What am I looking at?
The latest addition to SEAT’s popular FR range, the Ibiza FR Edition.
The engine, essentially – like the Volkswagen Polo Blue GT, the FR Edition uses Volkswagen’s 1.4-litre petrol engine with Active Cylinder Technology.
It has the ability to shut down two of the engine’s four cylinders when engine load isn’t high. Since fewer cylinders mean less fuel, it’s pretty frugal – an official 60.1 mpg is quoted, with a lowly 109 g/km of CO2.
Those figures are 12.2 mpg and 30 g/km better than the previous 150 PS 1.4-litre. Despite a small power drop to 140 PS, the new ACT unit is only 0.2 seconds slower to 62 mph (now 7.8 seconds). Reviews of the engine were hugely positive when it arrived in the Polo, so we’re expecting some impressive scores with the Ibiza, too.
So what’s the damage?
The good news is that it’s 1,015 cheaper than the old car too, though that’s accounted for the gearbox choice – the ACT unit is manual-only, whereas the old 1.4 was DSG auto-only.
The three-door SC is cheapest at 15,320. 550 more gets you the five-door car, while the Ibiza ST estate is 16,570. Each of those prices is 600 more than a standard, non-ACT FR, but the additional kit – red seatbelts, red brake callipers, titanium-coloured 17-inch alloy wheels, matching coloured door mirrors, climate control and dark tinted rear windows – adds up to 1,130, so it’s a pretty good deal.
You can order the FR Edition now, and deliveries start in early June.
The logical alternative is one of the diesel Ibiza FRs, though these really only serve to illustrate the FR Edition’s value. In cheapest SC form, the significantly slower 1.6 TDI FR costs 15,725 (405 more) and costs another tenner a year to tax. To get an Ibiza with comparable performance you’re looking at the 2.0 TDI FR, which starts at 16,895. It’s no more economical, costs even more to tax and like all diesels, uses the more expensive fuel…
The FR Edition undercuts its VW Polo cousin with the same engine, too. When the newly-refreshed model arrives, you’ll pay a minimum of 17,710 for the Blue GT in three-door form.
In a line:
Fast, frugal and funky – the Ibiza gains new appeal.