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Car trim reviews

SEAT Ibiza FR

The SEAT Ibiza FR provides the go-faster looks many buyers crave without the running costs to match, making it a very popular choice.

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The SEAT Ibiza FR is one of the most popular versions of SEAT's supermini – and for very good reasons. It looks sporty, feels sporty and is well equipped, yet it's still an affordable car. The Ibiza FR is available as a five-door hatchback, a slightly sleeker three-door called the Ibiza SC and a small estate, the Ibiza ST. That broadens the car's appeal significantly.

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It's available with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines including SEAT's brilliant 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols and an efficient 1.6-litre TDI diesel. You can have the 1.2-litre petrol engine with a clever DSG automatic gearbox - the two make a great pairing.

Equipment fitted as standard is impressive, with alloy wheels, a subtle bodykit, sports seats, bundles of FR badges and a clever piece of electronics called XDS which helps to improve grip and performance when driving through bends. The car's sports suspension might not suit all buyers, though.

Good points

The Ibiza FR pulls off the cut-price hot hatch act better than most rivals and with a good choice of engines, there's little compromise. It's fun to drive, too, and thanks to a range of go-faster goodies, it looks and feels the part inside and out.SEAT's clever portable sat nav is fitted as standard. As well as performing all the functions of a portable TomTom or Garmin sat nav, this also provides Bluetooth connectivity, music streaming and a feature to help you drive more efficiently.

Bad points

Although there's a good choice of engines, there's no FR model that emits less than 100g/km of CO2, which means no version is exempt from road tax. And there's only one diesel on offer.Although the Ibiza FR is well equipped, there are a few notable omissions, such as standard DAB digital radio, automatic headlamps and wipers and climate control. You'll need to either buy them as optional extras or step up to the Ibiza Cupra model – which is much more expensive to run.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • DAB Radio
  • Cruise control
  • Sat nav
  • Sports suspension
  • Sports seats
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Climate control
  • DAB digital radio

Our choice

While the 1.4-litre petrol engine offers more impressive performance, we like the 1.2-litre petrol best, because it's nippy around town, smooth and quiet – as well as being pretty economical.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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