From memory, the SEAT Ibiza is my first Diesel Car long-termer not to feature either parking sensors or a reversing camera. You kind of grow accustomed to the obligatory beep as you select reverse gear, before completing the manoeuvre to a soundtrack akin to that of Morse code or a submarineís sonar system. Iím old enough to remember a time when parking sensors were a luxury rather than something to expect on a new car, but Iím surprised that theyíre not standard equipment on the FR. Instead, parking sensors are fitted to the Xcellence and Xcellence Lux models and offered as a £250 option across the rest of the Ibiza range. Donít get me wrong, you donít necessarily need parking sensors on a supermini, but the rear visibility isnít great, and Iíd have expected them to come as standard on this trim level. On the plus side, it does make things easier when I switch from the Ibiza to one of the ëclassicsí in my car collection, none of which feature any kind of parking aids, unless you count rear bumpers or towbarsÖ
Speaking of the rear, a word about the back-seat accommodation and the boot. A couple of people have commented on the high level of road noise when sat in the back, so this week I exchanged driving duties for a stint as a passenger. Sure enough, it is rather noisy back there, especially when the roads are wet, with enough of a din to require anyone in the front to raise their voice when communicating with people in the back. This might be a symptom of the flimsy layer of carpet that passes for a boot floor, with little in the way of sound-deadening to stop road and tyre noise entering the cabin. The absence of a spare wheel also means that the boot floor isnít totally flat, as youíre left with a circular gap around the tyre repair kit. Fine if youíre carrying large items, but not great if youíre carrying grocery bags or dogs. The creation of a flatter floor and better soundproofing might make the £100 space-saving spare wheel a must-have upgrade.
Itís actually a bit grim in the back. The scratchy grey plastics and manual windows deliver a poverty-specification feel, while the lack of lighting, storage options and charging sockets create a sense that the Ibiza FR was designed for singles and young couples. Thatís fine ñ this is a supermini, after all ñ but children wonít thank you for taking them on long trips. At least thereís plenty of head- and legroom in the back, so your rear passengers will be sitting comfortably as they bemoan the fact that you didnít splash out on a crossover or SUV.
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Date arrived 28th August 2018
Fuel economy 74.3 (combined) 51.1mpg (on test)
There’s plenty of head and legroom in the back.
The boot floor is little more than a thin layer of carpet.