SEAT Ibiza FR, test drive della 1.5 TSI: l'auto perfetta per un giovane sportivo thumbnail

SEAT Ibiza FR, the proof of restyling: style, technology and lots of fun

Techprincess’s first extra-European trip of 2021 led to a pleasant rediscovery: the compact sports, practical and cheap still exist. In a world dominated by SUVs and crossovers, SEAT Ibiza FR is the answer to all those who still put driving first. Spacious and practical, with new headlights, a more refined interior and the excellent 1.5 TSI under the hood, the renewed SEAT Ibiza is the perfect car for the youngest, who still love to drive but not only. Because? Find out with me.

The novelties of the Model Year 2021: standard LED headlights, new wheels and the same Spanish emociòn

We tried the version preferred by the Italian public, the sports one FR, which combines a more dynamic and captivating aesthetic both inside and out with excellent equipment, and a sportier steering and suspension setting. Despite this, however, tThe SEAT ibiza 2021 range has been renewed in a few but significant areas. Ibiza turns 4 in fact, and as we are now used to, this is exactly half the journey of a model, especially in the Volkswagen galaxy.

And in fact, punctual as a watch, a restyling has arrived that, from the outside, changes little or nothing of the very successful starting point. Ibiza has in fact been appreciated also and above all for its sporty and mature lines, which appeal to both young and older customers.. For this reason, SEAT Ibiza does not want to lose its youth, intrinsic to the Barcelona brand. SEAT, in fact, is one of the brands with the youngest clientele on the European scene, with an average age of about 10 years younger than the average.

So how to make a car already loved by Millennials more attractive to young people? Simple: changing it as little as possible, but adding small touches of value that raise the perception. The lines in fact remained almost unchanged, with the sporty and decisive front, with the trapezoidal front grille and the headlights with triangular light signature, the slender side and the dynamic but reassuring rear.

Now, both the front and rear headlights are equipped with LED daytime running lights, and on request on the basic set-up and already present from the middle of the list there are Full LED headlights, like those of our Ibiza FR. Plus, there are new designs for the rims, including the 18 ″ ones of our specimen, behind which the red brake calipers, a new SEAT logo redesigned and the Ibiza handwritten tail, more personal and refined. Even with these delicate and targeted changes, Ibiza remains a very beautiful, pleasant and sporty car, with the right amount of character and originality that never expires in excess. Not for nothing, the first reason to buy Ibiza is design. And you? What do you think? I really like it very much, so much so that it deserves the podium among my favorite B-Segment compacts in terms of design.

The revolution of SEAT Ibiza FR starts from the inside: so much technology and excellent quality

If on the outside the changes made by SEAT to the new Ibiza FR are very few, inside there is an air of revolution. The measures taken by the Spanish House have been decidedly more invasive and ameliorative. Despite the fact that Ibiza was still modern and pleasant, between the slightly lowered position of the infotainment screen and various details it was beginning to feel the weight of the years slightly. For this reason, SEAT has revolutionized the interior, which in terms of quality and aesthetics are now, with relative surprise, at the top of the B-segment of the Volkswagen Group..

SEAT’s work over the last 10 years has been enormous, and today the Ibiza sports a technological, well-finished and sophisticated cockpit. The three main innovations immediately stand out, with the renewed infotainment screen that takes the whole scene. Moved higher than before (much more visible in gear), the screen is declined in two dimensions, the smallest from 8.25 in and the largest from 9.2 in, present on the sample we tested. This is a 20% larger touchscreen than before, and that the interno hosts the new operating system of the group. Despite being slightly less easy to use than before, this new system is a lot complete, fast and fluid, and hosts Android Auto ed Apple Car Play Wireless, with also the possibility of internet connection.

Behind the wheel, also new, more beautiful and taken up by the new Leon, we find the 10 ″ digital instrument panel, already seen and appreciated on other Volkswagens. Here too it is fluid, easy to read and very customizable, among the best around. Then I appreciate the separate physical climate controls, a panacea compared to the Group’s trend to move everything to the soft touch keys, which are practically absent on Ibiza.

Finally, it deserves a mention in itself new dashboard, now much more refined to the touch and sight. In a world that increasingly chooses rigid plastics for interiors, SEAT Ibiza offers a soft plastic dashboard across the range. Beautiful to look at and to touch, this new dashboard makes Ibiza take a huge leap, which in terms of materials beats even the much more noble Audi A1 cousin, which uses only rigid plastics. The new circular vents, surrounded by a colored molding, are also beautiful. These are not only fun and cheeky, but in the dark they light up making the cabin more refined, more lounge. Depending on the version, then, they have a different color: red for the SEAT Ibiza FR, bronze for the Style and so on.

