On the move in this Ibiza, SEAT hopes one of the first things you'll notice is this model's 'big car' feel, something particularly evident in its rigid, rattle-free roadgoing demeanour. In part, this comes courtesy of the stiff MQB A0 chassis. That in turn means flat cornering and benefits ride quality that's un-bettered in this class. We're slightly less sure about SEAT's decision to extend that same 'big car' feel to the steering which, as a consequence, is a tough lighter than some really enthusiastic drivers might like.
The good news though, is that you still get enough feedback through your fingertips to keep you well informed on how well the front tyres are gripping on faster, twistier roads. Bottom line? If you'd ideally want a supermini with the spaciousness of a Skoda Fabia or a Honda Jazz and would like the sharp handling of a Fiesta and the supple ride of a Volkswagen Polo, you'll get closer to it with this SEAT than with any other class contender we can think of.
SEAT has had a good look at the engine range. It's now all petrol-powered - and all based around a 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder turbo powerplant which produces either 95 or 110PS. The feebler engine gets a six-speed manual gearbox, with 7-speed DSG auto transmission available on most variants with the 110PS unit. Diesels have now been dropped.
There aren't many exterior changes to this revised version of the MK5 model, but you might spot the now-standard full-LED headlights and the revised alloy wheel designs.It's still a five-door-only design with short front and rear overhangs and at the front of the car, triangular full-LED headlights dominate. Under the skin, as before, the car is based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB A0 platform, shared with the VW Polo.
Inside, the update changes are a little easier to spot, with a new floating central infotainment system with bigger screen sizes - either 8.25 or 9.2-inches, depending on spec. Top variants now get a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument binnacle screen too. With all the monitors, there's now a built-in e-SIM and SEAT's 'Hola Hola' voice control system. And of course the brand's usual 'Full Link; smartphone-mirroring set-up, which accommodates 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'. Other update changes include a softer-touch dashboard, as well as a more ergonomic multifunction Nappa leather steering wheel. The driver and passenger air vents have been redesigned and the surrounds now illuminate. Otherwise, things are much as before. That MQB A0 platform allows for a longer-than-average wheelbase, which translates into decent rear seat space and a decently-sized 355-litre boot.
Prices haven't changed very much, so expect a price span in the £17,000 to £22,000 bracket, which means that, as before, you're getting Volkswagen Polo technology for a significant saving. Only five-door models are on offer and the trim lines run from 'SE' to 'SE Technology', 'FR', 'FR Sport', 'XCELLENCE' and 'XCELLENCE Lux'.
As for equipment, well the full-LED headlights are a highlight. Plus most models get 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'/'MirrorLink' 'phone connectivity, plus buyers can specify a premium 8-inch touchscreen and a wireless charger with a GSM amplifier. In addition, there's the chance to add in a thumping 300-watt 'Beats' Audio system with 7 speakers and an 8-channel amplifier. Other features buyers might want include keyless entry with a 'heartbeat' engine start button, front and rear parking sensors and a higher quality rear view camera. 'FR' and 'XCELLENCE' variants get colour-personalisable LED interior lighting too.
Safety-wise, SEAT has added various new features to this revised model, though you'll need plush trim or an extra spend for most of them. There's the brand's latest 'Travel Assist' semi-autonomous driving system, which allows you to let the car do most of the steering, throttle and braking work on the highway and in traffic queues. There's also now 'Lane Assist', 'Side Assist' and 'High Beam Assist'. As before, the Ibiza can also feature 'Front Assist' autonomous braking and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Being able to dip into the Volkswagen Group parts bin for the niftiest tech usually means a very low overall cost of ownership and that's certainly the case here. The 1.0-litre TSI 95PS petrol models are capable of up to 54.3mpg and a CO2 figure of as little as 118g/km - so who needs a diesel? The 1.0 TSI 110PS auto petrol model manages up to 47.9mpg and up to 132g/km. A start/stop system, which switches off the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill, is on all models.
What else? Well there's SEAT's usual three year/60,000 mile warranty. That's unexceptional when rivals like Toyota and Hyundai offer five years of cover as standard and Kia offers up to seven years. However, the SEAT deal is extendable, so you might be able to negotiate on that. And it includes two years of Europe-wide roadside assistance.
Ibiza's important to Spain - and this one certainly is to SEAT. This car is, in short, something of an Iberian success story. And one that looks set to continue for some time yet. Extra infotainment provision, a slightly smarter look, more equipment and some useful extra safety features have nicely embellished the Ibiza's proposition, to the point where it's now a supermini you simply can't ignore. Unlike many other affordable small cars of this kind, it's fun to drive. And unlike other fun to drive contenders in this class, it's relatively spacious inside. Plus this car is safe, comfortable and well connected.
In summary, we're looking here at a car that, like its brand, has matured nicely. One mindful of the fact that modernday Spaniards need to balance Latin spirit with sober sense. In this Ibiza, they've a small car that does exactly that.