it should be some kind of sedan, maybe a sedan-styled hatchback, like the MK1 Toledo (recently reborn in China as the Chery Amulet) or the Octavia.

  • Tony-e30 Tony-e30 on Apr 02, 2008

    I already have one of these that I purchased from my local Mazda dealer in 2004. This concept appears to sport an updated air dam and badge.

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