The Ibiza range: from novice drivers, to methane to the “almost” Hot Hatch. But no diesel

There was therefore a revolution from the internal point of view, while the mantra won on the outside “Never change a winning team”. This was also the motto of the technical division, which changed little or nothing on an already excellent project. There platform therefore remains the classic modular MQB A0, intended for the small cars of the Group and shared with its sister SUV Arona and with all the small cars of VW, Skoda and Audi.

The dimensions have also remained the same, with his 4.06 meters long, a’risky height at only 1.44 m it’s a important width of 1.78 m. the suspensions they are always very classic, McPherson at the front and torsion beam at the rear, while finally the engines have also remained the same as before, with some minor variations. At the base of the range, for now the 1.0 three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with 65 HP greets the company. We then start with the same engine, the 1.0 MPI in version from 80 CV, accompanied by the 5-speed manual gearbox.

The rest of the range is then made up of three really interesting engines, two three-cylinder and one four-cylinder, all turbocharged. The first is the 1.0 TSI, available with 95 or 110 hp: the former is only available with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the more powerful is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed DSG automatic dual clutch transmission. The 1.5 TSI instead it arises at top of the range, sporting 4 cylinders and 150 HP and 250 Nm. The 1.5 is only available with 7-speed DSG automatic transmission.


As you have seen, we no longer have diesel engines, and electrified versions are neither available nor planned. In fact, SEAT offers the version for those who drive a lot of kilometers Methane TGI, the most loved in Italy. The Ibiza TGI is powered by a 1.0 three-cylinder turbo with 90 HP and 160 Nm, and is coupled to the solo 6-speed manual gearbox. the performance they are quite lively, even if not very sporty (0-100 km/h in 12,1 s, 184 km/h). Despite this, however, the small methane-powered Ibiza consumes little and costs very little to maintain and manage, with subsidized road tax and insurance and a cost per km lower even than hybrid cars, very close to electric cars.

SEAT Ibiza FR is perfect for young people: its rational qualities, between space and technology

Sporty aesthetics, lots of technology, rational engines with various options for novice drivers (the 1.0 from 80CV and the 1.0 TGI from 90CV, for completeness). These are some of the qualities that make SEAT Ibiza (FR, Style with any other set-up) one of the most suitable cars for the youngest. What are the others?

First of all, the safety is of superior category cars. Aside from 5 stars in the 2017 EuroNCAP crash tests, Ibiza is equipped with all the latest generation ADAS which we also see on the larger Group cars. An example? The Adaptive Cruise Control, which arrives on Ibiza with the restyling of 2021. This, combined with the system of automatic centering and maintenance of the lane and automatic braking, allows you to have, with cars with automatic transmission, autonomous driving on the motorway and during queues. In addition, there is no lack of reversing camera, sensor for blind spot and lights, Full LED on different configurations, automatic.

The technology is therefore a lot both in terms of safety and entertainment and functionality. We have already talked about the 9.2-inch infotainment system, which requires a few minutes of apprenticeship but which once you get used to it is easy, fast and very complete. Excellent presence of Android Auto and Apple Car Play Wireless, as well as that of induction charging for our devices. The app SEAT Connect it was then revised and improved, and allows you to control the car, close the doors and check the position remotely.

In addition, we are not faced with the classic “utility car from the first year of driving license”. SEAT Ibiza is a complete car that can also be used as the only car of a young family. The trunk is very spacious with its 355 liters, only 5 less than the legendary Volkswagen Golf. Regular and easy to load, the luggage compartment is paired with very spacious and single rear seats perfect driving position. Lying down, easy to adjust and low enough, it puts even the largest and most demanding drivers at ease. C.n all engines, especially with the methane one, consumption is low, performance is brilliant but above all its greatest merit is never missing: the driving experience.

At the wheel, it is on the podium of the best compact cars to drive. The 1.5 TSI pushes hard, and the chassis is a pleasure

At the wheel, in fact, SEAT Ibiza impresses from the very first meters. Regardless of the engine with which you choose it, Ibiza is very quiet, refined and cared for. The steering is light in maneuver but never artificial, the driving and on-board controls all give a nice feeling of solidity, and the acoustic insulation is excellent.

In the city, Ibiza is appreciated for its agility due to its low weight, which does not exceed 1,250 kg on any version, and for the excellent …

John Vassallo is a versatile writer who covers two fascinating realms: Automobiles and Electronics. With a deep knowledge and passion for both industries, John brings you the latest updates, trends, and insights in these dynamic fields. From the latest car models, automotive innovations, and advancements in electric and autonomous technologies, to cutting-edge electronics, gadgets, and emerging tech trends, John's articles provide comprehensive coverage to keep you informed.